A Guide to Parking Garage Restoration

Adam Robinson | Feb 17, 2022

The parking garage services industry has been growing exponentially since the 1990s, which means parking garages have been deteriorating at an even more rapid pace. In fact, parking garages are so problematic today that many of them require advanced parking garage structural design and maintenance just to stay standing. Maintaining the structural integrity of parking garages is a full-time job for facility and building management teams.

Parking garage restoration can be an expensive and time-consuming task. Still, it’s worth that investment because, without adequate maintenance, parking structures will eventually fall into disrepair and will have to be demolished or abandoned altogether. Dealing with parking garage degradation is a big part of facility management and upkeep. Parking garage restoration should start with a thorough inspection conducted by a structural engineer to identify any areas of concern, such as significant cracks in load-bearing walls or concrete.

The choice for building a parking garage is often made, but not always with the proper consideration for the long-term upkeep and restoration requirements it brings. Some parking garages are structurally sound once again after restoration efforts, but the parking garage services might not meet current code requirements. 

In such cases, parking structures may need equipment or design changes to comply with local codes and ordinances. Parking garage maintenance and repairs can also help you avoid having your parking structure condemned by your city or state, which would end up costing more money overall through legal battles and relocation costs. 

If ignored, condemned parking garages that have been condemned will become increasingly expensive as time goes on because of increased security measures and vandalism that is common at abandoned parking structures. Abandoned structures also quickly attract homeless people and crime, so restoring a parking structure becomes a matter of public safety.

However, knowing how to handle parking garage maintenance and providing restoration services correctly in the first place will help building managers get the most from their parking structures and avoid these risks. Starting with sound parking garage structural design and maintenance plans will make short-term and long-term upkeep much easier.

It’s important to work with an expert when it comes to parking garage restoration, services, and maintenance. A professional company will have the experience and knowledge necessary to ensure that your garage is restored and maintained correctly. Considering the investment made for building parking garages in the first place, this can be a massive investment. According to WGI, “As of May 25, 2020, our statistical data indicates that the median construction cost for a new parking structure is $22,200 per space, or $66.34 per square foot; a 3.3% increase from 2019 when the median cost was $21,500 per space.” With that kind of investment in play, facility managers must keep parking garage maintenance costs under control.

There are several reasons why working with an expert is essential. First, a professional company will have the necessary equipment and resources to get the job done right. They’ll also have the experience and expertise to ensure that the restoration or maintenance is done correctly and safely.

Another important reason to work with a professional is to help you save money overall. By meticulously restoring and maintaining your garage, you can avoid costly repairs down the road.

If you’re looking for quality parking maintenance and assistance or have questions about maintaining steel parking garage structures or how to seal a parking garage to protect it from wear and tear, you need to enlist the help of professionals in your area. Local pros understand the factors that can lead to degradation and breakdowns of your parking garage structures. They can help you create a customized maintenance and restoration plan that fits your unique needs and goals. 

A Bit of Background on the Value of Commercial Parking Garages

Like all industries today, the parking and garage industry has seen its share of upheaval and volatility in the wake of the global Covid pandemic. According to a recent report by IBIS World, A general economic recovery from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic is expected to contribute to increased demand for parking garages and services as the economy reopens and health and safety mandates ease amid widespread vaccination.” This is why the  parking garage services industry and its maintenance providers have a critical role in maintenance, upkeep, and restoration work.

This will be mainly due to an increase in new construction of urban centers, commercial offices, mixed-use structures and buildings, and residential construction projects. All this growth will increase as recovery continues, thus further driving more demand for parking garages and related services. 

Let’s consider some of the leading aspects of parking garage maintenance, concrete repair, and structure restoration. 

Core Aspects of Parking Garage Restoration

Maintenance costs associated with parking garage restoration can fall into any of three classifications: Operational, Aesthetic, or Structural Systems expenses. As highlighted by Innovative Engineering Inc., “Operational Maintenance costs include cleaning, snow and ice removal, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, parking control, security, elevator, and signage maintenance, as well as the cost of inspections. Aesthetic Maintenance includes general appearance such as painting and landscaping. Structural Systems maintenance includes the actual floors, beams, columns, and walls of the parking structure. It also includes drainage, sealants, and waterproofing as these items directly affect the longevity of the structural system.” Finding the right service providers with the parking garage services industry makes it easier to manage all parking garage maintenance costs.

