A parking garage has the potential to be one of the most profitable ventures around. It needs little in the way of staff and provides an essential service. Once you’ve finished a commercial paint job to make the exterior look great, you have an asset that can profit consistently every month.
Although the cost of parking attendants is likely your biggest expense, parking garage maintenance easily comes in at number two. A parking garage is a heavily used structure that has to stand up to traffic day in and day out.
What’s more, the public doesn’t always treat the confines of a parking garage with much respect. In addition to occasional accidents, you might see vandalism and other unwanted behavior that can damage your surfaces.
While you can’t control everything that might happen in a parking garage, it’s important to uphold a high standard for maintenance. It keeps your personnel and the public safer and helps to protect you from liability.
Your maintenance doesn’t start and end with paving or safety features; however, it’s also crucial to be sure you are deploying the right protective coatings that will keep your facility performing well.
Protective Coatings 101: What You Need to Know to Save Money in Your Parking Garage
The right protective coatings can substantially reduce your maintenance investment over time by keeping your surfaces clean, good-looking, and intact. Protective coatings safeguard your building’s interior and exterior from the elements and the mishaps that can befall you due to constant vehicle traffic.
A parking garage is unusual because it straddles the line between a commercial and industrial building. There are relatively few areas in a parking structure that will impress people with luxurious looks, but the flooring must have superior compressive strength and abrasion resistance.
Protective coatings become even more vital in self-service facilities! Because of the higher incidence of minor accidents and irresponsible behavior, you can expect surfaces to experience a great deal more wear and tear.
Knowing all this, your coating strategy will not be the same as the one employed in a retail store, a restaurant, or an office. You should explore a variety of coating options, including those meant for extreme environments.
What coatings are used in a parking garage? Don’t overlook these options:
1. Epoxy Flooring Systems
Standard concrete often isn’t enough when it comes to flooring for a parking garage. Untreated concrete will wear out far too soon, and polished concrete lacks the traction necessary to make smooth turns in the confined spaces of a busy garage. Epoxy flooring increases the strength of the floor in several key ways while ensuring the underlying slab is protected from damage, usually for the lifespan of the facility.
2. Safety Painting
Your parking garage must meet all relevant safety standards set by the federal government and by officials in your state. You may also have additional striping or other safety features to help people navigate your garage and the surroundings, particularly at night. Safety paint shows up very effectively on epoxy floors. Specialized primers can be used on your walls so striping and signage are visible.
3. Waterproofing and Sealing
Since many parking garages are made principally of concrete, waterproofing is essential to their long-term well-being. Particularly in cold climates, moisture can undergo freeze-thaw cycles in concrete that cause significant damage within a short time. Unsightly cracks can have serious implications if they are not fixed. Waterproofing can help you win the battle against severe weather and may even protect your building’s foundation.
Planning Your Parking Garage Coating Project
To get the most from your project, start by ensuring you are working with a professional team that offers plenty of experience. You should solicit bids from multiple contractors, but beware of the lowest bids, which suggest a team may cut corners to get the job done. Ask plenty of questions and be sure you get full, satisfying answers.
Remember that you will get the most value from your project if a primer coat is used. A primer coat means the project will take longer, effectively doubling the application time. However, coatings will last longer, look better, and be easier to maintain, so it is a sound business decision to go for the investment.
Be aware of the curing process and how long it may take. New flooring systems must be completely cured and ready before they are used, which can take up to three days in some cases. Some wall projects can be allowed to dry while the facility is still in use, but it is often best to suspend operations until all work is complete.
With the right preparation, a parking garage can practically run itself. Superior coating quality is one step to ensure maintenance is manageable and motorists choose your facility frequently even when they have options.