Caulking & Sealing Commercial Buildings: Why It’s Important to Use Expert Services

Jan 04, 2023

Your commercial building is an essential component of your success, and it is your command center, public face, and a sense of pride for your employees. Protecting your building is of the utmost importance, which is why commercial building service professionals are crucial for maintaining such a significant investment.

Expert caulking and sealing protect your asset by sealing off gaps and cracks that might result in air, moisture, and pests penetrating your commercial building.

Why Use Caulking/Sealing?

Every building is susceptible to gaps and cracks forming between different materials. When moisture penetrates your facility, it further deteriorates and compromises the structure, opening the door to even more severe problems. Air entering your building causes uncomfortable drafts that make energy bills much higher.

Caulking the exterior of your commercial building remedies the normal wear and tear that comes with seasonal contraction and expansion. As old caulk loses its elasticity, it is necessary to replace it to maintain the protective shield that is your building’s exterior.

As exterior caulking reinforces your building’s protective shield, interior commercial caulking prevents drafts and water damage on the inside. Many areas of your building’s interior need a regular caulk refresh, including the following: 

Sealing includes weatherproofing concerns that go beyond caulking. Just as building expansion and contraction impact joints and materials, so are surfaces like windows. Reglazing window systems with commercial window sealant and addressing skylights and curtain walls prevent air, moisture, and pests from entering the building at those crucial points.

Complete waterproofing goes beyond just caulking windows, and services will include:

It sounds like a lot but bringing in commercial building caulking pros will ensure every external and internal gap gets sealed.

What are the Different Types of Caulking and Sealing?

The variety of building areas and surface types that require commercial caulking and sealing services makes it necessary to ensure you use the proper caulk and sealant. Building services professionals will evaluate the different types of caulk and apply the appropriate one depending on the application.

Silicone and polyurethane calking products are classified as elastomeric materials, as both fill gaps and allow for contraction and expansion. Despite being similar in their classification and general uses, these materials have significant differences, impacting their suitability for different applications.

The most significant consideration is how the materials will break down as time passes. The two primary concerns of performance and life-cycle costs are applied to determine the benefits of silicone versus polyurethane-based sealants.

Silicone

Silicone is an inorganic material, giving it an advantage in areas exposed to UV light from the sun. Because it is inorganic, it is less reactive to UV light. The lower UV reactivity of silicone makes it the superior choice for your commercial building’s facade.

Silicone also offers a much longer lifespan due to its excellent resistance to UV light and temperature fluctuations. Many manufacturers provide 20-year warranties, making silicone caulk vs. sealant the perfect choice when durability matters.

An extended lifespan and lower reactivity to UV light and temperature fluctuations mean a significantly higher price for silicone sealants over polyurethane. Your commercial building services company will weigh the trade-offs of cost and expected sealant lifespan when determining which sealant is appropriate for each application.

Polyurethane

As an organic material, the sun, elements, and temperature break down polyurethane much faster than silicone. Typically, polyurethane’s lifespan will max out at ten years, reflecting this shorter lifespan in its much lower price.

When weighing silicone vs. polyurethane caulk, silicone will always be the best investment for areas exposed to the elements or subject to more variation and use.

Are Your Current Sealants Still Effective? When To Replace

Depending on your sealants’ location, type, and application, they can break down at differing rates. If polyurethane was used extensively in the past, it could break down and crack over a significantly shorter period.

It could be time to replace sealants if it has been some time since you last had them inspected. One way to confirm the need for a replacement is if you see a loss of elasticity and separation from the surfaces. Other indicators would be visible cracks or splitting.

Exterior sealant might show visible evidence of weathering, including chalking, blistering, discoloration, or cracking.

Of course, the best estimate of sealant effectiveness will come from calling commercial building professionals for a comprehensive inspection.

Working With an Expert for Commercial Wall Coating

Your company’s commercial building is essential to the organization’s identity. Maintaining one of your most important assets is a crucial task that requires expert attention.

Every wall is different based on the construction approach, the material used, and exposure to the elements. An established and expert building services provider knows how to identify issues that could become more extensive problems and remedy them.

Proper caulking and sealant application ensure the building continues to serve its essential purpose best. Turn to experts to ensure your commercial building is in its best shape and focus on what you do best, running your business.

Valcourt Ensures Expert Protection for Your Building

Valcourt is the building services provider for property managers and building owners. We have 35+ years of experience providing industry-leading waterproofing, window cleaning, and facade restoration services.

Caulking and sealing are essential components of building maintenance. Contact us at Valcourt today to ensure your building keeps water, air, and pests where they should be; outside.

The Benefits of Commercial External Wall Coating Services

Dec 16, 2022

Walls are an essential part of any building, and their integrity and strength are critical barriers that prevent the interior from being exposed to the elements outside. Walls also accentuate the cosmetic and decorative beauty of architecture, and it’s the exterior surface that everyone recognizes when they get a chance to see it. Walls need protection, just like any other architectural surface on a building. That’s why exterior wall coatings are so important for commercial buildings and why property owners across the United States partner with building service companies specializing in exterior wall coatings. This article looks at some of the benefits of maintaining your exterior walls, offering readers a summary of the type of service options available to protect your structure.

What are Wall Coatings?

