Any concrete surface exposed to the elements will wear down over time, but this is especially true for parking decks (the driving surface of a parking garage) and plaza decks (elevated patios on commercial buildings or shopping malls).
Parking garages are designed to withstand a significant amount of traffic on a daily basis and last for decades, but that means regular preventative and restorative maintenance is required to protect the surface and the structure. The daily traffic load causes wear and tear, as do harsh chemicals tracked in on tires and any rain or ice that hits the structure.
While plaza decks don’t encounter vehicle traffic, they may be more directly exposed to weather elements than parking decks. In many cases, the plaza deck functions as both a floor of the patio and a roof for the area below, so ensuring long-term stability is critical.
For plaza decks, there may also be an aesthetic element involved, as commercial properties and shopping centers want their patio areas to be welcoming spaces for their guests. Thus, protecting the surface area from damage related to weather, foot traffic, or equipment use is important.
In both situations, polyurethane coatings provide the necessary protection to extend the life of the parking deck or plaza deck. They seal the concrete surface to prevent water from infiltrating the concrete and causing damage over time. Some polyurethane coatings also create an anti-skid surface for plaza decks with foot traffic.
Polyurethane coatings must be applied to clean, dry concrete for successful adhesion to the surface. Once applied, adequate curing time is required, during which no foot or vehicle traffic should be allowed on the surface.
Polyurethane coatings can have a strong odor. In some situations, such as plaza decks of a commercial building with restaurants, it is best to apply the coatings when the building is closed and allow adequate time for the odor to dissipate before re-opening the building.
If your parking or plaza deck needs a polyurethane coating applied, contact a professional to ensure both the correct product and application procedure are used.