traffic coating

Traffic Coatings: The Benefits of Parking Deck Coating Systems

Concrete is a highly durable material that provides lasting strength in a variety of applications. Its dependability is why building designers use concrete surfaces to construct parking garages, decks, and walkways. However, high-traffic areas get damaged over time due to moisture, chemical intrusion, and exposure to the elements. Foot and vehicle traffic tracks in salts, oils, and other debris, which can cause concrete to crack, break, and erode. This deterioration can lead to expensive maintenance projects down the road. Because of that, most building owners take preventative measures to protect concrete, especially in high-traffic areas. This article explores the advantages of traffic coatings and how professional technicians can help prolong the longevity of concrete surfaces at your building.

What are Traffic Coatings?

Traffic coatings refer to applying a specialized protective layer onto concrete explicitly used in high-traffic areas like vehicles and pedestrian areas. These products protect concrete surfaces against the intrusion of moisture and chemicals, helping to prevent substantial deterioration. Various types of traffic coating systems are available, and they range in pricing, installation requirements, and overall capabilities. The main goals are to create a moisture barrier that helps protect concrete from exposure to adverse climates and debris. 

What is the Purpose of Traffic Coating for Concrete?

Parking decks get exposed to a variety of temperatures, especially if they are located in northern parts of the U.S. that experience extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the year. Seasonal weather patterns expose the concrete to ice, snow, and high heat, and vehicles track in salt, oils, and other debris that soaks into the concrete. The combination of weather and chemical intrusion adversely affects the integrity of concrete. These chemicals can also penetrate the steel, causing corrosion and rust, creating a whole other set of problems as this eventually requires a repair that probably costs a bundle. Since parking garages are considered high-traffic areas due to pedestrian and vehicle traffic, they are susceptible to deterioration. That is why traffic coatings offer solutions to help building owners protect their structures from the weather and debris carried into their facilities.

The Different Types of Traffic Coating Systems

This next section will list the different types of products used for traffic coatings and explore how their practical application provides distinct advantages.

Elastomeric Polyurethanes Systems

These polyurethane seals are perfect for parking garages that already have cracking, shrinkage, and other damage. This product is used as a stopgap to prevent further deterioration of structures, preventing concrete from being exposed to moisture and chlorides. This topcoat can improve the aesthetic look of older parking decks and ramps and offer skid resistance in the process. However, this system might need a further application, and it’s not an option building owners should utilize if they want extended service.

Epoxy Broadcast Systems

This covering option is popular among building owners as it’s a cost-effective solution that is relatively easy to apply, helping to reduce overall downtime. Epoxy broadcast systems are non-waterproof and are specifically designed for areas with moderate to heavy traffic. This system helps prevent concrete from the effects of mechanical movements.

Latex / Vinyl Copolymer Systems

This economical, non-odor sealer offers breathability for concrete. Aesthetically pleasing, the application resembles the actual color of concrete, and the sealant is highly permeable. The drawback, however, is that the product offers no waterproofing, and the product itself is prone to cracking and breaking. Therefore, this use is primarily for building owners looking for a temporary solution. 

Polyurethane Systems

This solution offers a strong waterproofing sealer that provides a variety of aesthetic options for building owners looking to style their high-traffic areas. The main advantage of polyurethane is that the material can help seal already-cracked concrete areas, preventing further damage to those areas. However, the material is also more difficult to install and is rather sensitive to moisture. Therefore, it is best for areas not directly exposed to the elements.

PMMA/PUMA Systems

Polyurethane-Methacrylate (PUMA) and Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) can be applied to concrete surfaces at low temperatures and offer rapid drying speeds, significantly reducing downtime for high-traffic areas. These materials produce a very pungent odor and must be applied in well-ventilated areas. PMMA/PUMA must be applied to dry surfaces and is less effective on wet concrete surfaces where it will not adhere properly. Also, these systems require the combination of multiple chemicals, and their proper mixture must be exact at the time of application.

Sealers

An economical option that is easy to apply directly to concrete surfaces, sealers are sprayed directly onto the existing concrete and do not change the aesthetic look of the material. Sealers are an excellent choice for building owners looking for an easy solution but one that requires a frequent application. Also, sealers do not offer waterproofing or skid resistance and are limited to where they provide the most service, mainly in new construction projects. 

Valcourt is the Expert for your Traffic Coatings Solutions

Traffic coatings help protect high-traffic areas, preserve the longevity of concrete structures, and provide an aesthetically pleasing look that will bring lasting building. These solutions help reduce long-term costs for repair and maintenance, helping your parking garage or walkways endure the elements and traffic for years to come. Valcourt is the trusted building service that thousands of companies depend on to maintain their properties. Regarding traffic coatings, Valcourt has you and your concrete covered. Give EDS a call today!

stone_refinishing

Professional Tips for Stone Refinishing of Architectural Surfaces

Some of the world’s most elegant buildings showcase their beauty with stonework, one of the most durable and long-lasting elements incorporated into structural designs for thousands of years. There is a reason why stone continues to be the primary material used by building designers for flooring, walls, countertops, and bathrooms: its aesthetic appeal and luster evoke an unmistakable sense of luxury. 

This article will look at the stone refinishing of architectural surfaces and offers some advice on how building owners can refinish their stonework to improve the overall customer satisfaction of visitors.

What Causes Damage to Natural Stone?

Stone finishes endure the same exposure to the natural elements as any other type of material used in the construction of buildings. The major difference, though, is that stone, being such a high-priced commodity when installed, requires regular maintenance and restoration to ensure that the material returns to the form of the original aesthetic. Wear and tear of stonework is normal, but building owners need to understand the kinds of things that can ultimately damage natural stone and how they can overcome these issues to successfully restore the stone to its natural condition.

Stun Marks

This damage occurs when stone experiences a strong impact that creates a discoloration on the surface. If you’ve ever struck two rocks together, you will have noticed a white discoloration that occurs when a stone is met with another sharp object. These sorts of hit marks can strike just the surface or penetrate the inner core of the stone.

Stains

Stone is a corrosive material that can be affected by oils, salt, and water. This natural material can get damaged relatively easily in buildings with stone walkways. Because of that, it would be wise to call upon a stone refinishing expert that can perform the proper treatment necessary to help polish out stains and bring back the luster of your stonework.

Temperature Fluctuations

Natural stone can chip, flake, and crack if exposed to extreme temperatures. Extreme heat conditions can cause thermal shock and damage the stone material’s integrity. Cold temperatures and melting snow can also cause the stone to crack when water becomes trapped within the porous stone.

Etching

When a stone’s surface is exposed to a corrosive chemical, etching may occur where the surface dissolves, changes colors, and leaves a noticeable etch mark. The best solution to repair etching is through proper floor polishing, which building owners or managers can schedule in advance and after hours to ensure your project completion with minimal downtime.

Scratches and Scuff Marks

High-traffic areas like staircases, patios, and lobbies are susceptible to wear and tear due to the salts, oil, and water tracked in from people. Similar to stun marks, scratches may develop on stone due to contact with another hard surface. Stone refinishing may require buffing to remove superficial scuff marks.

What Architectural Surfaces Most Likely Need Stone Refinishing?

Building owners use stone materials to accentuate the beauty in a variety of different places, such as:

What Types of Stone Need Refinishing?

Each type of stone requires special handling techniques to refinish stonework properly and, therefore, should be performed by experienced professionals with a track record of success in various building services. This next section shares a list of the most commonly used types of stoneworks used by commercial and residential builders, offering a brief description of the material and the service involved when conducting restoration.