Wall coatings refer to a specialized decorative layer that is applied directly to the exterior surface of a building. Applying external coatings protects walls from the constant bombardment they receive while being exposed to the outside world. Dirt, ultraviolet rays, moisture, salts, chemicals, and other debris can cause building surfaces to crack, break, blister, chip, warp, and erode.

External wall coatings principally act as a moisture barrier and line of defense from outside exposure; however, they also enhance the architectural beauty of a structure to improve the building’s overall aesthetics. Wall coating systems are generally much thicker than a layer of paint, providing a weather-resistant barrier that helps increase the lifespan of the commercial wall. The thickness of the wall coating also helps cover up any cosmetic blemishes that may appear on the building. In other words, wall coatings serve a critically important function of extending the longevity of your wall’s structure and act as a makeup to give your building a facelift.

What are the Different Types of External Wall Coatings Available?

The following is a list of the different types of wall coatings that building services professionals offer to property owners on their commercial walls.

Acrylic Coating 

Water-based, low-VOC coatings provide excellent adhesion and durability. They are commonly used in commercial and residential buildings to protect against moisture, dirt, and staining.

Epoxy Coating

These two-part chemical coatings provide exceptional protection against chemical and physical wear. They are highly durable and resilient, making them ideal for commercial applications.

Urethane Coating 

Solvent-based coatings are highly resistant to abrasion and chemical degradation. They provide outstanding protection against UV radiation, making them ideal for exterior applications.

Polyurea Coating 

These two-part chemical coatings provide outstanding protection against water and chemical damage. They are highly elastic, making them ideal for commercial applications that require flexibility.

Fluoropolymer Coating 

These solvent-based coatings provide exceptional protection against UV radiation, making them ideal for exterior wall applications. They are highly resistant to corrosion and provide superior adhesion and durability.

The Benefits of Exterior Wall Coatings

The facade of your commercial building is key to understanding what type of wall coating is right for your property. That’s why working closely with a building services provider that specializes in commercial wall coatings is important. Look for companies with experience understanding the proper surface preparation necessary for the various types of external wall coatings your building needs. Trained building technicians can help building owners prolong the life of their structure, improve the exterior appearance, and raise the market value of their property.

Protect your Building this Winter with Valcourt

When property owners look for help protecting the physical and cosmetic integrity of their building, they look for a company with industry knowledge in building services that specifically provide external wall coating systems. That is why thousands of property managers around the United States turn to Valcourt. Valcourt is the leading exterior maintenance company specializing in restoration, waterproofing, and external wall coating services. Their company combines over 35 years of building services experience, along with a dedicated team of technicians that offer a no-hassle consultative approach to customers looking for the best solution to their restoration needs.

Don’t brush off the importance of your building’s exterior walls! Connect with an expert at Valcourt today!

Traffic Coatings: The Benefits of Parking Deck Coating Systems

Nov 29, 2022

Concrete is a highly durable material that provides lasting strength in a variety of applications. Its dependability is why building designers use concrete surfaces to construct parking garages, decks, and walkways. However, high-traffic areas get damaged over time due to moisture, chemical intrusion, and exposure to the elements. Foot and vehicle traffic tracks in salts, oils, and other debris, which can cause concrete to crack, break, and erode. This deterioration can lead to expensive maintenance projects down the road. Because of that, most building owners take preventative measures to protect concrete, especially in high-traffic areas. This article explores the advantages of traffic coatings and how professional technicians can help prolong the longevity of concrete surfaces at your building.

What are Traffic Coatings?

Traffic coatings refer to applying a specialized protective layer onto concrete explicitly used in high-traffic areas like vehicles and pedestrian areas. These products protect concrete surfaces against the intrusion of moisture and chemicals, helping to prevent substantial deterioration. Various types of traffic coating systems are available, and they range in pricing, installation requirements, and overall capabilities. The main goals are to create a moisture barrier that helps protect concrete from exposure to adverse climates and debris. 

What is the Purpose of Traffic Coating for Concrete?

Parking decks get exposed to a variety of temperatures, especially if they are located in northern parts of the U.S. that experience extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the year. Seasonal weather patterns expose the concrete to ice, snow, and high heat, and vehicles track in salt, oils, and other debris that soaks into the concrete. The combination of weather and chemical intrusion adversely affects the integrity of concrete. These chemicals can also penetrate the steel, causing corrosion and rust, creating a whole other set of problems as this eventually requires a repair that probably costs a bundle. Since parking garages are considered high-traffic areas due to pedestrian and vehicle traffic, they are susceptible to deterioration. That is why traffic coatings offer solutions to help building owners protect their structures from the weather and debris carried into their facilities.

The Different Types of Traffic Coating Systems

This next section will list the different types of products used for traffic coatings and explore how their practical application provides distinct advantages.

Elastomeric Polyurethanes Systems

These polyurethane seals are perfect for parking garages that already have cracking, shrinkage, and other damage. This product is used as a stopgap to prevent further deterioration of structures, preventing concrete from being exposed to moisture and chlorides. This topcoat can improve the aesthetic look of older parking decks and ramps and offer skid resistance in the process. However, this system might need a further application, and it’s not an option building owners should utilize if they want extended service.

Epoxy Broadcast Systems

This covering option is popular among building owners as it’s a cost-effective solution that is relatively easy to apply, helping to reduce overall downtime. Epoxy broadcast systems are non-waterproof and are specifically designed for areas with moderate to heavy traffic. This system helps prevent concrete from the effects of mechanical movements.

