Parking Garage Maintenance: What to Do to Prevent High-Cost Structural Repairs?

Dec 19, 2023

Parking garages face unique challenges due to their constant exposure to vehicular traffic, environmental elements, and heavy loads. As a result, they require diligent, routine attention for basic upkeep like cleaning, lighting, and proactive structural care. This preventative maintenance, as well as responsive repairs, are essential for ensuring safety, preserving profitability, and maintaining property value.

Investing in routine parking garage maintenance also ensures smaller issues are resolved before they become larger —and much more costly— structural repairs. Especially noteworthy is the increased adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), often 30% heavier than traditional gas-powered cars, adding an extra layer of stress to parking structures.

A recent assessment of four parking garages in Asheville, NC, found they needed over $11 million in repairs, and continued deferred maintenance could lead to structure collapse. This article contrasts regular maintenance costs with extensive repairs due to neglect, underscoring the importance of proactive care for parking structures.

Parking Garage Essential Maintenance Practices

Parking garage maintenance should be a top priority. Here are some best practices for knowing where and what to look for and the action needed to maintain the facility and avoid the high costs of more extensive repairs.

  1. Monitoring for Leaks, Spills, and Damage: Vigilantly checking for any signs of leaks, spills, or structural damage and addressing these issues promptly to prevent minor problems from escalating into significant concerns.
  2. Structural Assessments: Regular structural assessments identify potential issues before they escalate into major problems.
  3. Sealing and Waterproofing: Applying sealants protects against water infiltration, which can lead to corrosion and concrete deterioration.
  4. Pressure Washing and Debris Removal: Regular cleaning and debris removal prevent the accumulation of materials that can hide potential issues. Keeping garages clean and pressure washed every 6-12 months helps expose underlying issues that, if unaddressed, could escalate into significant damages.
  5. Lighting Maintenance: Ensuring proper lighting is crucial for safety and helps identify potential issues needing attention.
  6. Entrance and Exit Gate Maintenance: Regular checks and repairs of gates help promote smooth traffic flow and security.
  7. Booth Maintenance: Confirm that the attendant booths are in good condition and functional.
  8. Elevator and Stair Maintenance: Maintenance of elevators and stairs is crucial for safety and accessibility, preventing breakdowns and potential accidents.

The repercussions of disregarding these standard practices can be dire for your building’s tenants, employees, and visitors.

Case Study: The Tragic Collapse of a Manhattan Parking Garage

In April 2023, Lower Manhattan witnessed a catastrophic collapse of a four-story parking garage on Ann Street. This tragic incident, resulting in one fatality and multiple injuries, highlighted the disastrous consequences of neglecting parking garage maintenance.

The building, dating back to 1925, had a history of structural issues, including cracked and spalling concrete. This failure underscored the risks of deferred maintenance, particularly in structures constantly exposed to elements like water and road salts, which can accelerate concrete deterioration.

This case is a stark reminder of the importance of regular, comprehensive structural assessments to prevent such disasters. It emphasizes the need for property owners to prioritize the safety and integrity of their parking facilities, ensuring compliance with inspection laws to safeguard against potential structural failures.

Valcourt’s Comprehensive Maintenance Solutions

Valcourt offers specialized maintenance services tailored for parking garages with a consistent maintenance plan designed to address all aspects impacting the life cycle of the garage. Our approach enhances the parking garage’s structural health, aesthetic appeal, and safety to ensure you get the most out of your investment.

  1. Leak Investigation & Repair: Expertise in swiftly identifying and addressing water infiltration, preventing extensive damage, and preserving building value.
  2. Pressure Washing: We effectively remove tough stains and spills commonly found in parking garages, utilizing eco-friendly methods and specialized techniques for various surfaces.
  3. Waterproofing: Diverse waterproofing services, from traffic coatings to membranes, are crucial for long-term protection against moisture and chemical intrusion.
  4. Concrete Strengthening: Enhancing structural longevity through advanced strengthening systems, adapting to changing loads and building standards.
  5. Stairwell Handrail Repair & Replacement: Ensuring safety and compliance with changing codes through expert handrail services.
  6. Traffic Coatings: Specialized coatings protect and extend the life of high-traffic areas, offering resistance against environmental and mechanical stress.
  7. Concrete Repair and Restoration: We offer comprehensive services for structural integrity restoration, addressing everything from expansion joint replacement to decorative coatings.
  8. Emergency Leak Repair: Rapid response to leakage issues caused by various factors, ensuring a safe and functional environment.
  9. Plaza Deck Repair and Maintenance: Specialized in managing the unique challenges of plaza decks, from waterproofing to finish replacements, emphasizing the minimal impact on occupants and guests.
  10. Post-Tension Repair: We provide advanced post-tensioning techniques to help address critical issues such as tendon oxidation due to water infiltration.

As we’ve explored the critical aspects of parking garage maintenance, it’s evident that routine care and expert intervention are pivotal for staying ahead of wear and tear.

Regular Maintenance, The Key to Parking Garage Longevity

Regular and proactive maintenance of parking garages is crucial to avoid high-cost structural repairs. By adhering to standard maintenance practices and utilizing the specialized services offered by Valcourt, property managers can safeguard their investments and ensure the safety and longevity of their parking structures. 

Consistent care and attention to detail in parking garage maintenance can significantly extend the structure’s longevity, enhance its functionality, and maintain its aesthetic appeal. This approach minimizes the likelihood of costly repairs and ensures a safer environment for users, contributing to the overall value and appeal of the property. Contact Valcourt today for a comprehensive maintenance plan tailored to your parking garage’s needs that will help protect your valuable asset for years.

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