Many owners of parking facilities implement proactive maintenance programs with the goals of minimizing lifecycle costs, minimizing operational impacts during repairs, and providing safe parking facilities. Setting appropriate budgets, creating maintenance reserve funds, and routinely performing assessments, along with regularly performed maintenance and repairs are critical to assuring that the expected service life of a facility is achieved.
There are typically three types of maintenance programs for parking facilities – routine, preventive and replacement. Below is a brief outline of each type of maintenance.
Routine maintenance (housekeeping) occurs daily, monthly or annually and ensures the safe and proper daily operations of the facility. Routine maintenance includes:
- Sweeping, cleaning and power washing floors;
- Local maintenance of joint sealant, traffic deck coating, expansion joints, stair towers, elevators, drainage system, lighting and painting;
- Regular inspections by Owner / Operator; and
- Miscellaneous maintenance
Preventive maintenance protects the Owner’s capital investment by preventing major repairs and includes:
- Annual engineer observations and, if deemed necessary, a condition appraisal;
- A comprehensive engineering survey followed by the development of restoration documents and construction administration (this is typically performed every three to five years; however, it may be required more often at the beginning of a maintenance program or if the structure is in poor condition);
- Local repair of structural members; and
- Global replacement, installation or application of joint sealant, penetrating sealer, traffic deck coating, expansion joints, and supplemental drains and piping.
Replacement maintenance includes the replacement of elements / systems that reach the end of their useful service life, such as:
- Drainage system;
- Lighting system;
- Mechanical ventilation system;
- Fire protection system;
- Elevator system;
- Parking equipment; and
- Security system
Parking structure maintenance strategies should be implemented as early as possible after new construction. A detailed and comprehensive maintenance plan, established and properly implemented from the facility’s opening, establishes the first line of defense against minor and major structural problems resulting from normal “wear and tear”.
While some owners and parking facility operators do not have a maintenance plan in place, it is never too late to begin to identify and manage potential problems. Having an experienced restoration engineer perform a simple walk-through appraisal is a great start. The engineer can assess concerns associated with the facility’s age, structural system, and construction quality. Strategies can then be established to remedy the issues and develop a comprehensive maintenance plan.
*Federal, State, and Local codes govern most of these requirements and should be thoroughly investigated. Data presented herein should be considered guidelines only. For more specific information and assistance with implementation of these guidelines, please contact THA Consulting, Inc. via email at firstname.lastname@example.org