Latex / Vinyl Copolymer Systems

This economical, non-odor sealer offers breathability for concrete. Aesthetically pleasing, the application resembles the actual color of concrete, and the sealant is highly permeable. The drawback, however, is that the product offers no waterproofing, and the product itself is prone to cracking and breaking. Therefore, this use is primarily for building owners looking for a temporary solution. 

Polyurethane Systems

This solution offers a strong waterproofing sealer that provides a variety of aesthetic options for building owners looking to style their high-traffic areas. The main advantage of polyurethane is that the material can help seal already-cracked concrete areas, preventing further damage to those areas. However, the material is also more difficult to install and is rather sensitive to moisture. Therefore, it is best for areas not directly exposed to the elements.

PMMA/PUMA Systems

Polyurethane-Methacrylate (PUMA) and Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) can be applied to concrete surfaces at low temperatures and offer rapid drying speeds, significantly reducing downtime for high-traffic areas. These materials produce a very pungent odor and must be applied in well-ventilated areas. PMMA/PUMA must be applied to dry surfaces and is less effective on wet concrete surfaces where it will not adhere properly. Also, these systems require the combination of multiple chemicals, and their proper mixture must be exact at the time of application.

Sealers

An economical option that is easy to apply directly to concrete surfaces, sealers are sprayed directly onto the existing concrete and do not change the aesthetic look of the material. Sealers are an excellent choice for building owners looking for an easy solution but one that requires a frequent application. Also, sealers do not offer waterproofing or skid resistance and are limited to where they provide the most service, mainly in new construction projects. 

Valcourt is the Expert for your Traffic Coatings Solutions

Traffic coatings help protect high-traffic areas, preserve the longevity of concrete structures, and provide an aesthetically pleasing look that will bring lasting building. These solutions help reduce long-term costs for repair and maintenance, helping your parking garage or walkways endure the elements and traffic for years to come. Valcourt is the trusted building service that thousands of companies depend on to maintain their properties. Regarding traffic coatings, Valcourt has you and your concrete covered. Give Valcourt a call today!

Professional Tips for Stone Refinishing of Architectural Surfaces

Nov 22, 2022

Some of the world’s most elegant buildings showcase their beauty with stonework, one of the most durable and long-lasting elements incorporated into structural designs for thousands of years. There is a reason why stone continues to be the primary material used by building designers for flooring, walls, countertops, and bathrooms: its aesthetic appeal and luster evoke an unmistakable sense of luxury. 

This article will look at the stone refinishing of architectural surfaces and offers some advice on how building owners can refinish their stonework to improve the overall customer satisfaction of visitors.

What Causes Damage to Natural Stone?

Stone finishes endure the same exposure to the natural elements as any other type of material used in the construction of buildings. The major difference, though, is that stone, being such a high-priced commodity when installed, requires regular maintenance and restoration to ensure that the material returns to the form of the original aesthetic. Wear and tear of stonework is normal, but building owners need to understand the kinds of things that can ultimately damage natural stone and how they can overcome these issues to successfully restore the stone to its natural condition.

Stun Marks

This damage occurs when stone experiences a strong impact that creates a discoloration on the surface. If you’ve ever struck two rocks together, you will have noticed a white discoloration that occurs when a stone is met with another sharp object. These sorts of hit marks can strike just the surface or penetrate the inner core of the stone.

Stains

Stone is a corrosive material that can be affected by oils, salt, and water. This natural material can get damaged relatively easily in buildings with stone walkways. Because of that, it would be wise to call upon a stone refinishing expert that can perform the proper treatment necessary to help polish out stains and bring back the luster of your stonework.

Temperature Fluctuations

Natural stone can chip, flake, and crack if exposed to extreme temperatures. Extreme heat conditions can cause thermal shock and damage the stone material’s integrity. Cold temperatures and melting snow can also cause the stone to crack when water becomes trapped within the porous stone.

Etching

When a stone’s surface is exposed to a corrosive chemical, etching may occur where the surface dissolves, changes colors, and leaves a noticeable etch mark. The best solution to repair etching is through proper floor polishing, which building owners or managers can schedule in advance and after hours to ensure your project completion with minimal downtime.

Scratches and Scuff Marks

High-traffic areas like staircases, patios, and lobbies are susceptible to wear and tear due to the salts, oil, and water tracked in from people. Similar to stun marks, scratches may develop on stone due to contact with another hard surface. Stone refinishing may require buffing to remove superficial scuff marks.

What Architectural Surfaces Most Likely Need Stone Refinishing?

Building owners use stone materials to accentuate the beauty in a variety of different places, such as:

What Types of Stone Need Refinishing?

Each type of stone requires special handling techniques to refinish stonework properly and, therefore, should be performed by experienced professionals with a track record of success in various building services. This next section shares a list of the most commonly used types of stoneworks used by commercial and residential builders, offering a brief description of the material and the service involved when conducting restoration.

Marble 

Marble is one of the most elegant stones used in countertops, vanities, floors, walls, and bathrooms. Marbles are generally harder than most other stones, but they are susceptible to the same type of wear and tear you commonly find with other materials. Proper maintenance will help keep your marble shiny and smooth, free of scratches or etching.

Slate

Slate offers rich beauty and textures, often providing an array of colors that give a rustic and sentimental ambiance. The material is somewhat porous and must be maintained with proper sealing and cleaning to prevent cracking and breaking.

