There are between 105 million and 2 billion parking spaces spread out across the United States.
We really like our cars. In any major city, the parking garage is one of the most common buildings you can find. Everyone needs a place to store their vehicle out of the elements, and making the most of the real estate available in a city generally involves going up, not out.
But garages need maintenance if they’re going to remain structurally sound and worthy of use. You’ve doubtless walked past warning signs and not known they were warning signs—but staying ahead of the curve on maintenance will ensure you don’t have to do even more costly repairs down the road. Here are 4 signs you need to take a look at your parking garage maintenance.
Cracked or spalling concrete
This is one of the earliest signs of trouble, and leads to more problems down the road. Concrete is a great building material, which is why we use it everywhere. It’s durable and easy to use. But it’s not infallible, and over time cracks will occur in even the most well-made concrete structure.
These cracks can allow water to seep in and do even more damage to the underlying structure, including structural steel that keeps the integrity of your building intact.
If you see exposed rebar, do not delay. Your building has a dire problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Why? Because rebar exposed to water expands, shattering concrete along its entire length and weakening large sections of a building that would otherwise be in healthy condition. Exposed rebar is a sign that enough of the concrete has come away that your building has a serious problem. Get a professional to fix it immediately.
Look at the beams of the roof and check for any rust-colored stains on the concrete. If you can see those stains, it’s a dire warning sign, similar to exposed steel. You may not be able to see the damage the same way right now, but you will eventually.
Those rust stains are a sign that water has penetrated into the structural steel—which, as we’ve already covered is very bad news for your concrete and the stability of your building.
Leaks or puddles
If you find water leaking through joints or even through the concrete itself, it’s a problem that will cause issues down the line. Puddles or ponds of water are an indication that the structure isn’t draining properly, which also contributes to issues as time goes on.
If you see any of these, you need to take action to ensure your building stays in tip-top shape. Proper maintenance and repair from a trained professional will keep your garage structurally sound. Make sure to stay on top of it.