Parking garages, like any other structure, need to undergo regular inspections and maintenance in order to stay in proper working order.
Each day will bring your parking garage a constant wave of stress from the natural elements, cars, and people. Wind, water, and ice present threats to a garage’s integrity, as do mud, oil, salt, and de-icers left by vehicles.
Watch for these issues to properly maintain you parking garage.
Signs of leaks include pooling water, rust stains, and mold. If the problem is untreated, more damage may result.
Water can weaken a structure in several ways, but it can be prevented by installing drains and applying waterproof coatings.
Rust and rust stains
Oxidizing metal in the parking garage weakens the structure. If any rebar or other metal has been exposed or a crack has allowed water into the concrete, the metal can corrode and expand to cause even more damage.
Cracks and chipping
Concrete will crack. Occasionally, the damage is great enough to allow water to reach the reinforcing steel, bolts, and connector plates in and on the concrete. Delaminated or spalled concrete occurs when the cracking causes pieces of the structure to break off. Extensive cracking and breaking can expose the reinforcing steel within the concrete.
Expansion joint failure
Recognizing and repairing expansion joints that allow the structure to flex under heavy loads, wind, and earthquakes prevent other more costly and detrimental damages. Joint failure allows another opportunity for water damage and cracking.
Steps to repair and maintain the structure
Neglecting repairs will cause a compounding effect leading to more and more damage. A crack or spalled section may simply need to be filled with an epoxy. If the crack widens and rebar is exposed, the concrete will need to be poured again.
Always have the area monitored for litter, oil spots, burned out lights, dust, dirt, and any health hazards within the parking garage. Annual or bi-annual power washing or steam cleaning should be used to remove chemicals and contaminants.
Maintenance of a parking garage is always ongoing, but if kept on a regular schedule and watched closely, costs can be brought down to a much more manageable level.