40-Year Building Inspections in Broward County

Most commercial structures in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties must undergo a comprehensive inspection 40 years after its completion and every 10 years thereafter. This inspection requirement began in Broward County in 2005, while Miami-Dade buildings have been subject to 40-year inspections since the 1970s. In addition to a structural inspection, qualifying buildings must undergo an electrical inspection by a licensed electrical engineer. 

The following Broward County structures are exempt from 40-year inspection requirements: 

  • Federal- and state-government buildings;
  • One-and two-family dwellings;
  • Broward County Public Schools structures;
  • Buildings built on Indian Reservations; and
  • Structures smaller than 3,500 square feet. By contrast, Miami-Dade County buildings that are 2,000 square feet or larger must undergo 40-year inspections. 

What Do Structural Engineers Scrutinize During the 40-Year Recertification?

The form most commonly used in Broward County for 40-year structural recertifications includes 10 sections. The first section provides for basic information about the building—its address, legal owner, building code classification, and general description. 

The following nine sections cover the following areas: 

  • Present Condition of Structure. Engineers note the building’s general alignment (covering bulging, contraction, settling, deflections, and expansions) in this section. They also describe any cracking, general surface conditions, visible distress, previous repairs, and the nature of current loads. 
  • Inspections. The structural engineer will list the dates of the actual inspection, deadline for the inspection, and credentials for every party engaging in the inspection. 
  • Supporting Data. This section includes photographs, sketches, and any pertinent written data.
  • Masonry Bearing Wall. Engineers scrutinize concrete, terra cotta, and/or clay units, as well as reinforced concrete beams and columns and masonry finishes. They are on the lookout for cracks, spalling, rebar corrosion, and chipping. 
  • Floor and Roof System. Inspectors note the general description of the floor and roof, paying attention to systems for draining and potential moisture collection (cooling towers, A/C equipment, and water tanks). 
  • Steel Framing System. This section covers chipping and/or corrosion of exposed steel, cracking or spalling of fireproofing, elevator sheave beams, elevator connections, and machine floor beams. 
  • Concrete Framing System. Conditions noted by structural engineers in this context are similar to those pertinent to the steel framing system. 
  • Windows. Inspectors will note the type, anchorage, sealant, interior seals, and overall condition of window systems.
  • Wood Framing. The report provides for assessment of the type and condition of metal fittings, joints, drainage systems, ventilation systems, and any concealed spaces that needed to be opened.


Assuming the structure in question is determined to be safe, it will need to undergo the same inspection every 10 years after the initial inspection. Urgent repairs generally require a 180-day turnaround or quicker.

The 40-year recertification in Broward County is a fairly significant undertaking. Having professional and experienced structural engineers is crucial for a smooth process. DDA Engineers, P.A. has performed countless 40-year inspections in and around Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. Let’s talk soon about your structural engineering needs.

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