Parking Structure Tips
There are common misunderstandings that proper maintenance and waterproof traffic coatings on a parking garage is optional instead of a necessity. Unfortunately, when an owner takes the risk of allowing its garage to be exposed to the elements or external forces without proper protection they take on the risk of high cost repairs, structural failures, and even life and safety hazards. This also causes sizable financial burdens when deferred to the point of concrete failure, steel corrosion, and other issues caused by water ingress.
The parking garage is more than a convenience or amenity to your guests, residents, or staff. A concrete garage, if under your building, also contributes to your building’s structural integrity. We suggest frequent inspections, and regular maintenance, particularly in buildings with high exposure conditions that make them more vulnerable to damage.
High Exposure to Potential Damage
There are so many external forces and conditions that your parking garage may be exposed to. Some of the most common exposures that cause the greatest harm are water, ice, freeze thaw cycles, ice melts, expansion and contraction, dynamic vehicle loads, vibrations from external forces such as a neighboring train track, construction jobsites, and so much more. Regular observations by an expert can provide valuable advice and budget #’s in order to stay in front of the damages instead of chasing your tail with annual structural repairs.
If you’re regularly seeing these conditions and different elemental exposures on your parking garage it’s critical to understand the damages they may be causing to the structural integrity of your structure. Often, building owners and property managers wait until concrete is falling on cars, a tire goes through the elevated deck, or other even more unfortunate events occur before they take these warning signs seriously. The high costs and liability of these more severe conditions far exceed the costs of preventative care and regular maintenance.
Flaws in the Concrete
Although concrete has high compressive properties, it has very weak tensile strength which is why it cracks so easily. In order to withstand that weakness, steel is placed in concrete for structural strengthening. This in turn creates a whole other set of issues, particularly corrosion.
Early warning signs of corrosion and potential compromised structural integrity include spalling, scaling, pitting, bulging, stains, cracks, and leakage. Water seeps into cracks and causes further damage, even if they have been routed and sealed. When the weather freezes, water expands and wreaks havoc on seemingly benign conditions. Cracks eventually lead to spalling concrete. Spalling occurs when moisture and chlorides corrode the steel components inside of the concrete, which causes expansion to those components and the concrete fails. This is where the cost of repairs can become tremendously expensive if not treated quickly and waterproofed to prevent reoccurrence.
If you see bulging, cracks, and any other signs of aging in your concrete, it’s time to contact an expert for a free observation and consultation. Don’t allow your structure to degrade to the point of deferred maintenance, compromised structural integrity, and possibly even failure. Routine observations, maintenance, and waterproof traffic coatings are a necessity, and we can help!
Contact us at Denver Commercial Property Services for your free consultation and observation report