Commercial Boarding Up – Understanding The Property Maintenance Code
As the owner of a commercial business or private property, you likely know the basics of boarding up, even if you have never needed to do it. However, the basic knowledge is often not enough when you have to board up your property.
Boarding up is only allowed under special circumstances, and you will need to take authorized approvals before going ahead with it. To understand the reason behind the regulatory requirements, you will need to have a more detailed understanding of the process.
What is Commercial Boarding Up?
Commercial boarding up involves installing boards on the doors and windows to protect the property from damage. The potential damage can be due to anticipated storms, intruders, violent protests, etc., events, which result in property damage.
Commercial boarding up is also customary for abandoned properties and buildings. It helps prevent external damage to property from the environment and trespassers and prevents injuries due to property disrepair.
When is Boarding Up Permitted?
Both short-term and long-term boarding up is strictly regulated to ensure safety for owners and the public alike. Following situations are considered valid reasons for boarding up requests by regulatory authorities:
- Excessive property damage due to water, fire, or natural disasters. The property is considered a public safety risk and boarded up to prevent accidents.
- The property is considered a safety concern, and the owner wants to keep it boarded up during repairs to reduce risk to the public.
- There are storm forecasts in the area, and boarding up will prevent property damage.
- There is a call for protests, and the owner wants to avoid property damage, looting, and other forms of destruction.
- The property is located in an area where vandalism and street crimes are common.
You will likely be allowed to board up your commercial property for a maximum of six months. You can either file for an extension when the six months are nearly over or remove the boards.
Why Maintenance Is Required for Boarded Up Property
The property maintenance requirement for a boarded-up property is due to the potential risk to the public and surrounding properties. An unmaintained property is at greater risk of:
- Electrical and plumbing failures
- Structural damage that makes them weak and increases the risk of them collapsing
Understanding the Property Maintenance Code
Mississippi follows the International Property Maintenance Code, 2018 for regulatory purposes and has adopted the following codes:
1. General Maintenance
The general maintenance clause encompasses maintenance for surrounding areas and interior and exterior structures. Owners are expected to take care of:
- Grading and drainage
- Sidewalks and driveways
- Pests, especially rodents
- Exhaust vents
- Accessory structures like walls, fences, etc.
If the property is considered unsafe for the public or neighborhood, the owner needs to get necessary repairs and maintenance performed.
2. Lighting, Ventilation, and Occupancy
Since properties aren’t expected to remain boarded up for long periods, property maintenance codes mandate they follow regulatory requirements for lighting and ventilation for habitable spaces unless the property is undergoing maintenance and repairs.
Residential property is not allowed to remain vacant for longer than 30 days unless the owner presents evidence of construction or that they are actively seeking tenants.
3. Plumbing and Fixtures
Unmaintained plumbing can result in water damage, leading to weakened structure and mold infestations. Therefore, property owners need to keep the water supply, heating, sewage disposable, etc., well-maintained to prevent problems.
4. Mechanical and Electrical Systems
Your electrical systems and appliances can become a safety hazard if you don’t keep them well maintained. Your HVAC system, gas supply, electrical equipment, etc., need to be maintained regularly. All electrical outlets, fixtures, and distribution systems also need to be checked.
All ventilation systems also need to be in acceptable working condition to prevent the property from retaining moisture or getting affected by extreme temperatures.
5. Fire Safety
Despite remaining unoccupied, a building remains at risk of catching fire. Therefore, you will need to ensure you follow fire safety guidelines to prevent fire hazards that can put people in surrounding areas at risk.
Gas leaks and electrical short-circuiting are the most likely reasons for fires in vacant buildings. Despite temporary vacancy, the building needs to have accessible fire exits if someone inside needs to get out when a fire starts.
How 911 Restoration Can Help
The 911 Restoration team has home restoration experts who remain updated on the latest regulations for property maintenance. You can trust us to evaluate your building thoroughly and help you keep it maintained while it remains boarded up.
We can also offer you our commercial restoration services in case of repair requirements. So, you can return to opening up for business as soon as possible. If you are boarding up your property, call us at (601) 501-6119 or contact us using this link.
We will help set a maintenance schedule depending on how long you plan to keep your property boarded up and offer our best services.
To sum up, commercial boarding-up is only possible under specific circumstances, and you will need to continue performing maintenance and repair work on the property. The property maintenance codes help keep the public safe from potential harm and also keep your property safe from damage.
Contact us if you have inquiries or need help with property maintenance.