The Pro-Line Building Blog

Keeping Your Commercial Property in Top Shape: A Guide to Essential Repairs

Posted by Bobbii Dickey on Feb 20, 2024 7:15:00 AM

For owners and tenants of commercial properties, building repairs and maintenance are an inevitable part of operations. Even well-maintained commercial properties encounter periodic issues. At its core, property maintenance is about making minor repairs before they become bigger issues, enabling the commercial building to look and function at its best.

Regular maintenance can save both owners and tenants money in the long run by allowing all building systems to last longer and run more efficiently. Many issues can arise when building maintenance is ignored, like increased risk to damages, injuries, fires, leaks, and other system failures. It's crucial that all property owners maintain their commercial buildings per local and federal codes and regulations to ensure the safety of all.

Common Repair Issues for Commercial Buildings 

The best way to minimize major commercial building repairs is through regular preventative maintenance and routine inspections - of all building systems and features. Create a comprehensive checklist of what to examine and how often, then be sure to know the next steps when issues inevitably arise. It is important to know the responsibilities for both property owners and tenants: most commercial leases will specify responsibilities for handling different aspects of maintenance and repairs.

Being aware of the most common repair needs in commercial spaces, and planning accordingly, is the key to minimizing business disruptions and costly repairs.


Roof Repairs

A building’s roof is its first line of defense against the elements, so it's crucial for commercial property owners to ensure the roof system stays healthy. Signs of roof problems include damaged or missing shingles, loose or damaged flashing, water leaks or other damage, a sagging roof, or even high energy bills.

Contact a professional as soon as you notice any of these signs or suspect damage after severe weather. Even the smallest roof repair can make the difference between costly future replacements. Schedule regular inspections to inspect the roof for damage, both inside and outside the building.


Exterior Areas

A mistake commercial property owners can make is focusing more on the interior upkeep of the building. It’s important to inspect inside and outside to ensure the commercial building is safe, up to code, functional, and efficient.

The front of a commercial building, its facade, is specifically designed to attract attention while still providing protection from potential damage. Regularly cleaning and maintaining the facade improves aesthetics and helps to preserve the structural strength of the property. It is important to also keep up on landscaping and window cleaning.


HVAC Maintenance

A poorly functioning HVAC system can lead to uncomfortable indoor temperatures, and perhaps more importantly, poor air quality. These issues can be easier to spot: look for noisy vents or airflow, and inconsistent heating or cooling.

To avoid costly repairs, schedule seasonal HVAC maintenance with an experienced professional. During this regular maintenance, they will inspect the system, replace filters and parts, and clean where necessary. It’s important to inspect each part of the system on a regular basis, including boilers or chillers, compressors and refrigerants, and sensor calibration.


Electrical Issues

From lights and outlets to support systems like fire alarms, functional electrical systems are non-negotiable. Warning signs of electrical problems include flickering lights, tripped breakers, a burning smell, and outlets not working. Any electrical issues, big or small, should be addressed immediately by a licensed electrician to avoid potential fire hazards.

Common electrical repairs include replacing breakers, rewiring outlets, and upgrading electrical panels. It’s important to change all batteries in such operated flashlights, instruments, detectors and alarms, and other electrical equipment in the building. Clean and inspect exhaust fans on a regular basis, as well.


Plumbing Problems

Plumbing issues can sometimes be hard to detect until it is too late. It is highly recommended that the building’s plumbing system is inspected regularly to catch any problems. Leaky plumbing can lead to water damage, mold, and even flooding. Signs of plumbing issues can be anything from wet spots on the walls or floors, low water pressure, and leaky sinks.

According to your specific contracts, tenants may be able to address minor drips, but major issues like leaks inside walls require professional intervention in order to find and fix the source of the issue. Regularly, inspect the entire plumbing system to ensure there are no leaks or other issues. Check couplings, as well as all fixtures, for leaks.


Upkeep for Other Systems

Beyond the critical systems above, other components will need regular attention from commercial property owners. These include elevators, parking lots, fire safety features, lighting, and ADA accessibility. All require diligent upkeep and repair:

  •  Elevators. Schedule regular, professional servicing to keep these core building systems safe and operational.
  • Parking Lots. Inspect pavement routinely and seal cracks or repave as needed to prevent safety hazards.
  • Fire Systems. Test fire alarms and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly. Be sure to inspect fire extinguishers and sprinklers annually per fire code. Also, ensure that exits are clearly accessible.
  • Interior and Exterior Lighting. Replace light bulbs as needed throughout the commercial property, inside and out. A professional electrician should also check wiring for outage issues.
  • ADA Compliance. ADA requirements differ per state and local government, so tenants and owners must understand their specific regulations. Generally speaking, it is important to regularly inspect and repair all walkways, ramps, doors and doorways, and bathrooms as needed to stay in compliance.


It’s important to note here that in most areas, both the tenants and owners are legally responsible for keeping a commercial property in compliance with ADA regulations, though they may decide in a contract or lease who will provide those services.


Finding Qualified Repair Technicians 

For small repairs, start by reaching out to the original commercial builder, as many include warranties on new builds and remodels. For other needs, ask around locally for commercial contractor recommendations. Vet a few options through reviews and references, and compare several bids for big projects. Look for licensed technicians experienced specifically in commercial spaces.


Budgeting for the Inevitable 

It’s important to factor anticipated maintenance costs into your annual operating budgets and set aside reserves for unplanned repairs. For major reconstruction needs, financing options can include commercial loans and lines of credit.

By staying vigilant through proactive maintenance, thoughtful budgeting, and strategic financing, commercial property owners can handle repair needs smoothly and efficiently as they arise.


Topics: Commercial