Granite

Builders often choose this material for luxury kitchen countertops. Granite is the heaviest stone and also one of the most expensive. As a result, not all stone restoration companies will service this material, which is very susceptible to scratching. Valcourt offers various services for restoring your granite, such as sealing, stain removal, polishing, and scratch and etching repair.

Tile and Grout

Revitalize your bathroom by removing the soap scum, germs, and dirt embedded within your tile. Valcourt can help bring your tile’s luster back through a careful deep cleaning and restoration process that will sanitize, repair grout, properly waterproof and seal, and provide regular maintenance to prevent any long-term costs.

Terrazzo

This composite material consists of chips of stones such as quartz, granite, glass, and marble, bonded together through cement. The result is a unique look that elucidates flooring, walls, and countertops. Due to the variance in materials used in this composite, we recommend polishing terrazzo with a company with product expertise. Most professional stonework companies will research, plan, and sample the selected material to ensure that the implemented polishing technique is correct.

What are the Things to Look for in an Architectural Stone Refinishing Service?

Here are some things to look for when choosing an expert to help with stone refinishing.

Convenient Scheduling

Valcourt will schedule our maintenance when it’s most convenient for you and your building. We offer floor polishing any time of the day, and our dedicated night supervisor will help ensure that your project finishes on time with minimal downtime to your building.

Product Expertise

Our experienced building service professionals plan our work, sample your stone material, and provide custom solutions for each customer. All of our stone refinishing comes with regular service updates to help prevent premature wear and helps safeguard against costly replacement options.

Process Expertise

Stone refinishing may require buffing to remove superficial scuff marks. This process improves the aesthetics of your stone without compromising the integrity of the material.

Don’t Take Your Stone Surfaces for Granite, Call Valcourt!

Stone offers your building added beauty and value, but it requires constant maintenance to ensure that the material maintains its luster, strength, and integrity. Your building’s guests will appreciate a freshly polished stone floor and repair work done to remove unsightly scratch marks and etching. When it comes to stone restoration and refinishing, thousands of building owners call Valcourt Building Services. Valcourt is an all-inclusive building service provider specializing in waterproofing, restoration, stone refinishing, and structure repair. With over 35 years of industry experience, it’s easy to imagine why they are the company people choose for stone refinishing. Contact an Expert at Valcourt today!

Architectural Surfaces: Metal Refinishing

Nov 17, 2022

From the Eiffel Tower to the Empire State Building, metal structures have shaped our world since the Industrial Revolution. Today, we have structures not only made and supported by metal, but elegantly designed with this durable, timeless material.

As classic as metal may be, metal surfaces may lose their luster over time. Constant daily wear can leave high-traffic interior spaces like front entry doors and lobbies, elevators, walkways, balconies, bathrooms, and stairwells dull and more rustic than elegant. These high use surfaces also require frequent maintenance, like cleaning, polishing, and refining, depending on the type of metal being treated. However, sometimes, these metal surfaces need refinishing due to scratches, abrasion, rust, or vandalism, and when that happens, it’s time to find a company that specializes in metal refinishing.

What types of Metals Need Refinishing?

Suppose you are a business owner who wants to accentuate your property’s features. In that case, it’s important to start by considering your budget, long-term goals, and motivations for the building. The most common metals in commercial buildings are bronze, brass, aluminum, copper, stainless steel, iron, nickel, and rolled steel. These materials come with different price points, and each metal has specific maintenance recommendations. It is important to consider these conditions and options before investing. For example, brass tends to have a higher initial cost, but it is generally easier to maintain than a less durable metal like aluminum. Building owners can also invest in preventative treatment solutions, such as applying a sealer or special coating that will reduce the time spent polishing metals and save on maintenance costs.

Metal Refinishing Techniques

Depending on the materials and budget, there are several techniques used to refinish metal and restore the original sheen.

Here’s a brief summary of the different types of specialized treatments available from Valcourt Group’s metal refinishing team.

Blackening Stainless Steel: This process is similar to the “bluing” technique below. Only the metal is blackened for a dramatic effect.

Bluing: A finishing process for steel surfaces when the metal acquires a blue-to-black surface finish after applying a protective coating. 

Cleaning and Care: Providing detailed instructions for your janitorial team on the proper techniques for cleaning and maintaining the metal surfaces throughout your building.

Graining: A process that uses coated abrasives and a sanding belt to remove the top layer from metal blanks. Once the sanding process is completed, some metals require softening with a surface sander to achieve the desired shine and grain orientation.

Graffiti Removal: Give your building a facelift by removing the unsightly appearance of graffiti on your property. This process might involve using paint thinners, acetones, or steel sandpaper.

Oxidation: Oxidized metal surfaces require multiple refinishing steps, which include stripping the existing lacquer, scrubbing the metal, converting the metal to a satin finish, highlighting, applying coats of oxidizing agents, and finishing with a coat of lacquer. 

Patina: A surface coating on a bare metal surface formed from a chemical reaction when exposed to the elements. Similar to the edge of a chef’s knife, a patina provides a unique color and texture.

Polishing: Make your building shine by polishing your metal surfaces. Various cleaners help restore the appearance of your metals, but make sure to contact industry experts before you start! The wrong cleaner might corrode or strip the metal.

