Rockville, MD – If you told me last week how much upkeep a parking garage needs, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. The massive structure next to Shady Grove Station on the Washington Metro line is only twelve years old. However, since it’s a popular stop that feeds into the second largest metro system in the country (behind New York) the garage supports a great deal of traffic. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has an annual budget for restoration. An attentive survey engineer will assess each building WMTA owns. For this particular building, Concrete Protection and Restoration (CPR) is putting their 10 best workers on the job to ensure the garage is adequate restoration.
Parking decks are generally made using Double-T construction in precast molds. As Sika sales representative Randall Kratz explained to us, these blocks basically fit together like an erector set. Although they may fit together nicely, the tricky part is designing these blocks to have an even distribution of support. An uneven distribution can cause a variety of problems, including cracks, joint separation, and uneven matchings. Have you ever tripped on a lip on the floor of a parking garage? You may not be as clumsy as you think. Luckily, companies like CPR can fix these problems.
Cracks, both structural and superficial, can have serious impacts on a parking garage. Concrete and steel have a wonderful symbiotic relationship as the alkalinity of the concrete prevents steel erosion, while steel provides additional structural support for the concrete. This relationship is compromised by cracks, as water and air reach the steel, causing rust. So, concrete restoration is important in extending the lifetime of a structure. CPR uses Sika products, such as Sikadur and Sikaflex depending on the situation, to fill these dangerous cracks.
CPR also uses a process called shotblasting, which involves pelting mismatched concrete blocks with small metal balls. They then apply Sikalastic 715 to the porous concrete. The result is a smooth, level, waterproof parking deck. Now you don’t have to pretend that stumble was on purpose.
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