Downside Solved: How Co-op and Rental Boards Can Stop Storage Decay

Feb. 22, 2022

As a part of our Downside Solved collection, Habitat spoke with Mitch Frumkin, president and founding father of Kipcon Engineering. 

For co-op and rental boards, a parking storage generally is a prized amenity and an important supply of revenue. However neglect can flip these facilities into liabilities. In your engineering work, do your purchasers are inclined to ignore issues of their parking garages earlier than they name you?

Yeah, usually they do ignore it, I feel as a result of typically they do not understand the straightforward issues to search for that create issues. So that they do ignore the potential for issues. Completely.

Do boards have to have specialists readily available to examine their garages regularly? Or is it one thing they’ll deal with on their very own? 

It is an attention-grabbing query as a result of usually to do the inspection you actually do not want an engineer. You want an engineer to repair it. I can share a few footage with you that present you that it’s extremely straightforward to see if in case you have an issue.


This primary one may be very, quite common. That is the worst factor you are able to do since you’re recognizing the issue after which masking it up. This can be a parking storage the place you’ll be able to see within the entrance of the image {that a} metal beam that’s flaking away, after which within the background you see a balloon tarp. That balloon tarp is there as a result of water is coming by the deck and dripping onto automobiles. So as a substitute of determining how one can repair it, they put a tarp there to direct the water away from the automobiles. As quickly as I see a balloon tarp like this, I get very nervous about what’s behind it, as a result of it is usually fairly dangerous. A moist automobile just isn’t the issue; it’s an indication that you’ve got an issue.

So what are folks alleged to search for once they take that stroll round their parking garages searching for bother?

Water is what creates the issues. Water is carried in from automobiles once they drive by snow or get moist within the rain. Within the subsequent image you’ll be able to see what’s known as a waffle slab from beneath:


Water has come by, and it will get into the concrete, and then you definately begin seeing the indicators of rusting. You see brown within the concrete. When water will get into the concrete, it begins rusting the reinforcing metal, which expands and cracks the concrete. However the first signal is brown stains on the concrete. Take into accout, going again to what we mentioned earlier than, that when that reinforcing metal will get moist and also you see the rusting, you recognize you may have an issue. You are in numerous bother since you’re going from a really comparatively easy, cheap repair to a really, very costly repair. You might be going from a couple of thousand {dollars} to a couple million {dollars}, consider it or not.

The following image exhibits what’s known as an growth joint: 


You see one thing that is masking the growth joint, and also you see water that is sitting there. So, what does that imply? It means, to start with, that water’s entering into the parking storage and, second of all, that the water goes someplace. Probably the most widespread failures we see is these growth joints, which hold the concrete from cracking by increasing and contracting as temperatures rise and fall. However once they develop and contract, additionally they create spots the place they do not cease the water. So that is what it appears like from the highest.

And right here’s what it appears like from the underside:


You see the rusting structural metal. We’ve seen garages the place the metal is so severely rusted that it truly disappears. It’s all attributable to water. 

It appears there is a rule of thumb right here: Should you ignore small issues in a storage, they’ll turn out to be huge issues. Is that right?

Completely. Search for water. And search for brown stains. material/Constructing-Operations/2022/2022-February/Downside-Solved-How-Co-op-and-Rental-Boards-Can-Stop-Storage-Decay

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