1. Structural Steel Repair And Replacement

One of the most important aspects of parking garage restorationand general building maintenance services is ensuring that the structural steel is in good condition. If your steel parking garage structures are damaged, they can be very costly and challenging to repair. That’s why it’s essential to work with a professional company that specializes in structural steel repair and replacement.

A professional company will have the experience and expertise necessary to ensure that the repair or replacement is done correctly and safely. They’ll also have the necessary equipment and resources to get the job done right.

They can also assist with a wide range of parking garage structural design and maintenance needs to ensure everything is in good working order. From repair and inspection work to renovations, processional restoration experts will be able to get the job done right the first time!

If you’re looking for quality structural steel repair or replacement, contact a professional company today. Its experts will help get your garage back in working order quickly and efficiently while keeping  parking garage maintenance costs to a minimum as part of overall cost control.

2. Structural Wraps

Concrete structural wraps offer protectionagainst weathering and damage. It’s important to have this protection because it keeps the concrete safe and in good condition. Concrete structural wraps are applied onto parking garages to protect against damage caused by weathering and other factors like physical impacts. 

For instance, concrete wraps can protect your parking structure from water damage. If left untreated, water can seep down into the foundation of your parking garage and lead to significant issues later. Structural wraps block water so that these problems do not develop. Knowing how to seal a parking garage properly can save management a great deal of time and money eventually by minimizing damages and extending the time between necessary repairs.

Structural wraps are an integral part of parking garage restoration. They provide protection for the structure and can also help improve the appearance of the garage. Several distinct types of structural wraps are available, so it’s important to work with an expert to choose the right type for your parking garage. This is essential to maintaining adequate building maintenance services.  

A professional company will have the experience and knowledge necessary to ensure that your garage is restored and maintained properly. They’ll also have the necessary equipment and resources to get the job done right. After investing in commercial high-rise work and building parking garage structures, it’s imperative that you keep up with repairs and maintenance. Finding the best of the best within the parking garage services industry means you are better prepared to handle any issues that come your way.

3. Concrete Pan Slab Replacement

Concrete pan slabs are another important yet often overlooked part of parking garages. They provide a flat surface for cars to park on and help support the weight of the structure. A damaged slab must be replaced before it causes damage to vehicles or compromises the overall structural integrity of the garage.

Replacing a concrete pan slab can be a tricky part of parking garage restoration services. There are many factors to consider when replacing a pan slab, such as the weather conditions and the type of concrete used.

The new concrete pan slab must be installed correctly to ensure your parking garage is safe moving forward. Therefore, it is important to hire a qualified contractor who has experience with this type of work. The contractor needs to be skilled and experienced with parking garage structural design and maintenance while keeping parking garage maintenance costs as low as possible through routine inspections, checks, and maintenance. 

4. Double ‘T’ And Inverted ‘T’ Repairs

Parking garage restoration is a complex process with many varieties. One restoration is the repair of double ‘t’ and inverted ‘t’ shapes in the concrete. This type of damage can happen suddenly, such as with a vehicle hitting the supports, or it can occur gradually over time, such as with weathering and normal wear and tear.

The first step in repairing a double ‘t’ or inverted ‘t’ is to identify the extent of the damage. Experts can assess the damage, schedule the necessary repairs, and then fix the issues at hand. These repairs may include removing and replacing damaged concrete, as well as fixing any underlying problems that may have led to the damage. Repairing concrete and steel parking garage structures is a vital part of parking garage maintenance and upkeep. 

Finding garage repair experts who know what they are doing is important to maintaining the structural integrity and overall safety of the parking garage. Fortunately, many parking garage restoration companies are experienced in repairing double ‘t’ and inverted ‘t’ shapes. Knowing how to fix this sort of damage quickly and correctly can go a long way in keeping parking garage maintenance costs to a minimum. 

