Parking Garages Need Love, Too!
My firm, Barnes Consulting Group, LLC, was engaged to perform a review of a concrete parking deck – specifically the upper parking level (there are two levels of parking below grade). The structure in question was constructed over 30 years ago as part of a condominium high-rise. The property is located roughly 10 miles west of downtown Boston.
The main issue was, according to the client, “…leaks everywhere into the lower levels and it’s been like this for almost 30 years." Before you ask, the answer is yes – a number of repairs had been performed on the garage over the years in an effort to mitigate water intrusion. These repair efforts consisted of spall repairs, crack repairs and numerous applications of traffic-bearing waterproofing coatings. A few additional drains were thrown in for good measure.
A review of the parking deck revealed numerous deficiencies, such as failed coating; previous repairs that have failed due to lack of maintenance, improper construction practices, or both; failed sealant joints; and numerous cracks. In addition, the Owner’s snow removal contractor has been using a sand and salt mix with large aggregate (some close to 1")!
To show one’s parking structure love and care, one needs to maintain it on a regular basis and immediately attend to those issues that will more than likely cause, create or contribute to the deterioration of said structure. This immediate attention could consist of (using the example of this parking garage): sweeping the parking deck clean of accumulated sand and salt to mitigate damage to the traffic coating and sealant joints; reviewing snow and ice removal procedures to control for aggregate sizes and plastic/rubber plow blades versus metal; and using construction documents for repairs that illustrate proper procedures and materials as opposed to the “friend" down the street that can do the work for less than half the cost.
As Benjamin Franklin said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure".