Like it or not, office and commercial spaces sit unoccupied and unused for vary periods of time due to a variety of reasons.  During these periods of vacancy, it is important to implement an appropriate maintenance protocol.  This protocol should include regular inspections, various maintenance tasks and cleaning.

We recommend that no less than once per month, vacant properties be inspected to ensure all mechanical systems are in working order, electrical wiring is functioning properly, alarm and security systems are in working order, HVAC systems are working, temperatures are maintained during the winter, the property is free of pests and there is no water damage.  It is also important that the building envelop is inspected to ensure that it remains in both functional and presentable working order.  Inspection of the building envelop should include the roof, all mechanical equipment on the roof and all roof drains should be inspected to ensure they remain clean.

All regular maintenance of building systems should continue to be followed and, even while vacant, any malfunctioning items should be fixed or replaced.  Additionally, the building should be cleaned once per month.  The cleaning should include thorough dusting and floor cleaning.  Also, all toilets should be flushed, water at all fixtures should be run, and all p-traps should be filled with fresh water.  Finally, at least once a year, the windows should be washed and the light fixtures should have any insects removed.

Additional inspections should be made after heavy rain events.  It is not uncommon for older commercial roofs to leak after heavy rain events.  Therefore, it is important that all vacant spaces be inspected following such events.  If any leaks are identified, the water intrusion should be mitigated and dried out immediately, as well as repaired by a trusted roofing contractor.

Moreover, water lines and mechanical rooms should be checked more regularly during winter weather to make sure no water lines break due to freezing.  During the winter, temperatures should be monitored not only inside the building but also in any mechanical rooms with outside facing doors.

Finally, even if a space is temporarily vacant, it is also important to inspect and maintain the landscaping, parking lot and dumpster area.  Even if your space is vacant, authorized and unauthorized guests will without a doubt end up on the property.  As such, the common outdoor areas should be regularly policed for trash and checked for hazards.

Taking steps, such as those outlined above, is important to maintaining the value of the property.  Moreover, it makes the vacant spaces more desirable and attractive to potential tenants and buyers.  If you want more information on taking care of vacant properties, please feel free to reach out to us.