Commercial property inspections demand expertise above and beyond the requirements for a residential home inspection. Commercial inspection includes a thorough visual examination of the condition of a property, which provides an inventory of the building’s major systems and components as well as an assessment of their physical and functional condition. 


Commercial and home inspection services are uniquely designed to support the complex needs of commercial buyers, sellers and their agents. All commercial buildings have limitations, and are generally costly to maintain and repair. These thorough inspections will help convey how well the property is holding up, as well as offer a good idea of anticipated maintenance and repairs moving forward from the day of the walk-through survey. 


Walk-through survey


Each commercial inspection begins with a thorough on-site visual examination of the property’s physical condition. Depending on the scope required for a particular property, the inspector may engage a team of specialty consultants. 


The assessment is focused on the building’s critical systems and components, which includes:


  • Heating and ventilation systems
  • Cooling systems
  • Plumbing system
  • Mechanical and electrical systems
  • Roof surface, drainage and penetrations 
  • Exterior elements and fixtures
  • General topography of the building site
  • Parking areas and sidewalks (for accessibility) 
  • Wood decks and balconies
  • Basement, foundation and crawlspace 
  • Doors, windows and interior
  • Life safety components 
  • Kitchen (including storage)
  • Other areas specific to the property
  • Document and procurement review

The inspector requests and reviews documents and records about the property (ie, lease agreements, Certificates of Occupancy, repair invoices, maintenance records). The inspector will also interview people who are knowledgeable about the building’s condition.


Inspection report


The report contains concise details from the walk-through survey, documents procured, interview results and any other third-party reports ordered as part of the inspection. This report provides an inventory of the building’s major systems and components, and an evaluation of their functional and physical condition. These findings reveal the property’s strengths and potential deficiencies, including deferred maintenance issues. 


Things that commercial building inspectors can tell 


Primarily, the overall condition of the building can be sketched out by your professional agency. For the exterior, they would first view from the outside of the building from every angle. This includes looking at an array of things such as the perimeter of the site, the driveway conditions, pathways, roofing, landscape, and more.


Once done, the building inspector will submit a detailed report of his assessment to the intending buyer stating the suitability of investing in this property. Most crowned inspection companies can be expected to do an in-depth review to assess any defects spotted in the process. Also, if they find any issues with the foundation of the building, you can expect them to report it to you.


Other than checking on the structural integrity, as a buyer, you must know some of the common defects that may not be apparent but could be more important than the architecture of the house.


Professionals use modern methods to map the moisture throughout the house or commercial property to enable the identification of larger issues. It is not uncommon to see leaky pipes, a faulty furnace, and cooling systems, or even damaged roofing in properties that have damp issues.