WHY IS IT RAINING INSIDE MY PARKING STRUCTURE?

 

WHY IS IT RAINING INSIDE MY PARKING STRUCTURE?
Ever wonder why it is raining inside your parking structure? Well, it is a sign that your parking structure needs attention. Water is the number one cause of parking structure deterioration. Water-saturated concrete can freeze, expand, and spall. Combined with oxygen, water can also cause corrosion of the concrete reinforcing. Exposure to deicing salts accelerates this process. Reinforcing steel expands as it rusts, leading to concrete spalling. Spalled concrete provides less cover or protection of the structure which leads to further (and accelerated) deterioration if not repaired in a timely manner.

The top level of your parking structure not only provides possibly the least desirable parking spaces, it serves as the roof of the facility. Controlling water in the form of rain or melting snow at this level is the least expensive way to extend the life of your parking structure and minimize maintenance costs. Controlling the water runoff involves shedding water to drains as quickly as possible. Ponding water is unacceptable as it saturates the concrete and leaks to lower levels. The installation of supplemental drains can easily and permanently address ponding. Urethane joint sealant at the top level is exposed to UV Sunlight and tends to break down within a few years. The breakdown of this product leads to cracks in the sealant allowing leaks to the levels below. This leads to degradation at the lower levels like that described above at the top level.

Therefore, it is important to visually inspect joint sealants annually and budget joint sealant replacement approximately every three years at the top level. Urethane joint sealant replacement will cost approximately $4.50 per linear foot but provides one of the best Return On Investment (ROI) when it comes to parking structure maintenance.

Given the accelerated rate of parking structure deterioration, this is cheap insurance against having to perform more expensive repairs in the future.

IEI STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING ADVANTAGE
The engineers at IEI specialize in parking structure restoration. They will be glad to walk your facility and let you know why it is raining in your parking structure, if there are any conditions that require immediate attention, and what maintenance activities you can perform now to extend the life of your facility. Give them a call today.