Turn up The Heat, Really – Its the cold thats destroying my garages Don’t wait until you have to call in the “ghosts”


Turn up The Heat, Really – Its the cold thats destroying my garages Don’t wait until you have to call in the “ghosts”

This is from my guest blogger, Mike Klein of the Albany Parking Authority:

Its hot in the summer, but its the 60 inches of snow annually that raises havoc with our garages. Two of them are over 20 years old. The
average winter here in Central New York translates into a lot a road salt being dragged into the
garages on car tires.  Also, over the life of the garages, contrary to current
engineering recommendations to use non-salt deicers, a sand/salt mix had been used to
melt and remove ice.  As a result, concrete deterioration, scaling, spalling,
and rebar corrosion are an ongoing concern that needs to be

shown our Board of Directors photo’s of garages that have had structural
failures in sister cities of Syracuse and Rochester; and after doing condition
surveys and creating project plans we have embarked on a 5 year renovation
sweat on theworkers brow in the photo shows the kind of work being done now during year one – and you thought
you had it bad dealing with people that park illegally and then complain about
getting ticketed or towed! Consider the problem of workers in 100 degree heat, jackhammering your garage.  Better to do it know than having a Mercedes fall through the floor. Don’t think it happens? Guess again.

The worst problems for garages is spalling that takes place when the rebar gets wet and rusts. This happens when very small cracks get salt and water in them, freeze, then get larger and the water gets to the rebar.  The rebar expands when it rusts and voila, concrete falls off the structure and smashes a Hummer.  As the destruction continues, the rebar weakens and finally, the whole thing comes tumbling down.

The first line of defense is to keep the floors sealed and clean. The second is to repair cracks as soon as they appear, the third, and here’s where it gets costly, is to remove the concrete, clean and seal the rebar, and then replace the concrete.  Item three is the killer. 

Read about our project here.

Then go out and hose down your garage, particularly in the winter (get that dirt and salt out of there).  Inspect it for cracks, replace the sealers and the sealant. 

Oh, the ghosts — have you ever seen how engineers find the rebar that is spalling before you can see it. They drag chains across the floor and can tell by the sound where the rebar is bad.  They usually do this at night when the garage is empty.  The site of bent over men dragging chains across a garage floor at midnight is reminiscent of those ghostly stories you hear around a campfire…


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John Van Horn

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