Parking structure maintenance strategies should be implemented as early as possible after new construction. A detailed and comprehensive maintenance plan, established and properly implemented from the facility’s opening, forms the first line of defense against minor and major structural problems resulting from normal “wear and tear”.
The maintenance plan should include regular drain cleaning, snow removal and ice control, sweeping/cleaning of common and pedestrian areas, replacing joint sealant, and repair or reapplication of concrete sealers and waterproofing. These “minor” chores will have a significant and long- lasting impact on the quality of the facility, helping to avoid issues which can lead to premature concrete deterioration, as well as other structural, mechanical, and aesthetic issues.
The areas of the parking structure most commonly in need of maintenance are supported entrance and exit lanes, helices, turn lanes, and floor slabs. These areas are most commonly at risk to cracking, leaking, leaching and spalling from water damage.
While some owners and parking facility operators do not have a maintenance plan in place, it is never too late to begin to identify and manage potential problems. Having an experienced restoration engineer perform a simple walk-through appraisal is a great start. The engineer can assess concerns associated with the facility’s age, structural system, and construction quality. Plans can then be made to remedy the issues immediately and develop a comprehensive plan for management and maintenance.