What is a Building Recertification?

The 40/50 Year Recertification Inspection of Real Estate Property is a requirement, under Section 8-11 (f) of the Miami-Dade County Code, for buildings that have been in existence for more than 40 years and every 10 years thereafter, to be inspected for the purpose of determining the general structural and electrical condition.

According to the Florida Building Code, the fundamental purpose of the Inspection and report is to confirm in reasonable fashion that the building or structure under consideration is safe for continued use under the present occupancy. 

40/50 Year Recertification Inspections Miami-Dade, Coral Gables, Homestead, Doral, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Hallandale, Weston.

Required 40-Year Recertification of Real Estate is performed following the City local governments minimum inspection procedural guidelines for required old safety inspection program and might required the following inspections:

  • Structural and structural inspection.
  • Level of illumination of the parking lot. (Miami-Dade County - Chapter 8C of the Code of relating to parking illumination. In accordance with Section 8C-2, the minimum prescribed standards for parking illumination contained in Section 8C-3 were made retroactive upon adoption of the original ordinance. As part of the submission for  Recertification, it is required to submit a form certifying compliance with the parking illumination standards signed and sealed by a professional engineer). 
  • Compliance with guardrail for areas adjacent or abutting a canal, lake or other body of water in the parking spaces. 

Destructive test will not be performed. 

We perform the required building safety inspections, in residential and commercial buildings.

Which properties are exempted from  Real Estate 40-Year Recertification?

Single family homes residences, duplexes, townhouses and other structures buildings with an occupant load of ten (10) or less and 2,000 square feet or less are exempted. Also nonresidential  State of Florida buildings on farms are exempted from Recertification.

Who can sign off the Real Estate 40 Year Inspection report?

An Engineer or Architect.

  • Professional Engineers (any building).
  • Registered Architects (limited scope).

What is the process for the 40 Year Recertification of Real Estate Property?

  • Engineer will attest the results in a report  to the best of their knowledge, belief and professional judgment and based on the conditions observed. 
  • The Recertification report will state if the building under consideration is safe for the specified use and continue occupancy. 
  • The Inspection report is required to be submitted to the Local Government, property owner has 90 days or a notice of code violations might be issued without further notice and building can be reported as unsafe structures for initiation of condemnation process. You might be liable for a maximum fine of $10,510 and all enforcement costs. Local government Code enforcement unit might vacate and demolish the structure.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS for 40 Year Recertification
As implied by the title of this document, this is a recommended procedure, and under
no circumstances are these minimum recommendations intended to supplant proper professional
judgment. In general, unless there is obvious overloading, or significant deterioration of important
structure elements there is little need to verify the original design.

Visual Examination will, in most cases, be considered adequate when executed systematically.
Surface imperfections such as cracks, distortion, sagging, excessive deflections, significant
misalignment, signs of leakage, and peeling of finishes should be viewed critically as indications
of possible difficulty.

EVALUATION: Each report shall include a statement to the effect that the building is structurally
safe, unsafe, safe with qualifications, or has been deemed safe by restrictive interpretation of
such statements. It is suggested that each report also include the following information indicating
the actual scope of the report and limits of liability. This paragraph may be used:
“ As a routine matter, in order to avoid possible misunderstanding, nothing in this report should be
construed directly or indirectly as a guarantee for any portion of the structure. To the best of my
knowledge and ability, this report represents and accurate appraisal of the present condition of
the building based upon careful evaluation of observed conditions, to the extent reasonably
If all of the supporting subterranean materials were completely uniform beneath a structure, with
no significant variations in grain size, density, moisture content or other mechanical properties;
and if dead load pressures were completely uniform, settlements would probably be uniform and
of little practical consequence. In the real world, however, neither is likely. Significant deviations
from either of these two idealism are likely to result in unequal vertical movements.
Monolithic masonry, generally incapable of accepting such movements will crack. Such cracks
are most likely to occur at corners, and large openings. Since, in most cases, differential shears
are involved, cracks will typically be diagonal.
Small movements, in themselves, are most likely to be structurally important only if long term
leakage through fine cracks may have resulted in deterioration. In the event of large movements,
continuous structural elements such as floor and roof systems must be evaluated for possible
fracture or loss of bearing.

Pile foundations are, in general, less likely to exhibit such difficulties. Where such does occur,
special investigation will be required.
Sloping roofs, usually having clay or cement tiles, are of concern in the event that the covered
membrane may have deteriorated, or that the tiles may have become loose. Large deflections, if
merely resulting from deteriorated rafters or joists will be of greater importance. Valley Flashing,
and Base Flashing at roof penetration will also be matters of concern.
Flat roofs with built up membrane roofs will be similarly critical with respect to deflection
considerations. Additionally, since the will generally be approaching expected life limits at the age
when building recertification is required, careful examination is important. Blisters, wrinkling,
alligatoring, and loss of gravel are usually signs of difficulty. Punctures or loss of adhesion of
base flashing, coupled with loose counterflashing will also signify possible problems. Wind blown
gravel, if excessive, and the possibility of other debris, may result in pounding, which if permitted,
may become critical.
Random cracking, or if discernible, definitive patterns of cracking, will of course, be of interest.
Bulging, sagging, or other signs of misalignment may also indicate related problems in other
structural elements. Masonry walls where commonly constructed of either concrete masonry
remits or scored clay tile, may have been constructed with either reinforced concrete columns tie
beams, or lintels.
Steel bar joists are, of course, sensitive to corrosion. Most critical locations will be web member
welds, especially near supports, where shear stresses are high possible failure may be sudden,
and without warning.

Corrosion, obviously enough, will be the determining factor in the deterioration of structural steel.
Most likely suspect areas will be fasteners, welds, and the interface area where bearings are
embedded in masonry. Column bases may often be suspect in areas where flooding has been
experienced, especially if salt water has been involved.