Marble 

Marble is one of the most elegant stones used in countertops, vanities, floors, walls, and bathrooms. Marbles are generally harder than most other stones, but they are susceptible to the same type of wear and tear you commonly find with other materials. Proper maintenance will help keep your marble shiny and smooth, free of scratches or etching.

Slate

Slate offers rich beauty and textures, often providing an array of colors that give a rustic and sentimental ambiance. The material is somewhat porous and must be maintained with proper sealing and cleaning to prevent cracking and breaking.

Granite

Builders often choose this material for luxury kitchen countertops. Granite is the heaviest stone and also one of the most expensive. As a result, not all stone restoration companies will service this material, which is very susceptible to scratching. Valcourt offers various services for restoring your granite, such as sealing, stain removal, polishing, and scratch and etching repair.

Tile and Grout

Revitalize your bathroom by removing the soap scum, germs, and dirt embedded within your tile. Valcourt can help bring your tile’s luster back through a careful deep cleaning and restoration process that will sanitize, repair grout, properly waterproof and seal, and provide regular maintenance to prevent any long-term costs.

Terrazzo

This composite material consists of chips of stones such as quartz, granite, glass, and marble, bonded together through cement. The result is a unique look that elucidates flooring, walls, and countertops. Due to the variance in materials used in this composite, we recommend polishing terrazzo with a company with product expertise. Most professional stonework companies will research, plan, and sample the selected material to ensure that the implemented polishing technique is correct.

What are the Things to Look for in an Architectural Stone Refinishing Service?

Here are some things to look for when choosing an expert to help with stone refinishing.

Convenient Scheduling

Valcourt will schedule our maintenance when it’s most convenient for you and your building. We offer floor polishing any time of the day, and our dedicated night supervisor will help ensure that your project finishes on time with minimal downtime to your building.

Product Expertise

Our experienced building service professionals plan our work, sample your stone material, and provide custom solutions for each customer. All of our stone refinishing comes with regular service updates to help prevent premature wear and helps safeguard against costly replacement options.

Process Expertise

Stone refinishing may require buffing to remove superficial scuff marks. This process improves the aesthetics of your stone without compromising the integrity of the material.

Don’t Take Your Stone Surfaces for Granite, Call Valcourt!

Stone offers your building added beauty and value, but it requires constant maintenance to ensure that the material maintains its luster, strength, and integrity. Your building’s guests will appreciate a freshly polished stone floor and repair work done to remove unsightly scratch marks and etching. When it comes to stone restoration and refinishing, thousands of building owners call Valcourt Building Services. Valcourt is an all-inclusive building service provider specializing in waterproofing, restoration, stone refinishing, and structure repair. With over 35 years of industry experience, it’s easy to imagine why they are the company people choose for stone refinishing. Contact an Expert at EDS today!

Metal Refinishing

Architectural Surfaces: Metal Refinishing

From the Eiffel Tower to the Empire State Building, metal structures have shaped our world since the Industrial Revolution. Today, we have structures not only made and supported by metal, but elegantly designed with this durable, timeless material.

As classic as metal may be, metal surfaces may lose their luster over time. Constant daily wear can leave high-traffic interior spaces like front entry doors and lobbies, elevators, walkways, balconies, bathrooms, and stairwells dull and more rustic than elegant. These high use surfaces also require frequent maintenance, like cleaning, polishing, and refining, depending on the type of metal being treated. However, sometimes, these metal surfaces need refinishing due to scratches, abrasion, rust, or vandalism, and when that happens, it’s time to find a company that specializes in metal refinishing.

What types of Metals Need Refinishing?

Suppose you are a business owner who wants to accentuate your property’s features. In that case, it’s important to start by considering your budget, long-term goals, and motivations for the building. The most common metals in commercial buildings are bronze, brass, aluminum, copper, stainless steel, iron, nickel, and rolled steel. These materials come with different price points, and each metal has specific maintenance recommendations. It is important to consider these conditions and options before investing. For example, brass tends to have a higher initial cost, but it is generally easier to maintain than a less durable metal like aluminum. Building owners can also invest in preventative treatment solutions, such as applying a sealer or special coating that will reduce the time spent polishing metals and save on maintenance costs.

Metal Refinishing Techniques

Depending on the materials and budget, there are several techniques used to refinish metal and restore the original sheen.

Here’s a brief summary of the different types of specialized treatments available from Valcourt Group’s metal refinishing team.

Blackening Stainless Steel: This process is similar to the “bluing” technique below. Only the metal is blackened for a dramatic effect.

Bluing: A finishing process for steel surfaces when the metal acquires a blue-to-black surface finish after applying a protective coating. 

Cleaning and Care: Providing detailed instructions for your janitorial team on the proper techniques for cleaning and maintaining the metal surfaces throughout your building.

Graining: A process that uses coated abrasives and a sanding belt to remove the top layer from metal blanks. Once the sanding process is completed, some metals require softening with a surface sander to achieve the desired shine and grain orientation.

Graffiti Removal: Give your building a facelift by removing the unsightly appearance of graffiti on your property. This process might involve using paint thinners, acetones, or steel sandpaper.

Oxidation: Oxidized metal surfaces require multiple refinishing steps, which include stripping the existing lacquer, scrubbing the metal, converting the metal to a satin finish, highlighting, applying coats of oxidizing agents, and finishing with a coat of lacquer. 

Patina: A surface coating on a bare metal surface formed from a chemical reaction when exposed to the elements. Similar to the edge of a chef’s knife, a patina provides a unique color and texture.

Polishing: Make your building shine by polishing your metal surfaces. Various cleaners help restore the appearance of your metals, but make sure to contact industry experts before you start! The wrong cleaner might corrode or strip the metal.

Scratch Removal: Light scratches can be removed through buffing with a non-abrasive cleaner. However, deeper scratches might require sandpaper or other refinishing techniques.

Washing: Proper care of your metal surfaces ensures their shine and integrity for years.

Waterproofing: When applicable, a waterproof sealant may help prevent metal surfaces from oxidation, such as in bathroom stalls, railings, balconies, kickplates, and entry doors.

Waxing: Wax on and wax off. Making your metal glisten when the light hits it.

What are the 5 Things to Look Out for in an Architectural Metal Refinishing Service?

Metal Expertise

Maintaining and refinishing metal requires a unique approach customized to the type of metal you desire in your building. Different metal products require different kinds of maintenance and cleaning approaches. Our metal refinishing team is highly knowledgeable and backed with the experience and techniques to help refinish your metal to its original form.

Treatment Experience

The proper frequency for cleaning, polishing, and refinishing your metal surfaces depends on its material, location in the building, and the type of finish applied to the surface. For example, lacquered surfaces may require reapplication, refinishing, and frequent polishing. Other surfaces, such as in a bathroom or elevator, might have unique interior designs that can improve the aesthetics of your building.

Cleaning Professionals

When providing expert care for your building’s metal surfaces, leave it to the experts. Before you consider cleaning, reach out to one of our experts to provide industry advice on the right products. 

Regular Maintenance

Customers who receive metal refinishing services might also consider getting regularly scheduled cleaning, polishing, and routine inspections to ensure the metal surfaces maintain a healthy condition year round. Making sure to take good care of your metal surfaces is important for how people perceive the general conditions of the building and how people perceive the building’s owners as a whole.

Preventative Solutions

The polishing frequency can be sharply reduced by applying special coatings and sealers, whether it’s bronze, copper, or faux aluminum. Ask how our preventative solutions can save your building money in the long run.