5. Concrete Spandrel Panel Repairs

Concrete spandrel panels are an essential part of parking garage restoration. Spandrel panels are sections of concrete that span between columns in a parking garage. If these panels are damaged, it can compromise the structural integrity of the entire garage. Facility managers must ensure that these panels are in good condition before restoring the parking garage. Any damaged panels need to be repaired or replaced first. Failure to do so might compromise the other repair and restoration efforts. 

Knowing how to seal a parking garage panel and fix damages to these vital structures is integral to garage renovation and maintenance. One way to repair concrete spandrel panels is by using a concrete patch. This type of cement is used to fix small cracks or holes in concrete. It’s important to use a high-quality patching material to ensure that the repair will be durable and long-lasting.

While the installation and design of these panels is a consideration when initially building a parking garage, it will need to be revisited during routine checks and inspections to ensure the structural integrity is maintained. 

6. Urethane And Epoxy Injections

When parking garage restoration is needed, urethane and epoxy injections are two of the most common methods used to seal cracks and crevices to prevent them from expanding and getting worse. A urethane injection is a process that uses a two-part polyurethane foam. The foam is mixed and injected into the cracks or holes in the parking garage. This process can fill larger holes and cracks, and it can also stabilize the surface of the parking garage. It is commonly used on concrete components and is not an option for most steel parking garage structures.

An epoxy injection is a process that uses a single-component epoxy resin. The epoxy resin is mixed and injected into the cracks or holes in the slabs, panels, ceilings, and foundation supports of the parking garage to provide additional support and stability. This process can fill smaller holes and cracks, and it can also stabilize the surface of the parking garage.

Epoxy concrete injection is an amazingly effective way to restore and repair parking garages, as it can correct many of the problems caused by aging and weathering. The epoxy resin will fill in any cracks or holes in the concrete, and it will also seal off any exposed surfaces. This will prevent water and moisture from entering the concrete, which can cause damage and deterioration.

7. Traffic Bearing Coatings and Sealers

Traffic bearing coatings and sealers are a critical part of parking garage restoration. They protect the surface of the concrete and keep it in good condition, allowing cars to drive over it without damaging the surface. There are many different types of commercial concrete sealers available, so it’s important to choose the right one for the job.

They can be applied in various ways, depending on the type and condition of the surface. Some sealers are applied with a brush or roller, while others are sprayed on. It’s important to make sure the sealer is applied evenly and worked into the cracks and crevices of the concrete and facade. These applied sealers form a protective barrier over the entire surface.

Garage repair and maintenance experts know how to seal a parking garage and keep everything as structurally sound and protected as possible. It is also vital that they know the correct process and procedures to follow for a good seal. An uneven sealant or waterproofing coating can cause problems down the road, as the sealer won’t form a protective barrier over the entire surface. It’s also important to make sure the sealer is applied thoroughlyto penetrate the surface and create a solid barrier. This step will strengthen the concrete and make exterior insulation and sealants more effective. 

8. Water Repellents & Caulking Sealants

Parking garages are not too dissimilar from standard parking lots regarding how weather affects them. Both are exposed to the elements and can incur damages due to prolonged exposure. As addressed by True Grid Pavers, “Concrete and asphalt are both extremely susceptible to water damage. Once the surface of a parking lot has been damaged or worn down even slightly, water is able to infiltrate and wreak havoc. Especially in areas with free-thaw cycles, water freezes and expands in the cracks, gradually widening them. Eventually, this can lead to giant crevices and potholes, which lead to huge parking lot maintenance costs, and possibly incurred damages.” This is why waterproofing seals, commercial caulking, and facade envelopes are so crucial to parking garage restoration and maintenance.

Water repellents are used in concrete parking garages to help protect the garage from water damage. The repellent creates a barrier on the surface of the concrete that prevents water from seeping in. This is an important part of parking garage structural design and maintenance because water can damage the concrete and cause it to crack and crumble.

There are several different water repellents available, and each one has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Caulking sealants are also crucial for parking garages, especially those subjected to weather and temperature extremes. Sealants help keep out moisture and prevent corrosion of stainless steel rebar within the structure. Sealants and caulking can help prevent cracks by reducing the amount of expansion and shrinking that occurs during freezes and thaws each year.

