MIAMI BEACH – Next Friday marks the one-year mark of the Surfside building collapse. The investigation into what caused the collapse is making progress but is still underway. Since Champlain Towers South came crashing down, 10 unsafe buildings in South Florida have been forced to shut down.
Theon Miami Beach was added to that list Wednesday when a ceiling inside collapsed. Building inspectors are now sharing the red flags people need to look out for before renting or buying.
When buildings are constructed, they’re inspected. But after that, another inspection isn’t required for another 40 years. Experts say a lot can change over that time period. So, if you’re buying, you should always do an inspection.
“I’m amazed when I look at a 1926 building and it rents for the same amount of money as a 2015 building,” said Michael Graham, a home inspector and member of the Florida Association of Building Inspectors.
In general, the newer a building is, the less issues it’s likely to have.
“Is there a history of violations? Are there any violations recorded by the city?” said Graham. “Any crack over 1/8 of an inch wide is something you should be concerned about and we’re talking about walls right now.”
Cesar Costa, with House Master services, elaborates further, “Especially if the crack starts small and ends bigger, that shows there is a displacement and movement in the structure of the building.”
The four-story, 54-unit Annell is completely vacant due to part of the ceiling collapsing.
“You see these little openings in the frame? The panes they’ve replaced the linoleum is gone in four or five of the panes those are places where water can go in and we’re talking gallons of water,” said Graham.
He thinks a leak likely led to the ceiling coming down in the building. He’s a home inspector who’s worked for years on Miami Beach. He said when you’re renting and buying you should always consider the age of a property.
“If you’re looking at a building built in the last 15 years you can be fairly confident that the floors are level, the walls are plumbed, there are no structural cracks in the building and that the ceilings are not falling down,” he said.
And one more thing, “Check on the permits of the roof and see if they’re doing regular maintenance. You want to see resealing every 5 no more than 10 years,” said Costa.
We’ve reached out for an update on when the people living in Annell will be able to move back in, but we haven’t been told an exact date.