A Board’s Ultimate Guide To Condo Parking Garages

condo parking garage

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Your condo parking garage has structural and water management components requiring maintenance. Understanding the most common components makes it easier to plan your maintenance budget. Here we provide your ultimate guide to common parking garage components and risks.

Understanding Condo Parking Garage Slabs

In most cases you will have a combination of the following “slabs”:

  • Slab-on-grade: This garage surface is built directly on the ground. They do not need waterproofing.
  • Suspended slab: These slabs are located above the ground level and need reinforcement as well as waterproofing membranes to protect the floors below.
  • Roof Deck/Slab: As the name implies this is the upper most slab. It is suspended and exposed to the elements, so it requires a waterproofing membrane. In some cases it also has asphalt finishes, walkways, curbs, and landscaping to maintain.

These are the major surfaces of the parking garage.

Common Parking Garage Components

Your parking garage most likely also has the following components:

  • Columns and Beams: These elements support the load of the cars as part of the foundation and footing.
  • Expansion Joints: These joints contend with thermal movement of the parking garage.

Together these components provide support for your garage and tend to be vulnerable to leaks.

Draining and Waterproofing

Last but definitely not least are the draining and waterproofing elements of the garage including:

  • Mastic Waterproofing: This provides a modified asphalt water-resistive barrier.
  • Elastomeric Waterproofing: This water-resistive system is used to protect concrete slab surfaces.
  • Drains: Drains are placed at low points to manage water pooling on slabs.

Proper draining and waterproofing are key to reducing corrosion and damage.

Identifying Major Risks

Identifying common major risks for your garage is the most important aspect of your strategy. These include:

  • Delamination: Delamination occurs when embedded reinforcing steel bars corrode. As they expand it leads to cracks and separation, causing “spalled” concrete.
  • De-Bonded Waterproofing: The waterproofing on the topside of a concrete slab can lead to issues if not properly prepared. As a result the waterproofing membrane “de-bonds” from the slab allowing for concrete contamination.• Chloride Contaminated Concrete: De-icing salts produce chloride contaminated water which can penetrate your garage slab waterproofing membrane. This corrodes the reinforcing steel.
    • Carbonation Contamination in Concrete: Carbon dioxide reacts with moisture in the concrete forming calcium carbonate over time. As a result, the pH level of the concrete decreases which can also corrode the reinforcing steel.

As you can see, the elements and exposure to contaminants are major contributors to garage deterioration.

Regular Assessments

Although it is common to defer major repairs such as the garage, looking for signs of deterioration is a must. When you identify leaking and cracks you can make budget friendly repairs to help put off costly replacement. Your strategy should help avoid contamination of the slab and costly corrosion of the reinforcing steel. Therefore, you should schedule targeted Condition Assessments to spot major risks. A proactive approach ensures your reserve fund takes your parking garage needs into account.

At CPO Management, a property management company in Toronto and the GTA, we can help reduce parking garage repair and replacement challenges and ensure finances are always available. Contact us today.

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