Everything erodes overtime, including concrete parking structures. Proper parking garage restoration begins with a thorough investigation of the parking structure by outside engineering consultants. They will provide an extensive professional review; making sure the garage does not have any major structural issues. They will look for water damage in key structural areas, making sure the building can still support the daily load safely. While small cracks and improperly sealed joints seem insignificant in such a massive structure, they can lead to larger problems and damage if ignored. Infiltration of water and other chemical such as sodium chloride can make short work of steel plating and bracing. Freeze and thaw cycles also expedite spalling and cracking of concrete as well as can compromise the structural integrity. Should the engineers find severe structural damage such as steel plating and bracing component oxidation or massive concrete displacement, restoration action will need to be taken. In some instances, existing structures will need to be completely removed. Other restoration services may include vertical and horizontal concrete repair, overhead concrete replacement, full-floor concrete replacement, post-tensioning and post-tensioning repair, carbon fiber installation, steel plating and bracing, shotcrete installation, plaza rehabilitation, deck waterproofing systems, including joint sealants, traffic deck coatings, concrete sealers and expansion joint sealing systems. Depending on the severity of the damaged structure, repair costs can vary. These restoration services will strengthen and revitalize the existing structures and can correct problems, such as improper sloping or support design, which may have been done improperly during the construction phases of the project.For the most part, parking structures are exposed to the full range of temperature extremes of their environments. The structural members and their connections must be able to adjust to expansion created by the hottest days and contraction created by the coldest days. Precast concrete structures with their many joints must be designed to accommodate thermal movements. If not, deterioration of the structure is going to increase and require restoration more frequently, which means money wasted.
Parking Garage Maintenance
It’s recommended that parking garages undergo yearly examination by engineers to make sure they remain structurally sound and that the water prevention techniques and components are still performing adequately. Urethane sealants are typically used in the interior floors of the parking garage, while silicon based sealants are more commonly used on the top floor. Waterproofing requires that parking garage surfaces be thoroughly cleaned and sealed. Regularly scheduled waterproofing maintenance should be considered if your parking garage, parking structure or parking deck is regularly exposed to: road salt, acid rain, chemicals, petroleum products and a poor water drainage system. Water puddles saturated with road salts can attack the concrete surface and lead to deterioration of the structure. Large drains with grate sizes of 10 to 12 inches are is crucial to minimize clogging. Full width trench drains are not recommended because they weaken the structures overall integrity. Waterproofing the concrete by using traffic deck coatings joint sealants and proper drainage can significantly extend the life of a parking structure. Not only will this prevent major issues, but it will save the owner money in the long run.