Bring out the True Beauty of Your Building with Valcourt Group

Building owners sometimes struggle to maintain the integrity of their property on their own and often depend on industry experts to provide guidance and practical solutions to help revitalize the interior and exterior appearances of their buildings. That’s why most owners look to The Valcourt Group to lend a hand for their metal refinishing needs. Valcourt provides building service, support, and maintenance on various commercial and residential buildings ranging from small offices to football stadiums. When it comes to your metal surfaces and refinishing projects, trust Valcourt to illuminate the contours of your building.  Call us today!

stadium_repair

What to Expect in Stadium Repair & Restoration Services

Local college teams, professional leagues, and many other major sports venues count on their stadiums to withstand the elements. These venues need to be constructed to protect the thousands of fans who pass through the concourse. Most fans won’t notice when a stadium needs repairs unless a team announces plans to remodel in the offseason. But stadium repairs are a necessity and happen all the time. 

A quick Google search of “stadium repair” lists hundreds of news articles related to current or future restoration projects across the United States. For example, Ohio State University spends about $2.5 million annually on maintenance at its football stadium, which its athletic department said addressed mainly “structural factors such as concrete repair and replacement.” 

Staying in Ohio, The Cleveland City Council approved $10 million in funding for FirstEnergy Stadium, where the Browns host football games, to replace a pedestrian ramp. The existing structure was determined to be “unsafe” due to safety concerns, as the current ramp is “rusted out” with “deteriorated concrete.” 

What should property owners and fans expect with stadium repairs and restoration? This article will delve into this issue and highlight some of the services available for stadium maintenance and repair projects.

What is Stadium Repair and Stadium Restoration?

Built using a combination of internal finished areas and external seating arrangements in the tread and riser areas, nearly all stadium construction involves concrete and masonry work.  Stadium structures depend on various expansion joints, sealant joints, waterproofing systems, and exposed traffic coatings to keep the structure watertight. This focus helps protect against inclement weather and the stress that concrete experiences when exposed to fluctuating hot and cold environments. 

Weather causes concrete expansion and contraction, and with constant use, areas like walkways, ramps, decks, and rafters often develop cracking, breaking, and rust if not properly maintained. All of the components that go into stadium construction require constant maintenance. If not, stadiums often need full-scale restoration projects. 

The Most Common Stadium Repairs & Restoration Projects

Depending on the size and type of stadium (open-air, domes, enclosed, multi-purpose, retractable), stadium repair and restoration projects can range in their complexity and cost. The most common projects are preventive maintenance of common areas with high traffic and fan use. 

Some typical projects that facility owners and managers include in their stadium repair and restoration efforts:

  • Structural Restrengthening: This includes concrete admixtures that enhance workability and durability for stadiums and arenas, cast-in-place concrete foundations, stadium bowl structures, and precast concrete elements.
  • Protecting Roof Systems: Leaking roofs aren’t just associated with residential buildings; they affect stadiums too. And when severe thunderstorms pass through, leaks can cause game delays or even worse, cancellations.
  • Joint Sealing: The most common area where leaks occur is at expansion joints, and unfortunately for stadium owners, these leaks cause the most damage-  affecting fans, vendors, and even players. It’s up to stadium owners to ensure quality joint sealing during initial construction, and handle regular maintenance to ensure that stadiums remain watertight during gameday. Water infiltration will cause serious damage, rapidly depreciating the value of your property. 
  • Seating Repair: Each game brings a new crowd of thousands of fans. The wear and tear from a season typically requires that stadium owners spend money repairing the concourse and seating areas. With all the foot traffic and weight passing through the stadium, owners must budget to ensure that their fans have safe and accessible seating arrangements.
  • New Features: Older stadiums often require facelifts or brand-new remodeling projects,  revamping stadiums to include scoreboards, new seating arrangements, accessible bathrooms, pedestrian ramps, and restaurant spaces. New concrete and maintenance are required to ensure these new areas remain safe for pedestrians.

The Varying Needs for Stadium Repairs & Restoration

Stadiums are constantly exposed to wear and tear due to natural weather patterns and everyday foot traffic of fans. The combination wears down the concrete’s strength over time and the structural durability of stadiums in the long run. Stadium maintenance is essential for preventing cracks, breaks, and other maintenance problems. 

Spectators should be able to remain safe while enjoying the game. Here are some of the many services companies can provide to help stadium owners maintain their properties.

Leak Repairs

Storms and high winds are more frequent than ever, and with improper flashing or installation, stadiums can sometimes get leaks. Water infiltration wreaks havoc on any sporting event, so it’s essential to find expert service professionals to prevent the worst before it happens.

Waterproofing Systems

Waterproofing refers to various construction methods to restrict moisture penetration in a structure. When it comes to stadiums, though, building owners need professional installation with premium products to prevent any embarrassing leaks on game day.

Joint Sealant Replacement

Does your stadium have the proper caulking? Probably not. 

Caulking keeps water and moisture out of your building. If caulking is old, your stadium is at risk for damage, turning into large-scale repairs when not addressed. To ensure the long-term protection of your venue, working with experienced professionals who understand the proper ways to seal structures against the elements is critical.

Water Repellent and Penetrating Sealers

Most every region in the United States experiences inclement weather, which adversely affects concrete structures. Waterproofing and sealing are critically important for protecting porous surfaces like walkways, ramps, and seating arrangements. 

Expanding the lifecycle of commercial buildings like stadiums requires adequate waterproofing to guard against temperature change, UV damage, shock and vibration, stains and colorations, and regular foot traffic.

Structural Repairs

The outside façade is the first thing people see when approaching a stadium. That is why building owners must maintain a beautiful exterior free from cracks, rust, and debris when their venue is open to the public. Materials such as concrete, stone, acrylic coatings, brick, and balconies might need structural repairs. Make sure to find an experienced service professional specializing in facade restoration.

Concrete Restoration and Repair

Repairing old and damaged concrete restores your stadium’s integrity and aesthetic beauty and ensures the structure is safe for your fans. Structural damage to concrete primarily occurs on slabs, balconies, walkways, parking garages, and the building’s exterior. If your stadium needs a facelift, get in touch with concrete restoration and repair companies that can restore it to its “structural best”.

Traffic Coatings

Protect pedestrians and cars in high-traffic areas with a specialized seal that prevents moisture and chemical intrusion. This protective sealant helps improve structural durability and the preventative maintenance also helps stadium owners reduce long-term repair and restoration costs.

Parking Structures

Cars add significant weight and contaminants to your building’s structure, causing corrosion, cracking, and staining. Car tires carry salt, oils, dirt, and engines leak oil, grease, and other chemicals. 

When these contaminants mix with your concrete parking structures, they corrode the steel, and cause debonding. Building owners cannot afford to have their parking garage out of service for long, so it’s crucial to partner with a company that knows how to improve the life expectancy of your garage.

Get More out of your Stadium with Valcourt 

Stadiums require constant and consisten maintenance to meet the structural integrity and safety requirements your guests deserve. Whether your venue hosts the next varsity game or the Rolling Stones, it is vital to maintain the long-term health of the structure to ensure it withstands the elements and foot traffic year-round. 

With stadium repair and restoration projects, building owners count on Valcourt Building Services for an array of services like waterproofing, structure repair, and restoration. With over 35 years of industry experience, it’s no wonder why thousands of customers depend on Valcourt each day for their stadium repair and restoration projects. Contact an expert at EDS today!

custom elevator interiors

How Custom Elevator Interior Design Can Improve Your Building

People entering a multi-level building typically look for the closest elevator to them to get to their destination. Whether in a commercial building or a residential space, people notice elevators for their interior design, cleanliness, and functionality. 

Everyone has their own “memorable in all the wrong ways” elevator experience, whether it be a slow-running lift or a dirty interior. People notice the conditions of an elevator, in turn shaping their perception of the owners and their commitment to the building and those visiting it. 

An elevator is one of the most used features in a building, other than restrooms- another space judged by its design, cleanliness and function. 

