Florida Milestone Inspections & SIRS To Ensure Your Building’s Integrity



What are Florida Milestone Inspections?

On May 26, 2022, a significant milestone was reached in building safety, thanks to Governor signing CS for CS for SB 154 (2023 Legislature), introduces several significant changes to Florida Statute 553.899.

This pivotal legislation mandates structural integrity assessments, known as Florida Milestone Inspections, for condominiums and cooperative buildings 25 or 30 years old, with three or more stories. These vital inspections, performed by licensed architects or engineers, are crucial for ensuring the safety and structural integrity of buildings throughout Florida.

At EMA Engineers, we’re poised as your Florida Milestone Inspections experts. Our network of experienced, licensed engineers and architects across the state ensures your peace of mind through streamlined processes, quick turnaround, and strict compliance, no matter where you are in Florida. Trust us to be your reliable partner in navigating these essential safety requirements with expertise and efficiency.

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Florida milestone inspections
  Florida Milestone Inspections, 30 year structural inspections miami by EMA

Why are Florida Milestone Inspections Important?

The Florida milestone inspections stands as a sentinel for safety and compliance. This inspection is instituted by the Florida Statutes section 553.899. It’s a rigorous inspection for buildings, especially condominiums and cooperatives that are three stories or higher.

Why is this important? It’s about the safety and durability of the structures Florida residents inhabit. These structures become susceptible to wear and tear with age, potentially compromising their structural integrity. This is especially important here in Florida with the harsh weather and tropical storms we are battered by yearly. That’s where the milestone inspection intervenes!

Based on the certificate of occupancy date, buildings are mandated to have their initial milestone inspection around the time they turn 30. And this isn’t a one-time event, a subsequent inspection every 10 years ensures the building remains at its prime.

However, it’s essential to note that not every structure in Florida needs this inspection. Single-family, two-family, or structures with three or fewer habitable stories above ground are exempt.

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Difference Between a Phase 1 and Phase 2 Florida Milestone Inspections?

Understanding the inspection process is crucial. The process is broken down into two distinct phases:

Phase 1: This is the primary line of defense. Licensed Florida engineers delve into a comprehensive visual examination of your building. Beyond just a cursory look, they assess both habitable and non-habitable areas, focusing on the building’s backbone – its major structural components. The aim is to vouch for the building’s structural soundness, ensuring it poses no risks to life or safety. But remember, it’s not about current building or fire safety codes. It’s about the overall health and stability of the structure. If all is well and there are no red flags, the inspection concludes here.

Phase 2: Think of this as the deep dive. Phase 2 is more intensive and only invoked if Phase 1 identifies substantial structural concerns. It involves potential tests that can be both non-destructive and destructive. This phase’s objective is to gauge the full scope of structural distress and create a roadmap for the necessary repairs.

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What Happens After Your Inspection is Complete?

What comes after we finish your milestone inspection in Florida? After we’ve delved deep into the structures, assessing and analyzing, we share our findings.

Whether it’s the Phase 1 or the more intensive Phase 2, we provide a comprehensive, detailed report, bearing the seal and signature of our licensed Florida Engineer.

This document offers insights into your building’s structural conditions and potential areas of concern.  And as per regulations, the association is also in the loop. A summary of our report can be shared with every condo unit owner. This collective approach ensures everyone is informed and aware, making the community a safer place.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Florida Milestone Inspections

1:    What are Florida Milestone Inspections? 

A:   Florida Statute 553.899 aims to improve the safety, structural integrity, and financial management of condominium and cooperative buildings. It introduces stricter inspection schedules, qualifications for inspectors, and enhanced transparency in financial planning to prevent tragedies like the Surfside collapse.

2:     Who can perform the Florida Milestone Inspections? 

A:     Milestone inspections must be carried out by licensed engineers, or licensed architects deemed qualified under the new law. This ensures that inspections are thorough and adhere to safety standards.

3:    What are the timelines of new Florida Milestone Inspections?

A:    Buildings must undergo their first milestone inspection by December 31 of the year they turn 30 (or 25 if close to the coastline), with variations for buildings already past this age by July 1, 2022. Inspections will then occur every 10 years.

4:  What types of Florida Milestone Inspections exist?

A:   Two types of milestone inspections exist namely milestone inspections Phase one and milestone inspections phase two.

5:   What if the building passes milestone inspection phase one?

A:    The licensed engineer will provide a sealed and signed copy of the report, and the building is certified for the next 10 years. However, if the milestone inspection phase one fails, a phase two milestone inspection needs to be completed, the results of which will indicate types and extent of substantial damages, repairs needed and done before the building is certified.

6:    Who pays for the Florida milestone inspections? 

A:    The condo HOA or management is responsible for the payments of fees to the inspecting engineering firm and engineers.

7:   How does Florida Statue 553.889 effect sale of condominiums?

A:   Sellers and developers must now provide buyers with current milestone inspections Phase one reports and structural integrity reserve studies (or declare their absence) to ensure buyers are fully informed. Contracts missing these disclosures are voidable by the buyer.

8:   How will the Reserve funds be used after a Reserve Study?

A:    The law specifies that reserve funds can only be used for their intended purposes unless an alternative use is approved by a majority vote of the total voting interests, protecting these funds for future needs.

Why Choose EMA Engineers for a Florida Milestone Inspections?

Over 32 Years of Experience

With over 32 years of experience in the structural engineering in Florida including structural inspections and structural engineering. Our Principal Engineer holds a Ph. D, P. E, S. I in Engineering, is a Florida Licensed engineer and a threshold inspector for 26 years. He has performed and supervised team of engineer for design such projects as Miami Int’l Airport Concourse terminals, Hotels, Sport arenas, and performing art center in Miami, Fort Lauderdale areas for over three decades. He has completed over a $800 million structural design team partnership and threshold inspections on various projects. Our licensed engineers perform the inspections per the Milestone Inspection law, and do not rely on architect inspectors, contractors etc., for inspections ensuring your building gets a thorough, expert evaluation.

State-Wide Licensing

Being licensed in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Newyork gives us a unique edge based on our engineer’s experience. We’re experts in state-wide inspections including forensic evaluation of damages, which is very positive during our Florida Milestone Inspections. This ensures that your milestone inspection in Florida is not only thorough, but also aligned with the state’s specific requirements and engineering norms. Commitment to Excellence

States and Growing

Our growth as one of the fastest-growing Engineering Firms in the country is a testament to our commitment to setting and surpassing industry standards. We are licensed in 5 states and counting.

Timely Turnarounds: We understand the significance of time, especially when it comes to building safety and compliance. We promise quotes within one business day, ensuring you can move forward with speed and assurance. Transparent Communication: At EMA Engineers, you’re never left in the dark. Our communication is not only consistent but clear and concise. Every step, every finding, every recommendation, you and your condominium is kept in the loop and our engineers are one call away from your questions and concerns. The core foundation of our firm means we operate with integrity, honor, and a commitment to safeguarding communities. We are the expert commercial building designers, structural engineers, licensed Special Inspectors (threshold buildings) inspectors, providing fast, accurate, reliable commercial building inspections.