I knew when I was walking around the outside of the unit that this commercial inspection was a commercial for unprofessional work. The corrolary to this is that the "management" company might need consideration also.
My client was buying a doctor's office condo in a building of office condos. The seller said the condo "management" did lots of work in anticipation of the sale.
Apparently many spots on the attractive 2x4 trim needed to be "shored up" with some straps. How did "management" do that? Of course, with drywall screws! This had been done just a couple of days before our visit, so they hadn't the time to rust yet! But they will rust! And cause further damage to the wood. It seems that "management" did not notice...
The image on the right shows something interesting. The roof above is flat. Ideally it is sloped such that rain water can exit through one of four "downspouts." The downspouts are really holes cut with a pan to simply drain the water outside the roof.
One of those four drains is that dark rectangle visible over the strap. It is completely blocked by this attractive wood trim. Apparently "management" did not notice that either...
These same 2x4s had rotting spots all over, which they "touched up" with paint.
EXCELLENT, JUST EXCELLENT.
One of the sales features was a completely new HVAC system installed in 2008. Unfortunately there was a recent leak into the unit which surely will be taken care of by "management." So not to worry.
But there is no access to the roof from inside the unit to be able to investigate, and "We're sorry," said the note.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THERE ISN'T ACCESS FROM ANOTHER UNIT, WHICH THIS HOME INSPECTOR WILL FIND OUT!
Underneath the unit was not entirely visible, but there is ponding all over the flat roof. In addition to the ponds, there is cracking and bubbling. But the roof was painted recently by "management" to hopefully seal these areas of leaking. THE ROOF DOES NOT ANGLE TOWARD THE DOWNSPOUTS TO DRAIN WATER AWAY PROPERLY.
I was able to learn that the unit being purchased is NOT the only unit with roof leaks! Gee, surprise, surprise.
Also, the professionals who replaced the formerly very old HVAC unit, which was said to have been there since 1991, decided to use the old wiring for this new unit in 2008! Why would they do that? You tell me...
And the photo on the right shows a fine example of this old wiring, which, when it rains, rests comfortably underwater. Overall, to me, this is frightful.
I was not impressed. Would you have been?
My recommendation: commercial inspections are just as important as home inspections. But they must be done with the future in mind. Are they being sold because everyone knows that a big assessment is coming up, like, in this case, a roof? If everyone knows "management" does a poor job of maintenance, why do they put up with it? These are some of the things needing investigation. But be sure to have a peek!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560