When buying commercial real estate property, it’s definitely worth doing a little digging to find out what environmental threats may be an issue with the property. Some may be able to be mitigated, but some may be so overwhelming that they are a health danger and may make you take a hard pass. When you’re buying a new property, the last thing you need is an enormous environmental problem to conquer. It can be tricky because many sellers may not be aware of the environmental problems their properties have, and they can’t disclose what they don’t know, so it’s worthwhile to hire an experienced inspector to look at the property before you sign on the dotted line.

3 Environmental Risks To Commercial Real Estate Properties

  • Legionella
  • Mold
  • Vapor Intrusion

Locations with water amenities, such as swimming pools, saunas, hot tubs, spas, and decorative water fountains are at risk for this potentially lethal pollutant. Legionella settlements are often kept confidential, but the CDC has estimated that 10% of people who contract Legionella die from it. That’s extremely serious. Companies can have formal plans and contract with risk-reduction companies to make sure that their water-themed businesses are better protected and frequently tested for Legionella.
Mold is something most people have encountered on some level, but some types are linked to serious issues like asthma and even cancer. It’s far easier to have mold-reduction plans in place, because once it is present, it’s expensive to remediate mold – including drywall replacement, floor replacement, insulation replacement, and more. There are devices that monitor humidity in a building and mitigate chances that mold will become a problem, and regular inspections will make sure that if it does begin, it is handled quickly and efficiently.
Vapor intrusion can be deadly because some of it is not detectable unless a special detector is used – this includes radon, petroleum, and other organic compounds which may occur from spills and seep into the ground, and slowly drift into structures, which place occupants at risk due to long-term, low-dose exposure.

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