Why Should I do a Custom Elevator Design?

When designing the cab interiors of elevators, building owners should consider the various customizable features and materials available. Custom elevator interiors can include repair, custom fabrication, and new construction. 

Each of these designs offer distinct advantages, and depend upon what option is best for your building and your budget. Prefabricated systems require less cost and elevator downtime, but offer fewer customizable materials and options. Interior decorating often includes customizable engraving services that can really make your elevator shine.

When is Elevator Interior Design or Remodeling Needed?

When prospective tenants, associates, or workers notice that your building’s elevators appear dingy, vandalized, cracked, or worn out, their appearance will leave an undeniable impression on how people conceptualize your building. Elevators set a visual tone of comfort. Just as a decorative window displays the quality of the products available at a store, a newly remodeled elevator showcases your building’s quality and mindfulness for aesthetics and functionality. 

What Services are Available for Custom Elevator Interior Design?

When deciding to partner with a professional elevator cab service provider, you will work with experts who will help design your elevator’s interior. There are many services available for you to choose from, each of which offers an opportunity to transform your elevator cab.

  • New Design: Update old electrical wiring, adhere to municipal building codes, and revamp your elevator cab’s interior. Choose from high-end materials to work with, including metal, glass, plastics, or stone. Consider art or media designs and create a calm and welcoming environment for your building.
  • Renovations: Change out dented wall panels, replace lighting and ceiling panels, and upgrade control paneling. A range of cosmetic changes will make your elevator more user-friendly and attractive.
  • Fabrication: Building owners should consider whether their elevator cabs would benefit the most from custom fabrication or pre-engineered designs. The installation process for elevator interiors depends upon what materials and options you choose. 
  • Custom Engraving: Make your elevator stand out with an engraving service for the lift’s interior walls, doors, floors, call plates, card readers, and floor indicators. There are a variety of options to choose from to give your elevators a distinctive flair!

While a functional elevator is important, consider that design choices should match the style of your building’s tenants and visitors. For example, a high-foot-traffic commercial building benefits from having an elevator display with local advertisements. Or perhaps a quiet residential building in the suburbs would benefit from a more straightforward but welcoming design that could be easier to maintain. 

Give your Elevator a Lift with The Valcourt Group

Building owners looking for help in remodeling or maintaining their elevator cabs turn to the industry experts, and there’s no company more experienced and qualified than The Valcourt Group. Valcourt specializes in providing a range of building services to property owners with office buildings, high-rises, parking garages, stadiums, hospitals, and apartment complexes. Valcourt offers their customers dedicated solutions. With over thirty-five years of industry experience, Valcourt can help bring your elevator’s interior designs to the next level. Contact The EDS Group today!

post_tension_slab_problems

What Are Post-Tension Slabs & Why Are They Used?

It’s no secret why builders use post-tensioning systems in their construction; these systems are critical to strengthening concrete used in modern large-scale building projects. The same argument applies to post-tension slabs—a method used when pouring the slab foundation in commercial or residential construction. This article further explores post-tension slabs and some of the advantages and challenges of their usage in construction projects. 

What are Post-Tension Slabs?

The concrete industry started experimenting with strategies and techniques to strengthen and reinforce concrete in the 1950s. The prestressing concept, now a standard in residential and commercial building construction, involves using a steel cable or tendon to squeeze and compress concrete before the concrete endures a structural load. As the construction industry continued refining its techniques to standardize prestressing, most builders eventually began using post-tensioning techniques for reinforced concrete slab foundations. The Federal Housing Administration officially endorsed the use of post-tensioned slabs in 1969, and the building method is now embraced and co-opted as the preferred method for builders.

Post-tensioned slabs contain a tendon, or steel cable, that runs crisscrossed throughout the center of the slab after the concrete has already hardened. As the poured concrete dries, the post-tensioned cables stretch and tighten, which applies a significant force to the concrete slab. This technique strengthens and compresses the concrete, which helps reduce cracking and structural instability caused by unstable soil conditions in marshes, swamps, and lake areas. The process helps residential homes and commercial buildings achieve greater load-bearing strength. Post-tension slabs are more durable and stable than traditional slabs that lack the reinforcement of steel cables.

Why Use Post-Tension Slabs?

Concrete slabs have inherent structural weaknesses; they are especially susceptible to expansion and contraction due to seasonal fluctuations and changing temperatures. Anyone that has experienced winter knows that thawing temperatures usually lead to potholes, broken water mains, and cracks in the pavement. Concrete slabs are no exception. The swelling and contraction of soils based on their contact with water is another element that adversely affects the integrity of concrete slabs. Poor and unstable soils found in Southwestern states and Mexico lead to issues with soil expansion, making it difficult for builders to lay concrete slabs.

Builders depend on post-tension slabs to reduce the risks of cracking, contraction, and soil expansion and strengthen the foundation’s structural integrity.

Post-Tension Slabs: Potential Challenges

Post-tension slabs are stronger than traditional concrete slabs; however, that does not necessarily mean a post-tension slab is without challenges. Read on to learn more about builders’ challenges when using post-tensioned slabs.

Long-Term Planning 

Post-tensioned slabs are an excellent foundation for a new structure, but builders must plan accordingly for proper drainage. Gutters, downspouts, roof pitches, and balconies redirect rainfall. Builders need to be aware of the location of drainage as it can seep into the foundation and lead to cracks.

Good Things Aren’t Cheap & Cheap Things Aren’t Good

Laying the foundation of a post-tension slab requires professional workers, quality materials, and expert knowledge to understand the job’s complexity. In the building and construction industry, it’s essential to research the service provider and contractors you partner with before signing a contract.

Check the Blueprints, Again

Since post-tension slabs require the addition of steel tendons to strengthen and reinforce the concrete, the tendons must precisely align as shown on the blueprints. Improper tendon locations can cause uplifting, as the tendon applies more force than the weight of the concrete. As a result, the concrete might be physically lifting the slab.

The Advantages of Post-Tension Slabs

Aside from producing crack-free tennis courts, smooth parking garages, and a secure foundation for someone’s new home, post-tension slabs offer builders an array of advantages compared to traditional concrete slabs. Here are a few of the major benefits.

Cost Savings

Post-tensioned slabs require less concrete than traditional ones, saving builders money. Post-tensioned slabs are an investment that helps homeowners reduce the risks of concrete contraction and cracks, which inevitably costs money to repair. That’s why post-tensioned slabs are an initial investment worth it in the long run.

Shed Some Weight

A lighter yet stronger slab of concrete allows builders to design their structure with less material and overall surface space, providing more space to build supporting pillars, walls, columns, and beams. Post-tensioned slabs are also thinner, giving builders more creative freedom when designing floors.

Minimize Risks

No matter how much planning goes into a construction project, things happen, and the idea for builders is to minimize risks. Post-tensioned slabs may help prevent cracks from forming, but concrete is not immune to the elements. The good news is that if cracks form on post-tensioned slabs, they are held together and do not spread as quickly as those on traditional foundation slabs. Therefore, post-tensioned slabs are a more durable solution.

Look to the Experts when it comes to Building Repair Services

Commercial and residential structures require rational planning and maintenance. Whether your building has a traditional concrete slab or a reinforced post-tensioned slab, building owners need to maintain the structure’s integrity. That’s why across the United States, owners and property managers rely on Valcourt as their trusted partner to protect their investments. Whether it’s waterproofing, restoration, or other commercial building services, Valcourt offers over 35 years of experience protecting properties from the elements. Contact EDS Building Services today!

