Why Façade Safety Repairs are Crucial for Building Integrity

Fissures and cracks are whispers from your building’s façade, warning you it’s time to take action. Those whispers can quickly turn into roars if not addressed appropriately. What is your building’s façade telling you? Early detection and mediation of façade safety repairs can save hundreds of thousands in future repair costs and help you avoid potential liabilities. This article will guide you through why routine maintenance and quick remediation of façade safety repairs are the not-so-secret ingredients in preserving your building’s structural integrity.

Is Your Building’s Façade Unsafe?

Unlike your car, your building doesn’t come with a check-engine light. For this reason, to quickly identify façade safety issues, we recommend routine inspections and assessments. Many cities mandate façade safety inspections. The building’s height, age, and construction types all factor into the requirements.

More importantly, passing an inspection doesn’t remove liability from the building owner should part of the façade fail. For this reason, we suggest inspecting your façade at least 2-3 times per year. Emergency façade safety repairs are safety concerns on the exterior of the building that need to be fixed ASAP. Examples include a window mullion dangling off the side of the building or loose stone/stucco/EIFS or architectural elements on the building walls. Items will eventually fall off the building or permeate into other structural elements that jeopardize the entire building’s structural integrity.

For example, despite passing inspections in 2022, a building in Willmington, North Carolina, suffered a façade collapse, causing damage to cars and awnings and minor injuries to one individual.

Three years after initial reports of façade failures, a building partially collapsed. Despite safety concerns, no further inspections occurred, and repairs were never completed, citing COVID for the delay. This reinforces the need to address façade failures when they occur and develop a proactive approach to maintaining a safe façade.

Why Façade Safety Repairs Are Not Just Cosmetic

Your façade is critical to upholding your property’s value, but the benefits extend beyond aesthetics. A well-maintained façade provides energy efficiency, promotes safety, and is your first defense against the elements.

Recognizing the Signs of Facade Deterioration

Many factors determine what to look for, including façade material, building design, façade access, and environmental conditions. For these reasons, the more you understand your building’s unique needs, the faster you can spot building façade safety issues and how to remedy them.

  • Concrete: Cracking and spalling, stains, peeling, cracking, blistering, or pinholes.
  • Brick, Masonry, & Stone: Cracking and spalling, stains, rusting, loose mortar, or biological growth.
  • Balconies & Decks: Standing water, cracks, rusting, damaged coating, loose railings, rot.
  • EIFS and Stucco: Blisters, bulging, staining, loose stucco, or surface damage.
  • Curtain Wall: Loose or missing gaskets or mullions.

These are the more obvious warning signs your building façade needs emergency attention. Without immediate repairs, façade damage poses a risk to public safety from falling items that could lead to injuries or worse. In addition, neglect will drive more extensive measures for repairs and can result in violations or fines.

The A1 Approach to Façade Safety

At A1, we recognize that the façade of your building plays a crucial role in its overall safety and structural integrity. With decades of industry experience, our approach to façade safety centers on prevention, maintenance, and stringent inspections. These skills allow our expert teams to identify early signs of deterioration, such as cracking, spalling, or other structural weaknesses. With A1, you have a partner you can count on to maintain façade safety.

Emergency Façade Repair in Action

Quick action by the property manager at The Water’s Edge at Rahway allowed for rapid balcony restoration, sealant replacement, and EIFS repair. Our sister company, Valcourt’s, ProXpress team began with a full assessment to investigate the damage. The work involved removing portions of the damaged façade and replacing the railing. The result? A return to manufacturer’s standards and appealing aesthetics with minimal disruption to residents.

When an apartment complex in Philadelphia began experiencing leaks, they called on the ProXpress team for rapid leak detection and repair. The team quickly identified the cause of the leak and began carefully removing layers of brick and debris to replace the membrane and flashing. Next, they took preventative measures to divert water before replacing the brick to match the building’s exterior.

A1 is committed to maintaining the highest standards of façade safety. We provide comprehensive solutions that fix existing problems and take proactive measures to enhance your building’s resistance against future façade damage.

Comprehensive Façade Safety Repairs

Regarding façade safety repairs, it pays to act fast. Minor façade issues grow in scope, cost, and risk when left untreated.

We offer peace of mind, knowing that your property is in expert hands and protected against current and future challenges. Contact us today and see how we can collaborate to address all your façade safety repair needs.


two men inspecting commercial building facade preventative maintenance

Why Does Concrete Crack and Spall, and How Can It Be Prevented?

Concrete, the backbone of modern commercial properties, is revered for its strength and durability. Yet, despite its robustness, concrete is not immune to the phenomena of cracking and spalling.

Both cracking and spalling are signs of deterioration and critical concerns for a building’s structural integrity and aesthetics. While both may initially seem minor, they can lead to more severe issues if left unaddressed. This article explores the causes and implications of these common issues, offering insights into preventive measures and repairs.

What are Concrete Cracking and Spalling?

