Owning a commercial property can be a profitable and fulfilling experience but comes with several challenges. Whether you own your company’s building or lease space to other businesses, you have a responsibility to take care of the place. The first step in keeping everything running smoothly is knowing what can go wrong.
Every property is different, but there are a few common issues you should be aware of. With that in mind, here are five common problems with commercial properties and how to fix them.
1. Electrical Faults
Electrical issues are some of the most common and concerning problems with any property. Arcing faults alone cost $700 million in property damage each year. Poorly designed circuits, wire damage and improper wattage can all create dangerous electrical faults, but the steps to prevent them are fairly straightforward.
Before moving into or accepting tenants in your building, have a qualified electrician inspect it to ensure it meets relevant safety standards. When using the property, watch for things like flickering lights and circuit breakers that trip often. These are signs that there may be an electrical issue, and if you spot them, call an electrician as soon as possible.
Leaks are another issue you’ll find in a lot of properties. While these may not be as potentially dangerous as electrical faults, they can cause costly damage. Thankfully, if you catch them early enough, these are easy and affordable to repair.
Inspect your roof, gutters and plumbing for any signs of wear before letting tenants onto the property. Use sealant and new roofing materials to patch any spots that look like they could leak under the right conditions. Whenever there’s a storm, check for leaks afterward so you can patch them or call a plumber before the issue grows too large.
3. Windows and Doors Don’t Seal
When doors and windows don’t seal properly, it can be more than a nuisance. Drafts can drastically affect your energy bills since your HVAC system will work overtime to regulate indoor temperatures. Faulty windows and doors can also let in insects, rain and other annoyances.
More often than not, an improper seal is the result of worn-out weatherstripping. If that’s the case, you’ll just have to replace the weatherstripping, which shouldn’t cost much. If this doesn’t fix the issue, check the hinges to see if you’ll have to replace them, and if that doesn’t work, you can replace the entire door or window.
4. Landscaping Issues
Your commercial property may also have landscaping issues, like overgrown hedges or tree branches caught in utility wires. These can cause some safety concerns, and even if they don’t, they may make your property less appealing. Regular maintenance can keep your landscaping in order.
Experts recommend that you check and clean your gutters two to four times a year to ensure they work properly. You may also want to prune any tree branches that hang over your building to prevent them from falling and causing damage. Planting native plants can help prevent soil erosion, preventing flooding, and improve your property’s aesthetic.
5. Code Violations
Many commercial properties are old, which means they may not be built according to modern safety codes. For example, asbestos was a common building material before the 1970s and can cause severe health issues. Your building may also lack modern fire suppression systems or smoke alarms.
The first step to solving these issues is discovering if you have them. Hire a qualified inspector to look through the building and see what may need attention. Some issues, like asbestos, will require a certified professional to take care of, but others may not be a problem as long as you’re aware of and can work around them.
Keep Your Property in Prime Condition
When you know what issues you could face in your commercial property, you can be proactive about preventing and fixing them. If you look for these problems and address them early, you’ll ensure your property is in optimal condition. Your business or tenants will be better off for it.