Does Your Parking Garage Need a Condition Assessment?
In: Blog Facilities Maintenance for Corporate Leaders Lifecycle Management
Your parking garage and surface lot often serve as the first impression to your visitors. Regular maintenance of these areas will increase the perceived value of your facility, improve safety and protect the revenue stream that your parking facility offers.
It is recommended that parking garages be cleaned twice a year to maximize their structural lifetime and integrity. This is due to two contributing factors: moisture and chlorides. In fact, poor water drainage and salt buildup are the primary factors in most parking garage deterioration and potential life safety issues. These corrosive elements can lead to issues like broken post tension cables, corroded rebar, or other issues that challenge the structural integrity of your parking deck. A simple way to get a handle on these issues when they are smaller and more manageable is with a parking garage condition assessment.
What does a parking garage condition assessment entail?
A parking garage condition assessment consists of a visual assessment, subsequent written report of findings, and recommendations for remediation and repair. The purpose of the assessment is to be sure the parking garage is structurally sound, safe for patrons, and to help lower the total cost of ownership for the client with a preventative maintenance plan.
The process typically includes a site visit and is conducted by a structural engineer and/or a consultant. The consultant will meet with site personnel and review any historical documentation regarding the parking garage, conduct interviews and review building plans in order to gather as much information as possible before conducting the assessment.
During the assessment the consultant will evaluate the parking garage’s various elements, paying special attention to things like:
- Concrete Spalling
- Concrete Delamination
- Signs of moisture or ponding water
- Adequacy of fall protection on stairwells and garage levels
- Corrosion of reinforcement steel within slabs, beams, columns, walls and curbs
- Effectiveness of waterproofing and drainage systems
The consultant will collect photographic evidence during the assessment and take thorough notes. Afterward, a technical report will be provided to the client that discusses the consultant’s observations, findings, conclusions, and recommendations to solve any issues needing immediate attention, such as life and safety issues that may pose a danger to patrons of the parking garage, as well as a projected budget for repairs and preventative maintenance.
In spring of 2023 Technical Assurance was contacted by the owner of a parking garage to complete a façade condition assessment with the option to evaluate the entire garage inclusive of its structural components and waterproofing/drainage systems. Historical documentation and previous restoration documentation were reviewed prior to the condition assessment. Concerns had arisen to the client when a precast fin had fallen off the western elevation of the parking garage. These fins are mechanically attached to various concrete components depending on their location.
The consultant’s assessment revealed that the precast fin that had fallen had experienced a connective failure due to stress and torque due to shifting concrete. Furthermore, the consultant’s assessment of the entire parking garage revealed three potential life safety issues including a detached door, inadequate pedestrian fall protection, and spalled/delaminated concrete walls due to moisture and chlorides. Recommendations for remediation were then recommended to the client including anchors for the precast fins, permanent fall protection, door replacement, and repair of the spalled concrete.
Technical Assurance was then further engaged by the client to perform the repair work inclusive of pre-design, bid management and construction administration phase services.
Yearly maintenance is recommended for structures that experience extreme freeze-thaw cycles, such as parking garages, and building owners should be aware of the impact weather can have on their facilities. With 30 years of building envelope and structural engineering consultation experience, Technical Assurance offers you a comprehensive approach to preserving the life of your most expensive assets. Our parking garage consulting services can assist you with structural analysis and repair, restoration, pavement and draining remediation and more
Contact Us Today!
Technical Assurance can help you take a proactive approach to ensure optimal performance of your building envelope. Contact us today for a consultation and assure that your investment lasts well into the future.