Scratch Removal: Light scratches can be removed through buffing with a non-abrasive cleaner. However, deeper scratches might require sandpaper or other refinishing techniques.

Washing: Proper care of your metal surfaces ensures their shine and integrity for years.

Waterproofing: When applicable, a waterproof sealant may help prevent metal surfaces from oxidation, such as in bathroom stalls, railings, balconies, kickplates, and entry doors.

Waxing: Wax on and wax off. Making your metal glisten when the light hits it.

What are the 5 Things to Look Out for in an Architectural Metal Refinishing Service?

Metal Expertise

Maintaining and refinishing metal requires a unique approach customized to the type of metal you desire in your building. Different metal products require different kinds of maintenance and cleaning approaches. Our metal refinishing team is highly knowledgeable and backed with the experience and techniques to help refinish your metal to its original form.

Treatment Experience

The proper frequency for cleaning, polishing, and refinishing your metal surfaces depends on its material, location in the building, and the type of finish applied to the surface. For example, lacquered surfaces may require reapplication, refinishing, and frequent polishing. Other surfaces, such as in a bathroom or elevator, might have unique interior designs that can improve the aesthetics of your building.

Cleaning Professionals

When providing expert care for your building’s metal surfaces, leave it to the experts. Before you consider cleaning, reach out to one of our experts to provide industry advice on the right products. 

Regular Maintenance

Customers who receive metal refinishing services might also consider getting regularly scheduled cleaning, polishing, and routine inspections to ensure the metal surfaces maintain a healthy condition year round. Making sure to take good care of your metal surfaces is important for how people perceive the general conditions of the building and how people perceive the building’s owners as a whole.

Preventative Solutions

The polishing frequency can be sharply reduced by applying special coatings and sealers, whether it’s bronze, copper, or faux aluminum. Ask how our preventative solutions can save your building money in the long run.

Bring out the True Beauty of Your Building with Valcourt Group

Building owners sometimes struggle to maintain the integrity of their property on their own and often depend on industry experts to provide guidance and practical solutions to help revitalize the interior and exterior appearances of their buildings. That’s why most owners look to The Valcourt Group to lend a hand for their metal refinishing needs. Valcourt provides building service, support, and maintenance on various commercial and residential buildings ranging from small offices to football stadiums. When it comes to your metal surfaces and refinishing projects, trust Valcourt to illuminate the contours of your building.  Call us today!

What to Expect in Stadium Repair & Restoration Services

Nov 08, 2022

Local college teams, professional leagues, and many other major sports venues count on their stadiums to withstand the elements. These venues need to be constructed to protect the thousands of fans who pass through the concourse. Most fans won’t notice when a stadium needs repairs unless a team announces plans to remodel in the offseason. But stadium repairs are a necessity and happen all the time. 

A quick Google search of “stadium repair” lists hundreds of news articles related to current or future restoration projects across the United States. For example, Ohio State University spends about $2.5 million annually on maintenance at its football stadium, which its athletic department said addressed mainly “structural factors such as concrete repair and replacement.” 

Staying in Ohio, The Cleveland City Council approved $10 million in funding for FirstEnergy Stadium, where the Browns host football games, to replace a pedestrian ramp. The existing structure was determined to be “unsafe” due to safety concerns, as the current ramp is “rusted out” with “deteriorated concrete.” 

What should property owners and fans expect with stadium repairs and restoration? This article will delve into this issue and highlight some of the services available for stadium maintenance and repair projects.

What is Stadium Repair and Stadium Restoration?

Built using a combination of internal finished areas and external seating arrangements in the tread and riser areas, nearly all stadium construction involves concrete and masonry work.  Stadium structures depend on various expansion joints, sealant joints, waterproofing systems, and exposed traffic coatings to keep the structure watertight. This focus helps protect against inclement weather and the stress that concrete experiences when exposed to fluctuating hot and cold environments. 

Weather causes concrete expansion and contraction, and with constant use, areas like walkways, ramps, decks, and rafters often develop cracking, breaking, and rust if not properly maintained. All of the components that go into stadium construction require constant maintenance. If not, stadiums often need full-scale restoration projects. 

The Most Common Stadium Repairs & Restoration Projects

Depending on the size and type of stadium (open-air, domes, enclosed, multi-purpose, retractable), stadium repair and restoration projects can range in their complexity and cost. The most common projects are preventive maintenance of common areas with high traffic and fan use. 

Some typical projects that facility owners and managers include in their stadium repair and restoration efforts:

The Varying Needs for Stadium Repairs & Restoration

Stadiums are constantly exposed to wear and tear due to natural weather patterns and everyday foot traffic of fans. The combination wears down the concrete’s strength over time and the structural durability of stadiums in the long run. Stadium maintenance is essential for preventing cracks, breaks, and other maintenance problems. 

Spectators should be able to remain safe while enjoying the game. Here are some of the many services companies can provide to help stadium owners maintain their properties.

Leak Repairs

Storms and high winds are more frequent than ever, and with improper flashing or installation, stadiums can sometimes get leaks. Water infiltration wreaks havoc on any sporting event, so it’s essential to find expert service professionals to prevent the worst before it happens.

Waterproofing Systems

Waterproofing refers to various construction methods to restrict moisture penetration in a structure. When it comes to stadiums, though, building owners need professional installation with premium products to prevent any embarrassing leaks on game day.

