Parking Garage Maintenance: What to Do to Prevent High-Cost Structural Repairs?

Parking garages face unique challenges due to their constant exposure to vehicular traffic, environmental elements, and heavy loads. As a result, they require diligent, routine attention for basic upkeep like cleaning, lighting, and proactive structural care. This preventative maintenance, as well as responsive repairs, are essential for ensuring safety, preserving profitability, and maintaining property value.

Investing in routine parking garage maintenance also ensures smaller issues are resolved before they become larger —and much more costly— structural repairs. Especially noteworthy is the increased adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), often 30% heavier than traditional gas-powered cars, adding an extra layer of stress to parking structures.

A recent assessment of four parking garages in Asheville, NC, found they needed over $11 million in repairs, and continued deferred maintenance could lead to structure collapse. This article contrasts regular maintenance costs with extensive repairs due to neglect, underscoring the importance of proactive care for parking structures.

Parking Garage Essential Maintenance Practices

Parking garage maintenance should be a top priority. Here are some best practices for knowing where and what to look for and the action needed to maintain the facility and avoid the high costs of more extensive repairs.

 

  1. Monitoring for Leaks, Spills, and Damage: Vigilantly checking for any signs of leaks, spills, or structural damage and addressing these issues promptly to prevent minor problems from escalating into significant concerns.
  2. Structural Assessments: Regular structural assessments identify potential issues before they escalate into major problems.
  3. Sealing and Waterproofing: Applying sealants protects against water infiltration, which can lead to corrosion and concrete deterioration.
  4. Pressure Washing and Debris Removal: Regular cleaning and debris removal prevent the accumulation of materials that can hide potential issues. Keeping garages clean and pressure washed every 6-12 months helps expose underlying issues that, if unaddressed, could escalate into significant damages.
  5. Lighting Maintenance: Ensuring proper lighting is crucial for safety and helps identify potential issues needing attention.
  6. Entrance and Exit Gate Maintenance: Regular checks and repairs of gates help promote smooth traffic flow and security.
  7. Booth Maintenance: Confirm that the attendant booths are in good condition and functional.
  8. Elevator and Stair Maintenance: Maintenance of elevators and stairs is crucial for safety and accessibility, preventing breakdowns and potential accidents.

The repercussions of disregarding these standard practices can be dire for your building’s tenants, employees, and visitors.

Case Study: The Tragic Collapse of a Manhattan Parking Garage

In April 2023, Lower Manhattan witnessed a catastrophic collapse of a four-story parking garage on Ann Street. This tragic incident, resulting in one fatality and multiple injuries, highlighted the disastrous consequences of neglecting parking garage maintenance.

The building, dating back to 1925, had a history of structural issues, including cracked and spalling concrete. This failure underscored the risks of deferred maintenance, particularly in structures constantly exposed to elements like water and road salts, which can accelerate concrete deterioration.

This case is a stark reminder of the importance of regular, comprehensive structural assessments to prevent such disasters. It emphasizes the need for property owners to prioritize the safety and integrity of their parking facilities, ensuring compliance with inspection laws to safeguard against potential structural failures.

Valcourt’s Comprehensive Maintenance Solutions

Valcourt offers specialized maintenance services tailored for parking garages with a consistent maintenance plan designed to address all aspects impacting the life cycle of the garage. Our approach enhances the parking garage’s structural health, aesthetic appeal, and safety to ensure you get the most out of your investment.

  1. Leak Investigation & Repair: Expertise in swiftly identifying and addressing water infiltration, preventing extensive damage, and preserving building value.
  2. Pressure Washing: We effectively remove tough stains and spills commonly found in parking garages, utilizing eco-friendly methods and specialized techniques for various surfaces.
  3. Waterproofing: Diverse waterproofing services, from traffic coatings to membranes, are crucial for long-term protection against moisture and chemical intrusion.
  4. Concrete Strengthening: Enhancing structural longevity through advanced strengthening systems, adapting to changing loads and building standards.
  5. Stairwell Handrail Repair & Replacement: Ensuring safety and compliance with changing codes through expert handrail services.
  6. Traffic Coatings: Specialized coatings protect and extend the life of high-traffic areas, offering resistance against environmental and mechanical stress.
  7. Concrete Repair and Restoration: We offer comprehensive services for structural integrity restoration, addressing everything from expansion joint replacement to decorative coatings.
  8. Emergency Leak Repair: Rapid response to leakage issues caused by various factors, ensuring a safe and functional environment.
  9. Plaza Deck Repair and Maintenance: Specialized in managing the unique challenges of plaza decks, from waterproofing to finish replacements, emphasizing the minimal impact on occupants and guests.
  10. Post-Tension Repair: We provide advanced post-tensioning techniques to help address critical issues such as tendon oxidation due to water infiltration.