Post Tension Repair: Common Concrete Problems & Myths of Post Tensioning Debunked

As early as the 1950s, a method of improving construction practices and reinforcing concrete emerged in the United States. The post-tensioning (or post-stressing) concrete method provides outstanding durability, increased design flexibility, and improved safety. This method also came the need for specialized concrete restoration and repair services. 

Many modern office buildings, commercial and residential towers, parking structures, and facilities rely on post-tensioned concrete. Keeping up with commercial building repair is critical as neglected upkeep leads to catastrophic building collapses, much like the Surfside Condo collapse in Florida in 2021- an event that claimed the lives of nearly 100 people. Due to the rising demand for post-tensioning, planning repair work on post-tension slabs and components is increasingly vital for commercial building maintenance. Commercial building managers and facility maintenance teams cannot afford to overlook understanding how to spot issues quickly and handle post-tension repair needs.

What is Post Tension Repair?

Post-tensioning is a highly specialized and advanced means for reinforcing concrete, making it more suitable for commercial applications, heavy load-bearing designs, and larger building structures. According to the Federal Highway Administration, “the tensile strength of concrete is only about 10% of its compressive strength.” As a result, plain concrete members are likely to crack when loaded. However, embedding reinforced steel into the concrete members helps them accept tensile stresses that plain concrete cannot. Reinforced steel is selected assuming that the tensile zone of the concrete carries no load and that tensile stresses are resisted only by tensile forces in the reinforcing bars. The resulting reinforced concrete members may crack but can effectively maintain the design loads.

The forces within post-tensioning tendons demand that owners, designers, and contractors who maintain these structures understand the dos and don’ts of repair and maintenance to keep their structures safe. 

Highly advanced design elements require specialized skills and a high level of technical knowledge to ensure the structure’s safety and that of individuals working around the structure. Properly implementing a post-tensioning system repair plan is vital to maximizing longevity and ensuring the structure remains safe and stable for as long as possible. Ultimately, post-tension repair work focuses on identifying and fixing issues involving concrete in slabs, support beams, columns, foundations, and more.

How Do You Know if Your Building Needs Post Tension Repair?

Post-tension concrete repair should begin as soon as issues become apparent. The longer the delay in repair, the more expensive the repairs will become. Concrete is popular because of its durability, but it’s also susceptible to cracks, chipping, and other issues. Routine checks and inspections are critical for building maintenance and upkeep if a commercial concrete structure utilizes post-tensioning.

Inspections of post-tensioned concrete structures should include the following regularly:

  • Visual inspection of facilities and critical problems areas – joints, support junctions, and large expanses
  • PT Corrosion Evaluation and regular moisture testing, especially in areas with high water intrusion risks
  • Chloride analysis of PT grout to avoid long-term exposure and corrosion of steel cables and casings
  • PH and chemical testing of structure to ensure no oxidation and to monitor accumulation on surfaces
  • Petrographic analysis, Scanning Electron Microscopy examination, and other tech-backed inspections
  • Cable Break Detection services to monitor tension support and durability on an ongoing basis
  • Regular feedback and communication between team members and staff about noted issues or concerns 

While it is a valuable material and commodity for commercial construction, post-tension concrete requires a more specialized approach to maintenance and upkeep. Working with post-tension repair contractors and finding a repair management company specializing in post-tension concrete services are critical to keeping buildings in good standing. Working with industry experts makes the process easier, whether it concerns repairing a post-tension slab or maintaining building components correctly.

Common Concrete Challenges Requiring Post-Tension Repair

All buildings degrade and break down over time, but there are a few potential issues that can affect post-tension concrete more than others. Using post-tension repair services can help reduce common concrete problems and make commercial building services easier to manage. Some common issue items include:

  • Cracks in the concrete foundation or support structures
  • Uneven floors and shifting concrete in large expanse areas
  • Cracking grout lines or signs of separating and peeling concrete
  • Leaning chimneys or other structures supported by the post-tensioned system
  • Loose or damaged components expose the tensioning system
  • Chipping of concrete in critical support and expanse areas
  • Signs of flaking, rusting or breaking down of concrete structures
  • Advanced age of the structure or long periods since the last inspection or repair work

Building owners should have these areas periodically examined periodically by a qualified structural engineer for post-tension repair. The condition survey will check for potential problem areas, note any procession of damage, make recommendations for repair and maintenance, and work with your team to start the necessary steps to address issues.

What Causes Degradation in Post-Tensioned Structures?

Maintenance and upkeep are vital for a post-tensioned structure’s continued service and longevity. Structural deterioration due to exposure to moisture, corrosive elements, and the simple passage of time can lead to a loss of structural integrity, causing issues with structural safety and stability.

Most instances of repair and maintenance work on post-tensioned structures come down to one of the following concerns, all of which a post-tension repair company can assist with:

  • Voids and air pockets within the concrete structures create weak points
  • Trapped moisture between strands and between wires within the structure
  • Water seeping into the structure through cracks in building envelope seals
  • Grout segregation, deterioration, or breakdown goes unchecked
  • Water penetration from anchorage pockets, joints, cracks, flashing, and seals
  • Water penetration due to floods, roof damage, plumbing issues, or leaky windows
  • Chloride-contaminated grout and exposure to other corrosive chemicals
  • Dissimilar grouts used in the same tendon create chemical reactions
  • Improper installation of post-tension cables and anchors during construction
  • Poor maintenance and upkeep early on in the lifespan of the structure
  • Damages and concerns left unchecked and unaddressed for too long

Like all building materials, post-tensions concrete offers advanced benefits and features, but it is not perfect and still requires routine checks and maintenance work. Keeping up with this is vital to commercial concrete building construction and upkeep.

Debunking Myths Around Post-Tensioning and Repair

Post-tension concrete’s popularity also comes with various myths that can cloud judgments and impact maintenance protocols. The following are some of the most common myths that repair experts encounter when working with commercial maintenance teams.

MYTH: It is difficult to cut holes and add features to post-tensions slabs and structures.

REALITY: Post-tensioned structures are just as doable and can be easily customized. In this regard, there is not much difference between typical concrete structures and post-tension concrete. Tendon layouts can allow for future aesthetics or building repair needs.

MYTH: Parking garages and structures are more expensive when made with post-tensioning.

REALITY: Keeping long-term budgets in mind when comparing material and construction costs is crucial. While upfront costs for a post-tensioned system might be more, it will require less maintenance and upkeep and save management money in the long run.

MYTH: Post-tensioned buildings experience more shortening than they would otherwise. 

REALITY: All concrete will experience some degree of shortening due to the nature of concrete building materials. It is inherent in the curing process as it will shrink, and there is no stopping it. Contractors control building geometry, and post-tensioning is no more prone to shrinking.

MYTH: Post-tensioning is not possible with below-grade applications.

REALITY: Below-grade applications are structures located below the main building. Post-tensioning concrete can be used in these cases quickly. Benefits of below-grade applications include less cracking, improved durability, thinner slabs, and easier excavation. 

MYTH: It is always better to use more post-tensioning.

REALITY: Post-Tensioning is no compensation for sloppy design and is no cure-all. Excessive use can lead to overbalancing effects -deflection problems, cracking, shifting, bowing, or severe blowouts, all of which can be costly to fix. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

Why Working with A Commercial Building Services Provider for Post Tension Repair

Ensuring commercial building repair and proper maintenance of post-tension concrete structures remains an essential part of facility management. Building owners and managers cannot afford to overlook even minor issues with structural integrity. Failure can lead to catastrophic building collapse, loss of life, and severe property damage. With post-tensioned systems showing up everywhere, repair work on the systems has become increasingly vital for commercial building maintenance. Contact The EDS Group today to learn more and find support with a leading post-tension company.

post_tensioning

Why Should Buildings Use Post-Tensioning Systems?