In the lifecycle of concrete structures, two prevalent issues are cracking and spalling, each signaling different underlying problems but often interconnected in their effects on a building’s health.

Concrete Cracking is a common occurrence that can result from several factors. Unlike spalling, cracking refers to forming fissures or lines on the concrete surface, which can vary in depth and length.

Concrete Spalling, on the other hand, goes beyond surface-level deterioration. It involves the breaking off or flaking of concrete surfaces, often exposing the reinforcing steel bars beneath. When this happens, it can lead to accelerated corrosion of the reinforcement and further compromise structural integrity.

Concrete spalling and cracking can arise from various sources:

  • Water Ingress and Freeze-Thaw Cycles – Moisture penetration, followed by freezing and thawing, can cause the concrete to crack and eventually spall.
  • Settlement – Uneven settling of the ground beneath the concrete can create tension, resulting in cracks.
  • Overloading – Exceeding the weight capacity of the concrete can cause cracks due to excessive stress. The toll that much heavier electric vehicles take on parking garage structures has the potential to shorten the lifespan of the concrete.
  • Shrinkage – Concrete requires proper oversight during the curing process, or it can shrink, leading to the formation of cracks.
  • Quality of Materials – The integrity of concrete heavily depends on the quality of its constituent materials. There have been lawsuits because a supplier allegedly omitted a critical chemical additive from their concrete mix. The omission of such additives can compromise the concrete’s resistance to environmental stresses, leading to premature cracking and spalling.
  • Improper Installation – Flaws during construction, like inadequate curing or improper mix proportions, set the stage for future problems.
  • Chemical Damage – Harmful chemicals, like chlorides from de-icing salts, can corrode the reinforcing steel and cause the surrounding concrete to spall.
  • Environmental Factors – 2023 was officially the warmest year on record. Extreme temperatures can reduce concrete strength and increase permeability, contributing to spalling and cracking.
  • Water Ingress – Moisture penetration, often through cracks, leads to deterioration and rusting of reinforcement bars.

Recognizing the signs of both allows for timely intervention and prevention of further damage.

Identifying Signs of Concrete Damage

If spotted in time, recognizing early signs of deterioration can lead to interventions that prevent minor issues from escalating into significant, costly repairs. Here’s what property managers and building owners should look for:

  • Flaking – A clear sign that the concrete surface is deteriorating, potentially exposing the underlying steel reinforcements.
  • Cracks – Thin lines or wide fissures on the concrete surface. Cracks are not just surface-level concerns; they can indicate deeper structural issues.
  • Exposed Reinforcement Bars – When reinforcement bars become visible, it suggests that the concrete has spalled significantly, which could accelerate the corrosion of the steel and compromise structural integrity.

Valcourt’s Approach to Concrete Maintenance: A Case Study

The top level of both parking structures at Park 80 West, approximately 12–15 years post-initial construction, suffered from a deteriorated waterproof coating—a maintenance step recommended every five years.

This neglect led to significant concrete spalls, cracks, and severe water infiltration, necessitating immediate attention before completing the restoration. Our sister company, Valcourt’s, comprehensive services for this project included concrete spall and crack repair, traffic-bearing waterproofing membrane repair, and the restriping of parking spaces.

Preventative Measures and Solutions 

Property managers should incorporate routine checks into their maintenance schedules, focusing on areas susceptible to damage, such as exposed surfaces, joints, and areas with known water penetration issues. Inspections should also be more frequent following extreme weather events, which can exacerbate existing vulnerabilities in the concrete.

To mitigate the risks of concrete deterioration, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Sealing and Waterproofing – Essential for protecting against water infiltration and subsequent corrosion.
  • Pressure Washing and Debris Removal – Keeps surfaces clean and exposes hidden issues.
  • Regular Structural Assessments – Identifies potential problems before they worsen.
  • Proactive Maintenance – Including vigilant monitoring for leaks or structural damage.

Preventative maintenance, followed by early detection and prompt repair actions, can significantly extend the lifespan of a concrete structure and ensure its safety and functionality. Property managers and building owners are encouraged to partner with concrete repair specialists like A1. We can provide expert assessments and waterproofing services and tailor effective repair strategies to address your concrete cracking and spalling issues.

A Proactive Approach to Concrete Maintenance

The integrity of concrete structures significantly depends on regular maintenance and the early detection of potential issues. Property managers can substantially extend the lifespan of their assets by understanding the causes of concrete cracking and spalling and implementing preventative measures. For specialized care and repair, partnering with experienced professionals like A1 ensures that commercial properties remain safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.

For expert concrete maintenance and repair services, contact A1 to help ensure your property remains in prime condition.

two men inspecting commercial building facade preventative maintenance

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.

A1 Orange’s Comprehensive Maintenance Solutions

A1 Orange 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 A1 Orange, 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 A1 Orange today for a comprehensive maintenance plan tailored to your parking garage’s needs that will help protect your valuable asset for years.

two men inspecting commercial building facade preventative maintenance