If you own a long-standing commercial building where tenants lease space, you have an ethical and sometimes a legal duty to keep the building in good repair and up to current safety standards. Because an old building can fall into disrepair, you will need to prioritize upgrades, focusing on safety standards first. If any of these following commercial-property problems show up, you should put them at the top of your fix-it list.
The single most important upgrade, maintenance or repair tasks you must undertake are those related to fire prevention. Safety in this area starts with having a working sprinkler system. If you have one in place, call in an inspection team; otherwise, look toward an installation of fire code California team to install an up-to-date system.
Out-of-date electrical wiring can lead to the very fire you fear in the first place. An electrical system that has not been updated for decades can become overburdened, leading to overheating wires or continually tripping circuit breakers. Safety is not the only concern. As a practical matter, your tenants expect sufficient current to operate computers and office equipment; an outdated power supply will likely not meet the demand.
Old buildings can contain the insulating, fire-resistant material asbestos in various locations: Floor tiles, heating pipe wrappings, roof plates are just a few of the primary construction pieces where these dangerous fibers may be embedded. As these materials deteriorate or are disturbed, the fibers will break apart and fill the air; when breathed in, the fibers can cause deadly health conditions including forms of cancer. You may need to perform an assessment and consider where it may be necessary to have asbestos materials removed.
Lead paint was used in buildings constructed primarily before 1978. Knowing this is significant because lead can cause long-term negative neurological health effects. While growing children are most at risk, anyone who ingests even small amounts of lead can suffer consequences. Lead dust from old paint will fall on surfaces that tenants touch; when they touch their faces or grasp foods they can transfer the lead dust into their bodies. Make sure you keep your painted walls in good repair or remove old paint and repaint. A stately old office building can be a welcoming work habitat for its tenants. However, sometimes the building’s charms overshadow dangerous conditions within. When decades have passed without evaluating or upgrading safety standards, taking steps to remediate these concerns will protect both your tenants and you.