Commercial concrete management, including post-tensioning systems, is critical to any residential or commercial high-rise and multi-level parking garage construction project. Post-tensioning involves placing prestressed steel “tendons” tightened once the concrete hardens. The additional stress of tightening compresses the concrete into its strongest state, ensuring it can support the external service loads (weight) once using the structure. 

Failing to factor in the load-bearing capability of a structure can lead to catastrophic events, such as the collapse of the Hotel New World in Singapore in 1986. The six-story building collapsed in 60 seconds, resulting in 33 deaths. More recently, investigators are still trying to determine the cause of a partial parking garage collapse in Baltimore in July 2022.

This article looks closer at post-tensioning systems, explaining what they are, how they work, and their benefits to construction and architecture. We’ll also present some practical applications of post-tensioning concrete, criteria to consider when evaluating such systems, and where to turn for post-tensioning repairs.

What is Post-Tensioning?

Post-tensioning is a unique design technique that reinforces concrete in commercial building construction. This process helps strengthen concrete, allowing it to hold up better post-construction, keeping structures secure and stable. Post-tensioning tendons generally consist of stainless steel and reinforced cable bundles. These run inside plastic coatings or sleeves, placed inside the casings where concrete is poured before filling. Afterward, the cables are tensioned and anchored against the other concrete edges. 

The post-tension acts much the same as support beams and improves the safety and stability of concrete pillars, foundations, columns, and other structures. Post-tensioning concrete is critical in the commercial building process, and proper execution gains maximum benefits.

How Does Post-Tensioning Work?

Post-tensioning works within commercial building structures as a form of prestressing. Steel is stressed and put under tension before the concrete has hardened to support the service loads and stress of the building. Most precast, prestressed concrete has this process done as well. Post-tensioned concrete means that the concrete gets poured, and then tension is applied—but there is stress before applying the loads, leaving it prestressed. It is a way of preparing the structure to support the loads and stress of large commercial systems adequately. 

Reasons concrete is popular in commercial buildings and commonly seen in post-tensioning construction include:

  • High durability and resiliency over long periods.
  • Relatively low maintenance and upkeeps are required.
  • Affordable and easy maintenance and repairs.
  • Affordable for mass projects and large-scale production.
  • The versatility of applications allows greater design creativity. 
  • Easy to source locally for more affordable rates.
  • It can be used in all climates and temperature extremes.
  • Highly resistant to rust and corrosion.
  • It is fire resistant and doesn’t burn easily.
  • Fewer issues with pests, mold, and other issues.

With so much in favor of concrete construction, the ability to improve the features of stability, durability, and longevity with post-tensioning only adds to the appeal of concrete usage in commercial structures.

Why Post Tensioning & What are the Benefits?

Concrete is the most popular construction material in the world, and for a good reason. It’s widespread in commercial buildings, not only for basements and foundations but also for exterior walls. And, of course, it’s used frequently for sidewalks, ramps, and parking garages. The concrete used in commercial buildings is often subject to more significant pressures and stressors than concrete for residential use. When used in massive commercial building projects, this requires additional support and design considerations.

Concrete may be among the most common construction materials, but it can still come with a high price tag. Industry estimates show that a concrete parking garage could range between $4 and $7 per square foot. This price typically includes the cost of materials and labor. A smaller structure may run $5,000 to $14,000, whereas a larger building could be as much as $174,000-$490,000. Larger commercial structures, whether office buildings or parking garages, require more structural performance, which may change how you need to utilize concrete. This is where post-tensioning makes its impact. 

Considering all these features and benefits, one critical aspect of commercial concrete management and upkeep regarding degradation makes all the difference post-tensioning. 

Post-tensioned concrete has a variety of benefits, including:

  • Allowing concrete to be used in higher and longer spans to create larger spaces
  • Providing increased strength and support for load-bearing areas of construction
  • Compensates for poor site conditions and improves structural stability
  • Installs and hardens faster than other conventionally reinforced concrete structures
  • It uses much less concrete, saving money and resources
  • Provides flexibility and options for primary formwork and final aesthetic touches
  • Increases the overall safety and durability of the structure
  • Provides a faster and more practical manufacturing option
  • Safe to use in nearly every building situation
  • Reliable structure strength with post-tensioning
  • Easily scalable for use in small, medium, and large commercial buildings

Finding the balance between affordable concrete usage and durable post-tension elements remains crucial in planning and maintaining commercial structures.

What Exactly is a Post-Tensioning System?

The post-tensioning concrete method was first developed in the early 1950s by industry specialists such as VSL in Switzerland. Post-tensioning is often a solution for addressing design and engineering issues. It enables the operational definition of the internal load path in concrete structures by superposing a favorable state for the internal stresses. This stress reduction minimizes deformations, reduces the thickness of concrete segments, reduces reinforcement congestion, joins components without relying on wet joints, and allows high-strength steel to reinforce structural components further. 

The post-tensioning system is a structural support mechanism essential to many commercial concrete structures built today. Experts who specialize in concrete repair and upkeep utilize this system for three main reasons:

  • Structure Strength with Post-tensioning

Post-tensioning lightens the structure’s weight, reduces load-bearing packages, and helps improve the overall aesthetic appearance.

  • Wide Application and Usage Area

It can be used in a wide variety of structures and often occurs in a wide range of systems that vary in size and usage.

  • Professional Touch and Service

Post-tensioned construction offers the most suitable solution for combining production and application to create a final uniform structure.

Common Applications for Post-Tensioning 

This act of prestressing has several advantages over standard rebars:

  • Significantly removes the risk of shrinkage cracks, so fewer joints are required. Shrinkage cracks occur naturally in poured concrete during the curing process as the concrete loses its moisture.
  • Cracks that do occur are held tightly together and do not grow and spread.
  • It allows structural concrete pieces to be thinner and lighter than they would normally.
  • Engineers and designers can build slabs over expansive areas or on softer soils.
  • Post-tensioning supports longer spans in elevated areas like floors, beans, and ceilings.

Criteria of a Post-Tensioning System to Evaluate

Building designers looking for a post-tensioning system should first consider three factors to avoid  costly damages and repairs down the road.

Type of structural element – the depth of the structural component plays a key role:

  • Use of slab tendons with flat designs for thin structural elements such as floor flaps and ceilings.
  • Multi-strand tendons can be used for any other application and are common in thicker heavy construction areas.

Structural design – taking into account specific structural design requirements:

  • Post-tensioning can be introduced and might utilize internal or external tendons or, in some cases, a combination.
  • Concrete slab post-tensioning tendons are bonded or unbonded based on the location, application, and desired results.

Protection against corrosion – Protection needed to safeguard cables against corrosion: 

  • The tendon encapsulation depends on the required protection level (PL) – PL1, PL2, PL3, typically subject to location and environmental exposures.
  • Corrosion protection is the application of anti-corrosion chemicals to prevent damage to equipment or facilities caused by corrosive processes.

Get Quality Building Repair and Management Services From Industry Experts Familiar With Post-Tensioning Systems

Finding the balance between affordable yet durable materials is vital in planning and maintaining commercial structures. Post-tensioning concrete systems allow the utilization of the durable and versatile nature of concrete, while the addition of steel cables and tension support add required structural stability. 

The post-tensioning system is the structural support working behind the scenes to provide long-lasting strength, durability, safety, and protection. Professional building management services are integral in maintaining post-tensioning systems to guard against building collapses. 

Make sure your team is ready to deal with the maintenance and upkeep of post-tensions systems. Contact The EDS Group today and work with industry experts who can keep your building in good working order.