Joint Sealant Replacement

Does your stadium have the proper caulking? Probably not. 

Caulking keeps water and moisture out of your building. If caulking is old, your stadium is at risk for damage, turning into large-scale repairs when not addressed. To ensure the long-term protection of your venue, working with experienced professionals who understand the proper ways to seal structures against the elements is critical.

Water Repellent and Penetrating Sealers

Most every region in the United States experiences inclement weather, which adversely affects concrete structures. Waterproofing and sealing are critically important for protecting porous surfaces like walkways, ramps, and seating arrangements. 

Expanding the lifecycle of commercial buildings like stadiums requires adequate waterproofing to guard against temperature change, UV damage, shock and vibration, stains and colorations, and regular foot traffic.

Structural Repairs

The outside façade is the first thing people see when approaching a stadium. That is why building owners must maintain a beautiful exterior free from cracks, rust, and debris when their venue is open to the public. Materials such as concrete, stone, acrylic coatings, brick, and balconies might need structural repairs. Make sure to find an experienced service professional specializing in facade restoration.

Concrete Restoration and Repair

Repairing old and damaged concrete restores your stadium’s integrity and aesthetic beauty and ensures the structure is safe for your fans. Structural damage to concrete primarily occurs on slabs, balconies, walkways, parking garages, and the building’s exterior. If your stadium needs a facelift, get in touch with concrete restoration and repair companies that can restore it to its “structural best”.

Traffic Coatings

Protect pedestrians and cars in high-traffic areas with a specialized seal that prevents moisture and chemical intrusion. This protective sealant helps improve structural durability and the preventative maintenance also helps stadium owners reduce long-term repair and restoration costs.

Parking Structures

Cars add significant weight and contaminants to your building’s structure, causing corrosion, cracking, and staining. Car tires carry salt, oils, dirt, and engines leak oil, grease, and other chemicals. 

When these contaminants mix with your concrete parking structures, they corrode the steel, and cause debonding. Building owners cannot afford to have their parking garage out of service for long, so it’s crucial to partner with a company that knows how to improve the life expectancy of your garage.

Get More out of your Stadium with Valcourt 

Stadiums require constant and consisten maintenance to meet the structural integrity and safety requirements your guests deserve. Whether your venue hosts the next varsity game or the Rolling Stones, it is vital to maintain the long-term health of the structure to ensure it withstands the elements and foot traffic year-round. 

With stadium repair and restoration projects, building owners count on Valcourt Building Services for an array of services like waterproofing, structure repair, and restoration. With over 35 years of industry experience, it’s no wonder why thousands of customers depend on Valcourt each day for their stadium repair and restoration projects. Contact an expert at Valcourt today!

How Custom Elevator Interior Design Can Improve Your Building

Oct 28, 2022

People entering a multi-level building typically look for the closest elevator to them to get to their destination. Whether in a commercial building or a residential space, people notice elevators for their interior design, cleanliness, and functionality. 

Everyone has their own “memorable in all the wrong ways” elevator experience, whether it be a slow-running lift or a dirty interior. People notice the conditions of an elevator, in turn shaping their perception of the owners and their commitment to the building and those visiting it. 

An elevator is one of the most used features in a building, other than restrooms- another space judged by its design, cleanliness and function. 

Why Should I do a Custom Elevator Design?

When designing the cab interiors of elevators, building owners should consider the various customizable features and materials available. Custom elevator interiors can include repair, custom fabrication, and new construction. 

Each of these designs offer distinct advantages, and depend upon what option is best for your building and your budget. Prefabricated systems require less cost and elevator downtime, but offer fewer customizable materials and options. Interior decorating often includes customizable engraving services that can really make your elevator shine.

When is Elevator Interior Design or Remodeling Needed?

When prospective tenants, associates, or workers notice that your building’s elevators appear dingy, vandalized, cracked, or worn out, their appearance will leave an undeniable impression on how people conceptualize your building. Elevators set a visual tone of comfort. Just as a decorative window displays the quality of the products available at a store, a newly remodeled elevator showcases your building’s quality and mindfulness for aesthetics and functionality. 

What Services are Available for Custom Elevator Interior Design?

When deciding to partner with a professional elevator cab service provider, you will work with experts who will help design your elevator’s interior. There are many services available for you to choose from, each of which offers an opportunity to transform your elevator cab.

While a functional elevator is important, consider that design choices should match the style of your building’s tenants and visitors. For example, a high-foot-traffic commercial building benefits from having an elevator display with local advertisements. Or perhaps a quiet residential building in the suburbs would benefit from a more straightforward but welcoming design that could be easier to maintain. 

Give your Elevator a Lift with The Valcourt Group

Building owners looking for help in remodeling or maintaining their elevator cabs turn to the industry experts, and there’s no company more experienced and qualified than The Valcourt Group. Valcourt specializes in providing a range of building services to property owners with office buildings, high-rises, parking garages, stadiums, hospitals, and apartment complexes. Valcourt offers their customers dedicated solutions. With over thirty-five years of industry experience, Valcourt can help bring your elevator’s interior designs to the next level. Contact The Valcourt Group today!

What Are Post-Tension Slabs & Why Are They Used?

Oct 27, 2022

It’s no secret why builders use post-tensioning systems in their construction; these systems are critical to strengthening concrete used in modern large-scale building projects. The same argument applies to post-tension slabs—a method used when pouring the slab foundation in commercial or residential construction. This article further explores post-tension slabs and some of the advantages and challenges of their usage in construction projects. 

