In Parking Structures, Maintenance is a Major Concern

March 8, 2005
A recent survey of parking professionals reveals worry over deterioration
Structural Group, a Baltimore-based specialty contracting firm, recently partnered with Parking Today magazine to conduct a survey of parking professionals. The online survey garnered response from 750 individuals and revealed findings that maintenance and the durability of parking structures are primary concerns for facility managers.Brian Gallagher, director of marketing at Structural Group, stated that an increasing number of property owners are becoming aware of the condition of their parking structures and of the potential impact that deterioration may have over time. “The unmistakable symptoms of corrosion are recognizable, but the root cause of the problem must be addressed and corrected to ensure the long-term value of the structure and protect the owner’s investment,” says Gallagher. “However, we also recognize the importance of understanding the greater forces influencing the industry in terms of decision-making, budgets, and philosophies as related to the design, construction, repair, and maintenance of today’s facilities.”Highlights of the survey findings follow:With regard to the design and construction of new facilities, respondents ranked durability as most important. Fifty-five (55) percent of respondents expect their facility to last more than 25 years, 17 percent expect a lifetime of 20 to 25 years, with 15 percent hoping for 16 to 20 years. Approximately 10 percent expect to get a mere 10 to 15 years from their structure, while 4 percent expect between 5 and 9 years.To obtain information about maintenance, 58 percent rely on architects, engineers, and/or consultants.Forty-six (46) percent of respondents reported that they were involved in selecting the structural system. They cited cost, durability of materials, and recommendation of the consultant as the key factors in their decision making.Almost 45 percent of respondents stated that they engage in regular facility inspections twice a year, while 40 percent inspect on a yearly basis, and 5 percent every other year. The other 10 percent accounts for people who inspect their facility either once every 5 years (3 percent) or never (7 percent).Approximately 35 percent of maintenance dollars are spent on annual maintenance, 33 percent goes to preventative maintenance and inspection, and 32 percent goes to reactive repairs. Only 7 percent of maintenance dollars are spent on architectural enhancements. Although the average amount spent of maintenance is 49 percent of respondents’ total operating budgets, it accounts for only 14 percent of total revenue expenditures.Respondents cited the following trends in design, construction, and renovation for the next 5 years, including: growth in construction costs; facilities that either blend in or complement the surrounding area; multi-use facilities that offer retail or restaurant space on the first floor of the garage; secure facilities that are still aesthetically pleasing; more innovative parking garage design to help maintain construction budgets through material costs; and the need for more parking due to downtown revitalization projects.This information was provided by Structural Group, a specialty contracting firm that delivers services, systems, and technologies for the construction, repair, and strengthening of concrete, steel, masonry, timber, and soils. For more information on the repair of concrete parking structures, visit ( Parking Today is a leading trade journal for members of the parking industry covering all aspects of the market from garage design and construction, to operations, personnel, maintenance, and security. To find out more about Parking Today, log on to (

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