A technical building inspection is a process of evaluation focussed on determining whether a building has preserved throughout the time or if it needs a renovation in order to reduce risks and keep sticking to the standards. It is easy to define this process as a very important task not only for business owners that would like to know if their building is still considered safe but also for people that frequent it and whose lives may be in danger.
This process is not to be taken lightly and it requires to stick up to different standards in order to assure the result of the evaluation reflects the real status of the building because a bad evaluation can have a lot of consequences.
Controversy around visual technical building inspections
One of the most controversial things related to technical building inspections in which many experts agree is that technical building inspections cannot be done visually, since only eye-checking the structure does not provide a proper method to check the status of a structure. To understand the lack of logic of visual inspections today, it is enough to make a sanitary simile.
Experts believe that it is surprising that in the XXI century, buildings are still visually recognized as it was five hundred or a thousand years ago. It is illogical to waste all that the science called “Pathology of construction” offers us today through the various instruments that it makes available to technicians. Some are used to measure technical parameters and others to monitor periodic data records and see how they evolve over time. As an example, let us say how useful they may be in the context of the inspection, the data obtained by instruments that measure the dimensions and the variation of a crack, which proved the resistant capacity of a concrete element, which confirm the corrosion of metal armours hidden or that denote the degree of humidity of a constructive element.
In order for a technical building inspection to be effective, it must inevitably include complementary diagnostic tests. Thus the architect or the technical architect, will have documented data that will facilitate the obtainment of conclusions about the aspects that favour and those that are not favourable for the inspected building.
In many countries, technical building inspections lack of regulations since no ordinance establishes a mandatory or recommended procedure on how to conduct a technical building inspection. Therefore, each technician based on his experience develops his own way of inspecting a building. If you want to make sure your building is inspected by an expert, do not hesitate to contact Able Building for a 100% guaranteed inspection done using well-formed checklists and the experiences of many expert inspectors.
The reality behind technical building inspections
Many buildings have non-accessible dependencies, for this reason the technician has no choice but to resort to what could be called an “intelligent methods of inspection” that must always be done under four premises:
- •The highest floor of the building has to be inspected entirely and very carefully because it is where all the effects of possible deficiencies in the roof or damage caused by weather conditions can be seen.
- •The lower floor of the building has to be inspected completely as well because it is where all the effects of deficiencies originating in the foundation or earth movements will be manifested.
- •In case of not being able to access a house located in an intermediate plant, the state of its contiguous ones must be acknowledged: the one located above, the one located underneath, the one located to its right and the one to its left.
- •If there are dwellings or premises in the building, regardless of the floor where they are, which have remained closed for a long time and are not being used, they must be inspected.
Failing to meet one of these four premises is sufficient reason for the technician to decline to sign the inspection report, lacking essential data to be able to pronounce on the state of the building.
Common areas are also very important for technical building inspections
It is commonly said that common areas never lie. When the technician is contracted to carry out the inspection of a building of a property there will usually be two types of dependencies: the common zones and the privative zones.
It can be assured that an excellent first step into giving a building a proper inspection is to intuit what is the state of conservation of a building by visiting the common areas that always reflect many interesting aspects. As they are pretty visible and people stay in there the whole time, they always receive less maintenance in regards to building structure and so on.
Common areas communicate to the technical inspector more information than private areas because it is clear that the residents themselves are responsible for always having a presentable indoor space in their homes and even repairing any small defect that appears or hide it behind a piece of furniture.
Nevertheless hidden dependencies of the house also reveal many interesting details that can help give a more accurate estimation. But it is important to take into account that these areas of the house remain well-preserved in many cases because they are not commonly used. It is very important to inspect in detail areas of the building such as the place where an old boiler was located, or the old tank to store coal or chips.
If you are looking for a group of experts that can evaluate your building according to the strictest standards of the building evaluation business, here at Able Building we can offer you second to none service with a group of experts that have over 40 years combined in the field of building inspection.
We make sure our evaluation provides enough information highlighting items of concern before you purchase a building or if you are looking to sell and want to know the exact value of the building in the market.