As we’ve explored the critical aspects of parking garage maintenance, it’s evident that routine care and expert intervention are pivotal for staying ahead of wear and tear.

Regular Maintenance, The Key to Parking Garage Longevity

Regular and proactive maintenance of parking garages is crucial to avoid high-cost structural repairs. By adhering to standard maintenance practices and utilizing the specialized services offered by Valcourt, property managers can safeguard their investments and ensure the safety and longevity of their parking structures. 

Consistent care and attention to detail in parking garage maintenance can significantly extend the structure’s longevity, enhance its functionality, and maintain its aesthetic appeal. This approach minimizes the likelihood of costly repairs and ensures a safer environment for users, contributing to the overall value and appeal of the property. Contact Valcourt today for a comprehensive maintenance plan tailored to your parking garage’s needs that will help protect your valuable asset for years.

 

Types of Stadium Concrete Repairs and How They Impact Structural Integrity

A stadium is a tiered structure for people to observe an event. Without proper stadium concrete repairs and maintenance, the safety of observers is at risk and therefore cannot be overlooked or ignored. Even flashing on roofs or other items can lead to premature wear and tear. Maintaining and repairing stadium concrete will enhance the structure’s appearance, overall structural integrity, and the safety of patrons. 

A 2022 article on TileLetter.com says that the new home of the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers is the “first open-air, indoor-outdoor stadium constructed with more than 70,000 seats, including 260 luxury suites, with expansion capabilities that will accommodate up to 100,000 guests.” SoFi Stadium is an indoor and outdoor facility that needs routine and preventative stadium concrete repairs to maintain the life and longevity of the structure

Early detection of problems saves money and prevents the need for a complete replacement. Below are some of the most common implemented maintenance tips for stadium repairs.

Replacement of Spalling Concrete

Concrete is constantly exposed to the weather and free-thaw cycles. These cycles decrease the structural longevity of concrete. It creates spalling, which can indicate more serious issues. The damaged concrete needs to be removed immediately and replaced with new concrete. Applying sealers and waterproofing membranes will increase the life of the product. This is a stadium waterproofing solution that is requisite to the longevity of the stadium. 

Rebar Coatings to Reduce Damage

The wet and dry cycle of the environment will eventually cause corrosion of steel rebar. When corrosion occurs, it reduces the bond strength of the concrete and rebar, leading to significant problems. Applying rebar protective coatings helps fend off corrosion. The use of corrosion inhibitors provides a protective layer that is a physical and chemical barrier between steel rebar and the environment. This stadium concrete repair is one of the most effective and efficient solutions to reduce damage.

New Sealants to Waterproof Exposed Surfaces

Waterproofing sealants and materials help stadiums and structures last longer by minimizing water absorption and freeze-thaw damage. The waterproofing sealant must withstand all types of weather. Ensure all gaps, fractures, and exposed surfaces are sealed and waterproofed. This stadium waterproofing solution creates protection and a barrier between the stadium and water infiltration. 

Specialty Membranes for High-Risk Areas

Specialty waterproofing membranes for stadium concrete repairs will increase the structure’s functionality, especially in high-risk areas such as the restrooms. Concrete is naturally very porous, allowing acidic liquids such as urine to penetrate and absorb. This leads to several issues, including corrosion, odors, and concrete damage. With various types of membranes available, ensure the correct specialty waterproofing membranes are applied to avoid these issues. 

Below-Grade Drainage and Waterproofing

Below-grade systems are essentially below ground, allowing for even more moisture infiltration as it seeps in from the soil and into any exposed cracks or pores. If not waterproofed and drained correctly, multiple issues will arise, including the presence of mold and mildew. Below-grade drainage and waterproofing is a stadium concrete repair vital to the stability of the stadium structure and the stadium waterproofing solutions

Expansion Joint Repairs

By design, expansion joints in a stadium absorb and release the stress created by natural expansion and contraction. Extensive cracks can spread throughout your stadium if joints are missing or damaged, causing substantial damage such as buckled concrete. Expanding joints should be inspected and repaired immediately if damaged and never ignored to prevent further damage and safety hazards. 

Handrail Repairs

Constant use and weather conditions create considerable wear and tear on outdoor railings, jeopardizing the structure’s stability. The presence of cracks in the concrete supporting the handrail structure indicates corrosion and therefore requires stadium waterproofing solutions and repair to any damaged railing. Handrail repair or replacement is imminent to avoid safety hazards.  

Enhance Stadium Concrete Longevity and Strength by Partnering with The JOBS Group

Following the tips for preventative stadium concrete repairs will prolong the structure’s lifespan. Inspecting regularly and acting fast saves money and prevents significant complications. Enhance your stadium longevity and strength by partnering with The A1orange Group today!