Return on Investment: Maximizing the Life of Your Precast Parking Structure

A precast parking structure represents a significant financial investment, and ensuring its longevity is paramount to maximizing the return on your investment. The Shockey Precast Group is able to provide parking structures that meet a 50-year life expectancy; however, achieving that life expectancy is dependent upon the owner following a regular schedule of maintenance activities. Because the structural components of a parking structure are exposed directly to the weather and other environmental conditions, establishing a routine maintenance program for the parking structure is important to the long-term durability of the structure.  In addition to increasing the service life of the structure, a properly executed maintenance program provides and more user-friendly atmosphere — which promotes repeat business and discourages littering and loitering. While SPG does not publish an operations and maintenance manual for the precast components of the garage, there are several publications available that outline requirements for a successful parking structure maintenance and operations.  Two of the industry-leading publications are:

 

  • Maintenance Manual for Precast Parking Structures, published by the Precast/Prestress Concrete Institute 209 West Jackson Boulevard Chicago IL 6006, Phone 312-786-0300. This publication is available at http://www.pci.org.
  • Parking Garage Maintenance Manual, Fourth Edition, published by the National Parking Association, 1112 16th Street NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036, Phone 800-647-PARK.  This publication is available for a fee at http://www.npapark.org.

 

As with any publication, the specific instructions provided in these documents must be compared to the design considerations made in the development of the precast for specific structures.  The publications are intended for use by professional personnel competent to evaluate the significance and limitations of its contents and able to accept responsibility for the application of the material it contains.

The most pervasive problem SPG has encountered with maintenance on parking structures is improper snow and ice removal. Steel-bladed snow removal equipment will damage the precast unless the blades are fitted with rubber or wooden blade attachments.  Even with protected blades, care must be used to remove snow and ice from the structure. Immediate repair of cracks and timely replacement of joint sealants will help to maintain protection of the connections between the precast components. If the owner develops and executes a sound operations and maintenance program, the parking structure will achieve its intended purpose for the duration of its service life.