Thin cracks usually indicate only minor corrosion, requiring minor patching. Extensive spalling
may indicate a much more serious condition requiring further investigation.
Of most probable importance will be the vertical and horizontal cracks where masonry units abut
tie columns, or other frame elements such as floor slabs. Of interest here is the observation that
although the raw materials of which these masonry materials are made may have much the same
mechanical properties as the reinforced concrete framing, their actual behavior in the structure,
however, is likely to differ with respect to volume change resulting from moisture content, and
variations in ambient thermal conditions.

Cast in place reinforced concrete slabs and/or beams and joists may often show problem due to
corroding rebars resulting from cracks or merely inadequate protecting cover of concrete.
Patching procedures will usually suffice where such damage has not been extensive. Where
corrosion and spalling has been extensive in structurally critical areas, competent analysis with
respect to remaining structural capacity, relative to actual supported loads, will be necessary.
Type and extent or repair will be dependent upon the results of such investigation.
Precast members may present similar deterioration conditions. End support conditions may be
important. Adequacy of bearing, indications of end shear problems, and restraint conditions are
important, and should be evaluated in at least a few typical locations.
Concrete deterioration will, in most cases similarly to related to rebar corrosion possibly abetted
by the presence of salt-water aggregate or excessively permeable concrete. In this respect,
honeycomb areas may contribute adversely to the rate of deterioration. Columns are frequently
most suspect. Extensive honeycomb is most prevalent at the base of columns, where fresh
concrete was permitted to segregate, dropping into form boxes. This type of problem has been
known to be compounded in areas where flooding has occurred, especially involving salt water.
In spall areas, chipping away a few small loose samples of concrete may be very revealing.
Especially, since loose material will have to be removed even for cosmetic type repairs, anyway.
Fairly reliable quantitative conclusions may be drawn with respect to the quality of the concrete.
Even though our cement and local aggregate are essentially derived from the same sources,
cement will have a characteristically dark grayish brown color in contrast to the almost white
aggregate. A typically white, almost alabaster like coloration will usually indicate reasonably good
overall strength. The original gradation of aggregate can be seen through a magnifying glass.
Depending upon the structural importance of the specific location, this type of examination may
obviate the need for further testing if a value of 2000 psi to 2500 psi is sufficient for required
strength, in the event that visual inspection indicates good quality for the factors mentioned.

Window condition is of considerable importance with respect to two considerations. Continued
leakage may have resulted in other adjacent damage and deteriorating anchorage may result in
loss of the entire unit in the event of severe wind storms short of hurricane velocity. Perimeter
sealant, glazing, seals, and latches should be examined with a view toward deterioration of
materials and anchorage of units for inward as well as outward (section) pressures, most
importantly in high buildings.
Older wood framed structures, especially of the industrial type, are of concern in that long term
deflections may have opened important joints, even in the absence of deterioration. Corrosion of
ferrous fasteners will in most cases be obvious enough. Dry rot must be considered suspect in all
sealed areas where ventilation has been inhibited, and at bearings and at fasteners. Here too,
penetration with a pointed tool greater than about one eight inch with moderate hand pressure,
will indicate the possibility of further difficulty.
It is of importance to note that even in the absence of any observable deterioration, loading
conditions must be viewed with caution. Recognizing that there will generally be no need to verify
the original design, since it will have already been “time tested”, this premise has validity only if
loading patterns and conditions remain unchanged. Any material change in type and/or
magnitude or loading in older buildings should be viewed as sufficient jurisdiction to examine load
carrying capability of the affected structural system.
The purpose of the inspection and report is to confirm with reasonable fashion that the
building or structure under consideration is safe for continued use under present occupancy. As
mentioned before, it is a recommendation procedure, and under no circumstances are these
minimum recommendations intended to supplant proper professional judgment.
A description of the type of service supplying the building or structure must be provided, stating
the size of amperage, if three (3) phase or single (1) phase, and if the system is protected by
fuses or breakers. Proper grounding of the service should also be in good standing. The meter
and electric rooms should have sufficient clearance for equipment and for the serviceman to
perform both work and inspections. Gutters and electrical panels should all be in good condition
throughout the entire building or structure.
Branch circuits in the building must all be identified and an evaluation of the conductors must be
performed. There should also exist proper grounding for equipment used in the building, such as
an emergency generator, or elevator motor.
All types of wiring methods present in the building must be detailed and individually inspected.
The evaluation of each type of conduit and cable, if applicable, must be done individually. The
conduits in the building should be free from erosion, and checked for considerable dents in the conduits that may be prone to cause a short. The conductors and cables in these conduits should
be chafe free, and their currents not over the rated amount.
Exit signs lighting and emergency lighting, along with a functional fire alarm system must all be in
good working condition.

Report format and text based on the guidelines produced by Miami-Dade County. Professionals preparing report may use their own form as long as it contains the same required information found in this package.

Each individual page of recertification report must be signed and sealed by a registered professional engineer or architect

A Florida State registered engineer is required to prepare an Electrical Recertification Report for services of 600 amperes (240 volts-single phase) or more on residential projects, or services of 800 amperes (240 volts-single phase) on commercial projects, and which costs more than $50,000 as per Chapter 471 of the Florida Statutes.

A professional engineer or architect must have proven qualifications by training and experience in the specific technical field covered in the inspection report (structural or electrical) as per Section §8-11(f) of the Code of Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade Building Department forms.

Miami Dade County Guidelines for required Certification.

Letter of Compliance to Building Official - sample.

Miami Dade - Notice of required Inspection.

Below you can search in public records for a 40 year building or older.

Miami Dade - Real Estate Property Search

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