What Are the Various Types of Commercial Plaza Repairs?

Adam Robinson | Apr 12, 2022

To increase the curb appeal of your property, maintaining your commercial plaza to its fullest potential is vital. The use of plaza decks can completely transform a space. They can be at ground level, on rooftops, or even below ground level. 

Plaza decks create a communal space for building occupants, making a higher return on investment than a building without this additional space. Depending on the source, there is a strong ROI of more than 500% for building preventative maintenance. 

Routine and preventative maintenance and concrete repair will extend the life of your plaza deck. Early diagnosis of issues will save money and avoid the need for a total replacement. Below are typical commercial plaza repairs that you will encounter. 

Sheet Waterproofing Systems

Sheet waterproofing systems protect your commercial plaza, subjected to the harshest weather and water conditions. They are dependable and long-lasting solutions for waterproofing commercial buildings. Being able to resist extreme situations is vital for complete protection. 

Every building has components that need to be protected from the elements. Therefore every building needs commercial waterproofing services. Because plaza decks preserve the structure and the space below, extra care must be taken when choosing the commercial waterproofing system

Whichever system you choose, it must have waterproof seams and flashing,  be tough and puncture-resistant, and should also be resistant to root growth.

Building owners need to know a few things about the different sheet waterproofing systems and their uses or value in making commercial plaza repairs.

Hot-Applied Versus Cold Fluid-Applied Waterproofing Systems

As reported by gb&D magazine, “depending on the project, commercial builders, designers, and architects will find numerous waterproofing products out there that may work for their project. Liquid-applied waterproofing is typically preferred, but choosing cold vs. hot-applied liquid waterproofing is a common question, as each has benefits for certain scenarios.”

Rubberized asphalt is used in hot fluid-applied commercial waterproofing systems. Technicians must apply multiple layers for complete protection, which creates a more complex project than a cold-applied system, which is simpler to use. 

Mistakes are more likely to occur due to the additional labor required in hot fluid-applied waterproofing installation. Hot applied fluid can also create a safety issue and may require special permitting. It also can cause an undesirable odor. 

Cold fluid-applied can handle lower weather temperatures and are also more flexible. It can withstand greater loads and has less room for error when being installed.

Many cold fluid-applied waterproofing systems are flammable, and field service vendors must take precautions. These systems also take a longer time to cure.

Planter Waterproofing

Planters are on top of the concrete and feature plants, vegetation, and soil. The waterproofing membranes must withstand root growth, compromising their ability to protect the surface. It works as a natural barrier for green roofs and planters. To protect against root growth, an additional layer is always a good idea. 

If using a hot-applied liquid, an additional layer of protection is required to ensure proper commercial building waterproofing

Horizontal Versus Vertical Waterproofing

Horizontal waterproofing is the application of the waterproof membrane over a flat surface, typically above ground. It creates protection against moisture infiltration by creating an impermeable seal. Horizontal waterproofing is crucial in keeping buildings structural and dry.

Horizontal waterproofing is not one size fits all. The structure will need to be assessed to develop the best fit for your needs. 

Vertical waterproofing is for below-grade structures, therefore may not be needed for all buildings. Like horizontally, it also protects the structure from moisture by creating a waterproof barrier. Below-grade systems are more prone to moisture infiltration from the soil and underground, seeping through cracks and imperfections. This can cause all types of damage, such as mold and mildew. If you have a below-grade structure, ensure that you speak with a professional for the best solution. 

There can be challenges to vertical waterproofing. Once installed, it is much harder to access for repairs. 

Expansion Joint Repairs

Expansion joints are spaces in concrete slabs that reach through to the foundation material. It allows the slab to expand and contract naturally, due to temperature change, without cracking. The expansion joint must be waterproof and allow for movement. 

While the expansion joints in your concrete floor are intended to absorb and release the tension caused by expansion, they can break in severe circumstances. Extensive cracks can spread across your floor if these joints are not there, causing significant damage. Buckled pavers are the result of improperly installed or damaged expansion joints. The pavers are not only unattractive but can pose a safety risk as well. 

If you detect a crack, it’s time to repair it as soon as possible. Improving an expansion joint is much more feasible than repairing a concrete slab. 

Caulking & Sealants

Commercial caulking and sealants seal cracks and gaps that create a space for moisture, rodents, and air to seem into the structure. When it comes to commercial building waterproofing, it is vital to consider which commercial waterproofing products to use. Plaza waterproofing systems are required due to the deck’s ongoing exposure to the elements. As a result, caulking and sealant must be able to withstand all sorts of weather. Correcting caulking and sealant mistakes is time-consuming and expensive. Using the proper sealant and caulking is a preventative strategy that will save you money in the long run.

The two main products for plaza waterproofing are silicone and polyurethane. They are flexible materials that allow building expansion and contracting. They are both waterproofing agents for cracks and gaps. The type of commercial caulking sealants needed depends on the structure and needs of your specific building. 

The commercial waterproofing products will keep maintenance and repair costs to a minimum, create a barrier against the elements by providing an extra layer of protection, create a watertight seal, maintain an appealing aesthetic, and finally, extend the life of the structure.

When choosing which product to go with, keep in mind all safety and health hazards that can go along with it while ensuring that all safety protocols are followed.

Paver Repair And Re-Leveling

Pavers are the surface level of your deck. Time and pavers are not typically the best of friends. As time goes by, the ground shifts, creating unlevel surfaces and sunken pavers. Pavers are usually secured in compacted sand which shifts over time, causing the unlevel surface. The need for paver repair and releveling could also result from poor installation. However, either way, the problem needs to be addressed and is one of the more straightforward repairs to perform. 

Remove the damaged paver to address the sand, or other material, underneath. Once removed, the sand needs to be restructured, solidified, and leveled. Replace the damaged paver and confirm it is level and secure. When replacing any part of the structure, the replacement must be the same size to fit perfectly. It is best to consult a professional to avoid any mistakes in removal and installation.

Concrete Repair and Restoration

Because your commercial plaza is constantly exposed, the condition can deteriorate over time. There are many visible signs to be aware of that indicate the need for concrete repair and restoration. Visible damage to walls in the interior or exterior, uneven concrete, doors, and windows not opening and closing correctly, dipping in flooring, cracks in concrete, and moisture pooling. All of these signs can indicate the need for concrete repair and restoration.

The most effective way to repair a structure’s degradation is to reinforce it. Using concrete strengthening products is a way to reinforce concrete and increase its lifespan. Always consult a professional for engineering and construction.

Streamline Plaza Deck Repairs With The JOBS Group

Commercial plazas have the unique opportunity to create a communal space for building occupants, making a higher return on investment than a building without this additional space. It is a complex system that requires experience across all boards. Experience means knowledge of materials and unique conditions, such as a rooftop plaza versus ground-level plazas.

Every commercial plaza has its own needs, so don’t settle for a one-size-fits-all company. Streamlining your deck’s repairs has never been easier! Request a consultation with The Valcourt Group today for a design plan tailored to your plaza’s needs!

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