By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
This is part 6 in a weekly series featuring tips from the Development Services Department on maintaining and improving properties.
By Emily Le Coz
TUPELO – After a fire, flood or fallen tree, Tupelo’s building inspectors will perform free structural evaluations for property owners, usually within a day of the initial request.
“We will do it on just about anything, because there can be more damage than a person suspects,” said David Wammack, chief building inspector in the city’s Development Services Department. “Tree falls, tornado damage or wind damage – any sort of suspected structural damage to a property, we’ll do it.”
Inspections are especially important after severe trauma, when property owners often wonder whether to rehabilitate or demolish.
“We can tell them what they need to do, what we would recommend,” said Debra Byrd, city code enforcement inspector.
In some cases, like major fires, the city will cut power to the property until inspectors have cleared it for rehabilitation. This reduces further incidents and prevents well-intentioned owners from trying to fix a structure that’s no longer viable.
Inspectors also will respond to general calls of concern from residents who suspect faulty wiring, bad plumbing or other issues that might arise from a property’s age or poorly done work by a contractor.
If inspectors can’t determine the source of a problem, they will recommend licensed experts who often perform more detailed examinations.
“We try to be helpful,” Wammack said. “We work for the taxpayers, and we try to give a service for that.”