In Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, all buildings which are 40 years old from the date of the original Certification of Occupancy must be recertified by the Building Official every 10 years to ensure they are safe.
Here’s what recertification is, how it works, and why it’s so important for commercial property owners to get it right.
How Does It Work?
A 40-year recertification requires buildings in Miami-Dade County and Broward County to be inspected to make sure they are structurally and electrically safe for continued use and occupancy.
The safety inspection must meet a set of specific requirements and be performed by a professional engineering company or architectural firm. Once your building has had its 40-year recertification, you must get it recertified again every 10 years.
The city or county building authority will tell you if you need recertification through a Notice of Required Inspection. Once you receive the notice, you have 90 days upon receipt of the notice to comply. However, you are responsible for getting an inspection even if you don’t receive a notice.
There are only a few exceptions to recertification requirements: single-family homes, duplexes, and buildings with an occupancy load of 10 or less and a gross area of 2,000 square feet or less in Miami-Dade County and a gross area of 3,500 square feet or less in Broward County.
What Do Inspections Include?
Recertification is actually an extensive process involving different types of inspections:
- Structural inspection (including but not limited to evaluation of roof structural members, load-bearing walls, floor structural members, and foundations)
- Electrical inspection (including but not limited to evaluation of electrical service, branch circuits, and conduit/raceways)
- Roofing (including but not limited to evaluation of roof slope, roof drainage, roof water tightness, and roof-mounted equipment supports)
- Fire Life Safety (including but not limited to evaluation of emergency lighting, exit signs, smoke detectors, and fire alarm systems)
- Windows (including but not limited to evaluation of window functionality, sealing and other conditions which may be conducive to moisture intrusion into the structure)
For the structural components, the inspector reviews the main structural elements that make the property sound, from the foundations and beams to the roof and columns. They’re looking for any signs of compromised structural integrity, such as cracks and signs of settlement. A good inspector knows the difference between a superficial crack and a more concerning one.
For the electrical components, the inspector goes to the electrical room to examine breakers, feeders, panels, gutters, the transformer and more.
If the inspector finds any areas that do not meet recertification requirements, you’re given 60 days to hire a contractor and complete the necessary improvements to the property.
Why Is My 40-Year Recertification So Important?
By now, most of you have probably heard of the collapse of Champlain Towers South that occurred on June 24, 2021 in Miami. This horrific tragedy highlights why 40-year building recertifications are so important.
As little as two days before the collapse, a pool contractor noticed water intrusion throughout the parking garage that had apparently originated from the condo’s pool.
Built in 1981, Champlain Towers South isn’t exactly a historic building. At approximately 40 years old, you might even be tempted to think of the building recertification process as a mere formality. But building safety is something that should never be taken lightly.
Building inspections aren’t just a way to make money, they’re a tool building owners can use to make well-informed decisions regarding the safety and security of their investments.
And as we’ve seen, these decisions can save lives.
Need Your 40-Year Recertification Inspection?
If your commercial property needs its 40-year recertification inspection or you are purchasing or just want to know the condition, you’ve come to the right place.
The quality of your inspection is only as good as the company you choose. At BIS, we’re licensed general contractors, engineers, and building inspectors. In short, we’re commercial property experts.
We’ve worked with buyers, lawyers, developers, lenders, brokers, and more. We have performed inspections from Florida to California from Texas to Wisconsin and even outside the country on commercial buildings. No property is too large, too small, or too far away.
If you need an inspection, we’ll make sure you get it done right.
Don’t wait. Click here to request your inspection today.