Commercial Building Leak Detection

Characteristics of Best in Class Rapid Commercial Building Leak Detection & Repair

Commercial leak detection and repair might seem farther down the to-do list with everything building managers have to track and monitor. However, knowing how to find and address a water leak in a commercial building is a significant point facility management teams cannot afford to overlook. A simple little water leak might seem like a minor issue, but in reality, must be addressed as soon as possible before it becomes a situation that needs emergency leak repair services

If a little leak is ignored, it can eventually lead to significant water damage and other issues, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs. Home Advisors offers the following estimates for home repairs, which can be much higher for commercial properties. They estimate the cost of a plumber averages from $175 to $450 for a typical job, and average hourly rates can be as high as $200. Depending on the job, some plumbers will also tack on a flat rate or service fee that could be hundreds of dollars as well. 

This is why commercial leaks and signs of water intrusion must be dealt with sooner rather than later. A water leak in a commercial building can be much more complicated and involved to fix, and the damage caused by delays in detection and repairs can be significant.

Common Areas For Water Leaks in Commercial Buildings

As a business owner, not much will frustrate and disrupt the way unexpected interruptions to daily operations and routines. These interruptions can pull attention away from vital services and processes or, even worse, directly cost the company time, money, and resources. Knowing and identifying degredation causes and signs is a vital part of building management. Leaks and water damages in commercial buildings are of major concern, especially as buildings age and begin to degrade and become more prone to breakdowns, system failures, and water intrusion.

According to FacilitiesNet Water damage causes billions of dollars in financial losses across the real estate industry, and these claims can get extremely costly for businesses. Direct costs for cleanup, repairs, replacements, and mold remediation, as well as indirect costs, such as legal fees, delayed projects, or business interruptions, can wreak havoc on an organization’s profit and loss statement.” These expensive costs can all arise from the common leak and water infiltration points within commercial buildings:

  • Roofing Leaks
  • Plumbing Leaks
  • Basement Leaks
  • External Leaks

There are countless ways that even a seemingly minor leak from one of these points can turn into a major headache. Here are a few examples commercial building managers should be aware of:

  • Suppose a pipe is allowed to leak for long periods of time, or suddenly bursts and goes undetected. In that case, it can cause significant damage to commercial building structures such as parking garages by the time visual signs identify it.
  • Commercial leaks often occur in walls, which also causes some of the costliest damage to commercial properties. A small leak could go undetected for months behind a wall or even longer, leading to devastating structural damage.
  • A source of water intrusion might not originate inside the building but rather seep in from outside. Poor roof and facade envelop maintenance, gaps in windows and doors, and degrading foundations allow water to seep in slowly.
  • Even a minor pipe leak can cause severe damage to ceilings, carpet, and hardwood flooring. Even without structural damage, replacing ceiling panels and carpets and cleaning up afterward can be costly.

Facility managers and maintenance teams can stay on top of all this with best-in-class commercial leak detection, repair, and waterproofing services.

What Best-In-Class Rapid Commercial Building Leak Detection & Repair Services Look Like 

Valcourt specializes in water leak detection services directed at commercial properties. Rapid leak detection and repair become accessible with a skilled and experienced team, state-of-the-art technology, and reliable services. A water leak pinpointed correctly saves companies time, money, and resources. Knowing how to avoid leaks and address problems sooner rather than later can also save companies a significant amount of time and money.

This accuracy helps to avoid unnecessary property damage that less experienced water leak detection methods can’t prevent. Ultimately, these best-in-service features make facility management more manageable and make property upkeep more affordable. Valcourt Building Services is the premier provider of all commercial property repair, inspection, and maintenance needs. With over 30 years of experience and tens of thousands of repairs and maintenance jobs completed,  our team can assist facility management personnel with all building maintenance and leak repair services. No matter what your building requires, we have the knowledge and expertise for all commercial exterior maintenance needs.

Valcourt’s high-quality and best-in-class leak services translate into quick, accurate, and affordable benefits when and where they are most needed. With the following best practices and services, commercial building maintenance and upkeep becomes much more streamlined and efficient:

Fast and Reliable Service From Industry Experts

Best-in-class leak-related service providers provide commercial property owners with the fastest and most reliable services. They utilize the latest and safest access equipment in the industry in the hands of trained and experienced professionals to find, address, and prevent leaks when possible.

Real-Time communication and On-Demand Data Access

The best service providers provide a customer-focused approach to each project and will communicate effectively with all involved parties throughout the process. Fast response, prompt work completion, detailed follow-ups, customized services, and on-demand support ensure quality service for facilities management

Professional Team of Local FM Providers

Best-in-class commercial facility managers and technical teams are trained and dedicated to providing quality service for all property owners. They know how to identify problem areas, implement appropriate solutions, document concerns, identify potential concerns, and communicate effectively.

Facility Protection and Security Options

Quality facility maintenance providers focus on keeping commercial buildings safe, secure, and operational by finding and repairing leaks that threaten daily functions and activities.  If a building is behind on maintenance or not up to code, they can offer facility protection and security options to address this issue.

Proactive Management to Reduce Disruptions

Routine building checks and inspections of common leak areas can help ensure that minor issues are detected and addressed effectively. Disruptions and downtime can be minimized, and bottom-line profits become easier to manage with a proactive approach to commercial leak detection and repairs.

Commercial building maintenance and upkeep can become less stressful for facility maintenance teams with these best practices and services. Small leaks can quickly grow and lead to costly damages. This is why finding the best in class rapid lead detection and repair services, such as ProExpress from Valcourt, are vital for any facility management and maintenance program.

The ProExpress Valcourt Difference for Commercial Building Leak Detection

ProXpress covers all best-in-class services as part of Valcourt Building Services’ premier services, including restoration, waterproofing, and building inspections. Partnering with property owners and property managers, their team works to service all aspects of a building’s exterior. 

The ultimate goal is improving facility management, monitoring building integrity, and unlocking the benefits of keeping buildings well maintained and in good condition. Benefits that include:

  • Leak investigation, water intrusion testing, waterproofing maintenance, and repairs for water infiltration and damages.
  • Minor exterior repairs for sealant, and waterproofing issues as well as concrete and facade repairs on commercial buildings and structures.
  • Emergency safety concerns related to water intrusion, building leaks, and related damages and structural issues.
  • Temporarily secure cracked or broken glass to avoid further damage while repair work begins in earnest.
  • Proactive planning, scheduling, and monitoring of potential problem areas during and after renovation and construction projects.
  • Prompt services to find, diagnose and address commercial leaks and offer quality assistance when needed the most.
  • Fast, reliable, and proficient communication with team repair teams and building staff before, during, and after repairs. 
  • Trained and professional staff are always available to answer any questions and address any concerns that arise.
  • Personalized protection of commercial properties focuses on individual needs and goals and offers best-in-class service.
  • Proactive planning and preventative maintenance to ensure issues are caught early and addressed promptly.

Dealing with water leaks and issues is not something building managers want to face. But it is, unfortunately, a common occurrence today. Knowing who to call for best-in-class services remains a critical first step. Valcourt Building Services’ premier ProExpress leak detection and repair services are the best in the industry.

Keep Buildings Safe and Dry With Quality Commercial Building Leak Detection Services From Valcourt

Commercial leak detection and repair might seem like a little thing in the grand scheme of commercial building management and upkeep. However, knowing how to find and address a water leak in a commercial building remains vital to ongoing operations and the safe management of commercial properties. 

Facility management teams cannot afford to overlook the warning signs of commercial building leaks and must ensure rapid leak detection and repair services are easily accessible. There are many ways that unaddressed leaks and water intrusion can turn into a major headache, all of which can be addressed with best-in-class services from Valcourt. Call today to get started.

Commercial Building Maintenance

What Are the Commercial Building Services Needed to Take Care of My Building?

