How To Perform Commercial Property Inspections: Follow The Cockroaches

Let’s face it: roaches are gross. Which is precisely the reason why we’re using them to illustrate the importance of getting a yearly inspection performed. There are far …

Let’s face it: roaches are gross. Which is precisely the reason why we’re using them to illustrate the importance of getting a yearly inspection performed. There are far too many technical aspects for one simple list, but the major things to look out for are easy to check.

Make a routine for yourself and keep a certain date on the calendar. It will help your building age better, and you may increase the return on your investment when you decide to sell the property.  

Electrical and Hardware

Roaches will eat anything they can find for sustenance, and that’s just one of many bugs that can cause trouble with your electrical systems. Paper and cellulite are commonly used as insulation for wiring, items that have some nutritional value for roaches. You should start by unscrewing all outlets and checking the wiring to see if the insulation is intact. You may also notice scorch marks where shorts have occurred. If you see signs of damage, like scorch marks, it may be time to call an electrician and have them repair the wiring on your outlets. Scorch marks mean electrical problems for your office that could cause a fire. 

Outside the building, check that tree branches are not crossed with power lines, as this can have unintended consequences during windstorms. The downed power line could also become tangled in the tree.

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Crawlspaces and Basements

The basement is often used for storage of old equipment or paperwork the office doesn’t need daily. It’s a common place for moisture buildup, and that’s where roaches and other bugs thrive. There are too many spaces around pipes and drains where moisture can collect for you not to check these regularly. Aside from roaches, you run the risk of toxic mold, which is a health hazard and thus a liability for your company and your tenants’ companies.

Cracks in the foundation can cause serious structural damage to your office over time, which is why basement waterproofing is a vital repair. If you’re shopping for a new office, make sure to look for a brown outline, the tell-tale sign that there is a water leakage problem. Water Leakage can become a mold problem, or cause damage to the walls or ceiling.

In the basement, also check for structural issues with old wood beams. Small, pencil shaped holes may also signal a termite problem too.

Plants and Exterior

Roaches come indoors to forage for food when there are no sources readily available outside. They become a problem when they nest and breed. The best way to keep them out is to check the exterior of the building for breaches. Places like a parking structure cracks in the brick siding of the building can let bugs in. Old roofing may lead to water damage during the rainy season.

Check that there are no tree branches creating a bridge between the outside world and the roof of your building. Bugs can use those access points to breach your ventilation systems and find other ways into the property.

Other Systems

Aside from roaches, you want to make sure that the property is running in top shape. That includes the hardware attached to it, like air conditioning and the water heater. Make sure these are not leaking, and be sure that office plumbing has no leaks. Another common source of neglect is the office kitchen space. It’s easy for trash to pile up, uneaten lunches to go sour or liquids to seep out and attract bugs.

Aside from keeping bugs out of your building, taking these precautions will save you money in the long run. Commercial tenants will not tolerate bugs and pests for very long. They stand to lose money if a client is repulsed. If this happens you are likely to lose a client too, as the business will inevitably relocate to a building that is well-maintained.


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