9. Expansion Joints

Parking garages come in all shapes and sizes, from small, single-story lots to towering structures that accommodate hundreds of vehicles. However, no matter the size or design of a parking garage,  one feature is always present: expansion joints. They are barely noticeable and are often undetected by the average customer using a local parking garage facility. 

As their name suggests, expansion joints allow a parking garage to expand and contract as necessary. Without these joints, the garage’s concrete would crack and eventually crumble under the strain of all the vehicles and the effects water and weather can have on the structure itself. The joints are typically made of metal or plastic and placed at regular intervals along the garage’s surface.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of expansion joints; without them, a parking garage would be condemned in short order. The first hard freeze would create massive cracks in the pavement, and all the vehicle traffic would shake the structure to dust. As such, property owners must pay attention to the condition of these joints. If a joint is leaking, is cracked and peeling, or otherwise damaged, it’s time to take immediate action.

Part of restoring a parking garage’s expansion joints is the replacement of any that are damaged or leaking. There are several distinct kinds of joint replacements; in most cases, property owners will need to replace the entire joint, though some can be repaired depending on their design. For example, rubber and polyurethane foam expansion joints can often be plugged with cork to prevent further issues with leak repairs (though this does not always work), In contrast, other types such as plastic and metal require complete replacement. 

10. Routing and Sealant Cracks, As Well as Regular Cleaning

Parking garages are an essential part of a city’s infrastructure, and it’s important to keep them in good condition. Routing and sealing cracks in a parking garage can help prevent water damage that could otherwise lead to expensive repairs.

In addition, parking lots and garages should be regularly swept and mopped with a neutral cleaner to remove both dirt and salt that have been tracked in from the street. This routine step will help keep your garage’s floors clean for drivers and pedestrians. A neutral cleaner does not contain any chemical agents such as ammonia or bleach, which can damage surfaces over time.

If you want to repaint a section of your garage, it’s important to take safety precautions first. Any residual oil or grease on the floor can inhibit paint’s adhesion, so cleaning thoroughly beforehand is essential. It is something property owners must consider, along with everything else involved in parking garage structural design and maintenance. The use of cement, concrete, and steel components can make routine maintenance much easier in the long run. 

What to Look for in a Parking Garage Restoration Services Provider

Concrete repair is an important part of maintaining a parking garage. Parking garages see a lot of wear and tear, and minor concrete repairs can prevent significant, more expensive problems from developing in the future. Having the right maintenance and repair team on board can make the process of dealing with parking garage restoration much easier.

You can be sure you are working with skilled and trained experts by looking for the following characteristics:

  • Fair prices and comparable services compared to the competition. 
  • A focus on parking garage structural design and maintenance.
  • Access to the latest tools, equipment, and technology.
  • Professional approach to dealing with customer concerns and issues.
  • Quick response to known issues.
  • Attention to detail and ability to do a thorough job.
  • The ability to offer customized and personalized services.
  • Reliable services that hold up and prove to be effective.
  • Cost-effective management of maintenance and restoration services.
  • Experience with concrete and steel parking garage structures.
  • Understanding of how to seal a parking garage structure.
  • Innovative and collaborative approach when working with customers.
  • Open communication and on-call access when needed.
  • Proven track record with commercial concrete restoration and repair.

Choose the Right Partner for Complete Parking Garage Restoration And Maintenance

Parking garages are a vital part of many cityscapes, and because they’re often under so much stress, it’s important to ensure that they’re properly maintained. Parking garage restoration and maintenance can be a daunting task, but choosing the right partner can help ensure the job is done correctly.

Premature failure of a parking garage can result from a variety of factors, including water damage, corrosion, and structural failure. It’s important to have a partner who is familiar with all the potential causes of garage failure and who can take steps to prevent them. Keeping up with routine parking garage structural design and maintenance is critical to keeping parking garage maintenance costs low and more manageable. 

Choosing the right partner for parking garage maintenance is key to ensuring that your garage will last for years to come. Visit The VALCOURT Group to get started with your next parking garage restoration or repair project today.

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