What are Post-Tension Slabs?

The concrete industry started experimenting with strategies and techniques to strengthen and reinforce concrete in the 1950s. The prestressing concept, now a standard in residential and commercial building construction, involves using a steel cable or tendon to squeeze and compress concrete before the concrete endures a structural load. As the construction industry continued refining its techniques to standardize prestressing, most builders eventually began using post-tensioning techniques for reinforced concrete slab foundations. The Federal Housing Administration officially endorsed the use of post-tensioned slabs in 1969, and the building method is now embraced and co-opted as the preferred method for builders.

Post-tensioned slabs contain a tendon, or steel cable, that runs crisscrossed throughout the center of the slab after the concrete has already hardened. As the poured concrete dries, the post-tensioned cables stretch and tighten, which applies a significant force to the concrete slab. This technique strengthens and compresses the concrete, which helps reduce cracking and structural instability caused by unstable soil conditions in marshes, swamps, and lake areas. The process helps residential homes and commercial buildings achieve greater load-bearing strength. Post-tension slabs are more durable and stable than traditional slabs that lack the reinforcement of steel cables.

Why Use Post-Tension Slabs?

Concrete slabs have inherent structural weaknesses; they are especially susceptible to expansion and contraction due to seasonal fluctuations and changing temperatures. Anyone that has experienced winter knows that thawing temperatures usually lead to potholes, broken water mains, and cracks in the pavement. Concrete slabs are no exception. The swelling and contraction of soils based on their contact with water is another element that adversely affects the integrity of concrete slabs. Poor and unstable soils found in Southwestern states and Mexico lead to issues with soil expansion, making it difficult for builders to lay concrete slabs.

Builders depend on post-tension slabs to reduce the risks of cracking, contraction, and soil expansion and strengthen the foundation’s structural integrity.

Post-Tension Slabs: Potential Challenges

Post-tension slabs are stronger than traditional concrete slabs; however, that does not necessarily mean a post-tension slab is without challenges. Read on to learn more about builders’ challenges when using post-tensioned slabs.

Long-Term Planning 

Post-tensioned slabs are an excellent foundation for a new structure, but builders must plan accordingly for proper drainage. Gutters, downspouts, roof pitches, and balconies redirect rainfall. Builders need to be aware of the location of drainage as it can seep into the foundation and lead to cracks.

Good Things Aren’t Cheap & Cheap Things Aren’t Good

Laying the foundation of a post-tension slab requires professional workers, quality materials, and expert knowledge to understand the job’s complexity. In the building and construction industry, it’s essential to research the service provider and contractors you partner with before signing a contract.

Check the Blueprints, Again

Since post-tension slabs require the addition of steel tendons to strengthen and reinforce the concrete, the tendons must precisely align as shown on the blueprints. Improper tendon locations can cause uplifting, as the tendon applies more force than the weight of the concrete. As a result, the concrete might be physically lifting the slab.

The Advantages of Post-Tension Slabs

Aside from producing crack-free tennis courts, smooth parking garages, and a secure foundation for someone’s new home, post-tension slabs offer builders an array of advantages compared to traditional concrete slabs. Here are a few of the major benefits.

Cost Savings

Post-tensioned slabs require less concrete than traditional ones, saving builders money. Post-tensioned slabs are an investment that helps homeowners reduce the risks of concrete contraction and cracks, which inevitably costs money to repair. That’s why post-tensioned slabs are an initial investment worth it in the long run.

Shed Some Weight

A lighter yet stronger slab of concrete allows builders to design their structure with less material and overall surface space, providing more space to build supporting pillars, walls, columns, and beams. Post-tensioned slabs are also thinner, giving builders more creative freedom when designing floors.

Minimize Risks

No matter how much planning goes into a construction project, things happen, and the idea for builders is to minimize risks. Post-tensioned slabs may help prevent cracks from forming, but concrete is not immune to the elements. The good news is that if cracks form on post-tensioned slabs, they are held together and do not spread as quickly as those on traditional foundation slabs. Therefore, post-tensioned slabs are a more durable solution.

Look to the Experts when it comes to Building Repair Services

Commercial and residential structures require rational planning and maintenance. Whether your building has a traditional concrete slab or a reinforced post-tensioned slab, building owners need to maintain the structure’s integrity. That’s why across the United States, owners and property managers rely on Valcourt as their trusted partner to protect their investments. Whether it’s waterproofing, restoration, or other commercial building services, Valcourt offers over 35 years of experience protecting properties from the elements. Contact Valcourt Building Services today!

Post Tension Repair: Common Concrete Problems & Myths of Post Tensioning Debunked

Oct 11, 2022

As early as the 1950s, a method of improving construction practices and reinforcing concrete emerged in the United States. The post-tensioning (or post-stressing) concrete method provides outstanding durability, increased design flexibility, and improved safety. This method also came the need for specialized concrete restoration and repair services. 

Many modern office buildings, commercial and residential towers, parking structures, and facilities rely on post-tensioned concrete. Keeping up with commercial building repair is critical as neglected upkeep leads to catastrophic building collapses, much like the Surfside Condo collapse in Florida in 2021- an event that claimed the lives of nearly 100 people. Due to the rising demand for post-tensioning, planning repair work on post-tension slabs and components is increasingly vital for commercial building maintenance. Commercial building managers and facility maintenance teams cannot afford to overlook understanding how to spot issues quickly and handle post-tension repair needs.

