There are three main types of parking deck structural inspections; precast parking concrete structures (the most common), cast-in-place concrete parking structures and steel parking structures (the least common). Parking structures are typically designed to have a service life between 30 and 50 years. The actual service life will vary depending on environmental conditions the deck is exposed to and the amount of maintenance and upkeep provided.
The Precast/Prestress Concrete Institute (PCI) produced a guide for the maintenance of precast parking structures titled, “Maintenance Manual for Precast Parking Structures”. The manual provides excellent guidelines for a property owner/manager to formulate the proper maintenance and structural inspection program of the most common type of parking structure, the precast concrete parking deck. The intent of the program is to extend the service life of the structure and minimize the opportunity for structural failures.
The structural engineers at Structural Innovations perform structural inspections of parking decks. Initially, we perform a detailed structural observation at the start of nondestructive, structural inspections. The intent of the structural observation is to assess levels of cracking, spalling, discoloration, and other forms of visual defects. ACI 228.2R regards the following as typical activities during a visual inspection evaluation…
Parking Deck Structural Inspection Activities
- Cursory “walk-through” observation to become familiar with the structure;
- Gathering background documents and information on the design, construction, ambient conditions, and operation of the structure;
- Planning the complete investigation;
- Laying out a control grid on the structure to serve as a basis for recording observations;
- Conducting the visual observation
We will then evaluate the results of the structural observation and formulate the proper repair and maintenance plan. Our engineers will work with building owners and property managers to implement the maintenance plan to help extend the life of their parking deck.