Running and managing commercial properties requires specialized care and attention, especially building maintenance and repairs. Routine and emergency facilities maintenance and repair services remain in high demand. Maintenance collaboration and service coordination can help ensure facilities are properly managed and maintained when things are good and when things aren’t so good. Valcourt does all the work of facilities management and commercial building maintenance using their staff of highly skilled and experienced professionals. They work to provide services for commercial buildings and high-rise building maintenance services that have remained in high demand for many years.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) 2018 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, an estimated 6 million U.S. commercial buildings contained 97 billion square feet total as of 2018. The number of commercial buildings requiring routine maintenance and upkeep increased by 6%, and commercial square footage increased by 11% since the prior CBECS in 2012. The number of commercial properties has continued to grow, though some estimate at a slower rate than in previous years. People spend nearly 80–90% of their time in commercial buildings, whether for work, errands, or dwelling. Building managers constantly look for ways to improve maintenance and upkeep operations to make their lives easier and to improve the lives of workers, tenants, and the general public. Here is why commercial building maintenance companies remain in high demand in 2022.

Damages Caused by Neglected High Rise and Commercial Building Maintenance 

Many issues can arise when building maintenance and repairs get ignored. Increased risk of property damages, injuries, fires, collapses, leaks, electrical problems, system failures, and more can arise and quickly worsen without proper inspection and maintenance of commercial buildings and properties. Severe injuries and even death can occur from seemingly minor issues that go unchecked and unaddressed for long periods, as highlighted by a 2019 article by the New York Post:

A woman was killed in a freak accident in late 2019 when a chunk of building facade fell off a Midtown tower and struck her. Police pulled city building records which showed that the property was cited a few months earlier for “failure to maintain exterior building facade and appurtenances.” Building inspectors also noted “damaged terra cotta at areas above 15th floor in several locations which pose a falling hazard for pedestrians.” Management never did the work necessary to correct the issue and repair the facade, leading to some falling away and killing pedestrians as they passed by below. 

These are often called “freak accidents” because they happen at random. Still, they occur more frequently as building maintenance continually falls to budget cuts, poor financial planning, and inefficient commercial building management. When building management needs arise, it is time to take swift action.

Common Areas of Concern For Commercial Building Structure Violations

Keeping up with commercial building management and repair often comes down to knowing and following codes and regulations that facility management teams must follow. Building codes can be somewhat of a double-edged sword for commercial property owners. 

On the one hand, they require time, money, labor, and resource to follow and maintain. On the other hand, building codes help provide a guideline to ensure commercial properties are properly maintained and remain safe.  

Watching for damage and degradation signs is crucial building maintenance and management. Here are a few of the most common areas facility management teams should focus on when dealing with commercial property maintenance:

Means of Egress

The means of egress building code is a vital one for overall property safety and security. It deals with the number of exits a commercial building must have, the minimum width of aisles, hallways, doorways, and other evacuation route specifications. Maintenance in these areas is critical and a top priority.

Air Sealing of Penetrations 

All commercial buildings have entry and exit points for plumbing, wiring, and other systems. The proper sealing of these points relates to the energy codes needed for commercial buildings. It is also important to control air and water penetration and ensure air quality remains high for those inside the building. 

Fire Blocking

Fire blocking is another vital aspect of maintenance and upkeep within commercial properties as it helps prevent the spread of fire through the concealed, open cavities in the building.

Flashing Install

Commercial roof flashing is also essential and needs proper installation and regular maintenance. Flashing on roofs and wall structures keeps the building dry and durable, preventing water intrusion, corroding, decay, and moisture damage. 

Erosion Control

Building codes also have considerations for maintaining proper erosion control around commercial properties. Rainwater from downspouts, as well as flow from neighboring property and natural lands, must be managed to ensure foundations are not compromised. Careful monitoring and fast repairs are essential for structural integrity.

Drainage Controls

Many state regulations and building codes state that all commercial roofs, decks, balconies, and other structures should have a properly installed and maintained drainage system. Drainage control can often involve secondary or emergency overflow drain systems that must be maintained and repaired regularly.

Handrail Height or Spacing

Having the proper handrail and guard railing height and spacing is integral to building safety and is a common location for maintenance repairs and upgrades and areas of safety concerns.

Stair Rise and Run

Likewise, stairs must be maintained and kept in good condition, ensuring no cracks or chips, no missing steps, and all stairs remain spaced and aligned correctly.

ADA Compliance

The final area that many commercial property managers must focus on, with the help of facility maintenance service companies, is ensuring adherence to ADA compliance regulations. From wheelchair accessibility to keeping aisles and hallways safe to navigate, building managers must ensure all visitors are safe while visiting or using the property. 

Types of Commercial Property Maintenance FM Teams Need to Consider When Planning Services

There are two primary areas of commercial property management that facility maintenance teams need to focus on- Hard Facilities Management (Hard FM) and Soft Facilities Management (Soft FM). 

  • Hard FM deals with physical assets related to the building and includes things such as plumbing, wiring, facade, sidewalks, elevators, heating and cooling, windows and doors, and the like.
  • Soft FM focuses on the less tangible side of facilities management and includes tasks performed by people on the building, such as custodial services, building security, landscaping, trash and cleaning services, and the all-important repair and maintenance work services.

Specific Commercial Property Maintenance Areas of Concern

Proper management, repair, and maintenance of commercial buildings must not get overlooked. To do so can be disastrous and lead to significant financial loss for property owners and managers. According to a June 2022 release from NPR, “A Florida judge has approved a $1.2 billion settlement for unit owners and families of those who died in the collapse of a condo tower in Surfside last year. It was finalized one day before the anniversary of the disaster in which 98 people died.” This catastrophe  is just one example of how putting off maintenance and repair work can lead to catastrophic problems. Building managers and property owners can avoid these issues and significantly reduce their risks of costly damages by including the following areas in their routine inspection, maintenance, and repair routines:

  • High Rise Window Cleaning – Maintinting windows involved more than just keeping up with washing and cleaning. Windows should get inspected for cracks and loose glass panes often and will also need checks for caulking, sealants, shade coats, and more. 
  • Waterproofing – A large part of building repair and facility management is envelope maintenance. Waterproofing roofs, sealing building facades, and performing moisture and airflow checks all play into keeping a building waterproof and tight.
  • Rapid Leak Investigation and Repair Small leaks can quickly grow into big leaks and cause significant building integrity and safety problems. Building maintenance experts’ rapid detection and repair services are critical to keeping structures safe.
  • Fall Protection Systems & Roof Anchors –  Commercial buildings can be dangerous to work on, so fall protection systems must be in good working order. Roof anchor systems must be code compliant and inspected regularly.
  • Safety Systems – Vital safety systems such as fire escapes, stairwells, entry and exit points, and so forth must be well maintained. All systems must be in good condition, code compliant, accessible, and easy to use without undue risks or concerns.
  • Facade Maintenance & Repair – As already seen, neglecting facade maintenance and storage can lead to expensive and even deadly consequences. In commercial building facades, cracks and loose mortar need quick and professional servicing.

Commercial building owners and managers have a lot to keep track of and monitor, and on-demand building repair services can help make the entire process easier. Keeping these critical areas at the top of building maintenance and repair checklists can save time and money in the long run and ensure commercial properties stay safe and operational.

Partner With the Best Commercial Building Maintenance Company Today

There is no denying the importance of proper commercial building maintenance and repair services and what can go wrong when minor issues are allowed to grow into significant problems. Investing in reliable, high-quality commercial property maintenance services is always worthwhile. Contact EDS today to get started and to see how quality commercial property maintenance and repair can make a difference for your business or property.