What is Post Tension Repair?

Post-tensioning is a highly specialized and advanced means for reinforcing concrete, making it more suitable for commercial applications, heavy load-bearing designs, and larger building structures. According to the Federal Highway Administration, “the tensile strength of concrete is only about 10% of its compressive strength.” As a result, plain concrete members are likely to crack when loaded. However, embedding reinforced steel into the concrete members helps them accept tensile stresses that plain concrete cannot. Reinforced steel is selected assuming that the tensile zone of the concrete carries no load and that tensile stresses are resisted only by tensile forces in the reinforcing bars. The resulting reinforced concrete members may crack but can effectively maintain the design loads.

The forces within post-tensioning tendons demand that owners, designers, and contractors who maintain these structures understand the dos and don’ts of repair and maintenance to keep their structures safe. 

Highly advanced design elements require specialized skills and a high level of technical knowledge to ensure the structure’s safety and that of individuals working around the structure. Properly implementing a post-tensioning system repair plan is vital to maximizing longevity and ensuring the structure remains safe and stable for as long as possible. Ultimately, post-tension repair work focuses on identifying and fixing issues involving concrete in slabs, support beams, columns, foundations, and more.

How Do You Know if Your Building Needs Post Tension Repair?

Post-tension concrete repair should begin as soon as issues become apparent. The longer the delay in repair, the more expensive the repairs will become. Concrete is popular because of its durability, but it’s also susceptible to cracks, chipping, and other issues. Routine checks and inspections are critical for building maintenance and upkeep if a commercial concrete structure utilizes post-tensioning.

Inspections of post-tensioned concrete structures should include the following regularly:

While it is a valuable material and commodity for commercial construction, post-tension concrete requires a more specialized approach to maintenance and upkeep. Working with post-tension repair contractors and finding a repair management company specializing in post-tension concrete services are critical to keeping buildings in good standing. Working with industry experts makes the process easier, whether it concerns repairing a post-tension slab or maintaining building components correctly.

Common Concrete Challenges Requiring Post-Tension Repair

All buildings degrade and break down over time, but there are a few potential issues that can affect post-tension concrete more than others. Using post-tension repair services can help reduce common concrete problems and make commercial building services easier to manage. Some common issue items include:

Building owners should have these areas periodically examined periodically by a qualified structural engineer for post-tension repair. The condition survey will check for potential problem areas, note any procession of damage, make recommendations for repair and maintenance, and work with your team to start the necessary steps to address issues.

What Causes Degradation in Post-Tensioned Structures?

Maintenance and upkeep are vital for a post-tensioned structure’s continued service and longevity. Structural deterioration due to exposure to moisture, corrosive elements, and the simple passage of time can lead to a loss of structural integrity, causing issues with structural safety and stability.

Most instances of repair and maintenance work on post-tensioned structures come down to one of the following concerns, all of which a post-tension repair company can assist with:

Like all building materials, post-tensions concrete offers advanced benefits and features, but it is not perfect and still requires routine checks and maintenance work. Keeping up with this is vital to commercial concrete building construction and upkeep.

Debunking Myths Around Post-Tensioning and Repair

Post-tension concrete’s popularity also comes with various myths that can cloud judgments and impact maintenance protocols. The following are some of the most common myths that repair experts encounter when working with commercial maintenance teams.

MYTH: It is difficult to cut holes and add features to post-tensions slabs and structures.

REALITY: Post-tensioned structures are just as doable and can be easily customized. In this regard, there is not much difference between typical concrete structures and post-tension concrete. Tendon layouts can allow for future aesthetics or building repair needs.

MYTH: Parking garages and structures are more expensive when made with post-tensioning.

REALITY: Keeping long-term budgets in mind when comparing material and construction costs is crucial. While upfront costs for a post-tensioned system might be more, it will require less maintenance and upkeep and save management money in the long run.

MYTH: Post-tensioned buildings experience more shortening than they would otherwise. 

REALITY: All concrete will experience some degree of shortening due to the nature of concrete building materials. It is inherent in the curing process as it will shrink, and there is no stopping it. Contractors control building geometry, and post-tensioning is no more prone to shrinking.

MYTH: Post-tensioning is not possible with below-grade applications.

REALITY: Below-grade applications are structures located below the main building. Post-tensioning concrete can be used in these cases quickly. Benefits of below-grade applications include less cracking, improved durability, thinner slabs, and easier excavation. 

MYTH: It is always better to use more post-tensioning.

REALITY: Post-Tensioning is no compensation for sloppy design and is no cure-all. Excessive use can lead to overbalancing effects -deflection problems, cracking, shifting, bowing, or severe blowouts, all of which can be costly to fix. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

Why Working with A Commercial Building Services Provider for Post Tension Repair

Ensuring commercial building repair and proper maintenance of post-tension concrete structures remains an essential part of facility management. Building owners and managers cannot afford to overlook even minor issues with structural integrity. Failure can lead to catastrophic building collapse, loss of life, and severe property damage. With post-tensioned systems showing up everywhere, repair work on the systems has become increasingly vital for commercial building maintenance. Contact The Valcourt Group today to learn more and find support with a leading post-tension company.