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Waterproofing: A Parking BY KEVIN CARRIGAN

Technologies have improved signifi- cantly in recent years, giving operators and owners more control over the pro- tection and preservation of their facili- ties, and encouraging more proactive and successful maintenance strategies. Further, as a result of the recent eco- nomic downturn, many owners are looking for opportunities to protect and maintain the parking assets they have, rather than building new facilities.

T The two main categories of parking struc-

ture maintenance are routine/preventive and repair/replacement. The first is performed on a regular basis to

ensure the continued quality and safety of the structure. These include sweeping, trash removal, wash-downs, and periodic inspection of joints, doors, mechanical systems and other components. Any facility operator or staff member can perform these tasks, and a thor- ough maintenance program will help to implement a consistent and regularmaintenance schedule. On the other hand, a qualified structural engineer should per-

form repair/replacement maintenance tasks, often during a thor- ough condition appraisal.Routinemaintenancewill help tomain- tain the quality of a parking structure, as well as to increase the service life of the facility. Certain issues, however, require the attention of a profes- sional. These include structural deficien- cies, as well as prob- lems with lighting, drainage and mechan- ical components. But water intru-

HERE IS A LOT OF talk these days about the importance of park- ing structure mainte- nance and quality.

waterproof all of the susceptible areas of the parking structure to avoid the problems caused by water. In addition, garage floors must include appropriate positive

Owners are looking for opportunities to protect and maintain the parking assets they have, rather than building new facilities.

sion is one of themost detrimental issues to parking structures, typically leading to pre- mature structural deterioration. Concrete is the primary material used in the construction of

parking facilities, so the damage that water and deicing salts can cause is severe.Water damage also is often difficult to identify until it is too late, when the negative impacts on the concrete, as well as the costs to correct, are already high. Parking facilities also are vulnerable to a number of issues

due to exposure to harsh weather extremes, as well as impacts from vehicles. It is extremely important to regularly seal and


drainage slopes so that the water can properly flow to the drainage areas and out of the structure. 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 com- monly at risk to cracking,


leaching and spalling fromwater damage. Cracks in the

concrete are often

what first lead to water damage in parking structures. They can allow concrete to absorbwater and chlorides, leading to the dete- rioration of larger areas, as well as more serious leaking, if not immediately or properly fixed. If cracks and the resulting leaks are ignored or left unre-

paired, that can lead to concrete leaching, which occurs when water passes through concrete and begins to dissolve it from within. At this point, the damage is extensive, and significant time and money will be required to repair the damage. Floor cracks alsomay lead to ceiling deterioration in lower levels, caus-

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