As the months get cold, now is a good time for season garage building maintenance. The proper assessment and maintenance of parking garages is critical to maintaining their structural integrity, so anyone parking or walking within the garage is safe. To keep parking garages safe, facility managers and owners should get their parking garages and buildings routinely assessed and repaired by structural engineers.
What Is Seasonal Garage Building Maintenance?
Seasonal garage building maintenance is the process of investigating, assessing, and maintaining parking structures during the harsh weather of late autumn and winter. The structural components of parking structures are exposed directly to weather and environmental conditions, such as rain, snow, sleet, hail, and more. The severity of each of these weather effects depends on the geographical location of the parking garage. In the northeastern United States, heavy snow and rain are typical in autumn and winter. Preventing future structural problems by catching them early on through regular assessment and maintenance is crucial to the process.
Why Is Seasonal Garage Building Maintenance Important?
Routine maintenance is essential for parking garages’, and any structures’, safety. Parking garage managers and owners want to keep their facilities safe, and the people using said facilities want to be safe, too. Having seasonal maintenance will increase the parking structure’s service life and reduce more long-term structural repairs, saving managers and owners potential costly repair expenses. Also, a safer and sounder facility, seasonal maintenance produces a cleaner, safer atmosphere, which promotes repeat business.
Seasonal Maintenance Process
The overall seasonal maintenance process consists of 3 primary steps: the assessment, the report, and the maintenance.
The initial assessment begins with information and data gathering. In-person visits, photo or video documentation, or any other inspection method, involve analyzing the parking structure for any signs of distress in the structural design. Below are some of the factors structural engineers look for:
- Observed distress, such as spalls, cracks, corrosion, staining, or other deterioration
- Leaks, condensation, and ponding water
- Any other structural and safety concerns
Any history of previous repair efforts or problems, construction documents, the original designs, and many other existing documents is also helpful for the assessment team. Visiting the site to test or gather materials is vital in assessing the structural integrity of parking structures.
Planning & Reporting
Once the engineering and design team have analyzed all of the available information, the team can make a full assessment and review of the parking structure. Typically, the report of a parking structure assessment will include:
- Summary of the conditions prompting the investigation
- Description of the garage construction, history, and other pertinent information
- Photographic documentation and description of the garage’s current condition
- Recommended actions to maintain the garage’s structural integrity
Reports may also include repair strategies, the probable cost, and possibly a comprehensive maintenance plan and schedule.
Finally, the garage building maintenance can begin after the assessment and reporting steps. The maintenance of a parking structure will vary based on the needs of each facility. For example, a garage may require full depth slab replacement, partial depth filigree slab repairs, and carbon fiber reinforcement like we did with Sheraton Garage in Philadelphia. In addition to immediate repairs, the engineers may implement preventative measures, such as applying a traffic bearing membrane system over the slab once repairs are complete. The maintenance stage is where the immediate and future safety and value of the parking structure are solidified.
Contact O’Donnell & Naccarato for Seasonal Maintenance for Parking Structures
To keep your parking structure well-maintained and safe for all people, reach out to O’Donnell & Naccarato. O&N provides garage condition assessments and designs repairs to help owners and operators improve public safety, ensure proper operations, and maximize structural longevity. Our firm has decades of experience working with various structural engineering projects. We specialize in structural engineering and design services, from garage building maintenance to façade restoration, and more. Contact us at 215-925-3788, or reach out to one of our offices.