Safety, Maintenance & Issue Prevention at Harbor Park Garage
Following recent news of the parking garage collapse in downtown Baltimore’s Inner Harbor – during which, thankfully, no one was hurt – Harbor Park Garage has fielded questions about steps taken to maintain its structure and prevent structural issues.
Harbor Park’s owners have long been committed to providing a clean, safe and easily accessible gateway to the Inner Harbor, which is why management takes the time to make sure the garage’s concrete underpinnings are secure before painting and adding other touches to make the garage shine.
How & Why Do Parking Garage Collapses Occur?
The key building block of many parking structures is concrete – one of the strongest and most durable materials in existence. Given this, why do garage collapses occur?
“It has a lot to do with water,” explains Franc Genoese, Senior Director of Technical Services for StructureCare, an organization that proactively manages the maintenance, regular inspection, and repair of parking structures, making safety a priority.
Reid explains that steel pieces hold together the concrete elements of parking structures. When water makes its way into the joists and connective spaces, it can cause the steel to rust and eat away at those connections, eventually causing significant issues. Plus, when water gets into those spaces and freezes, it expands, creating additional problems.
While weather cannot be avoided, garage owners can stay ahead of the issues with careful and thoughtful maintenance, including regular inspections (which are now being mandated by some jurisdictions) and proactive care, and with periodic inspections following major storms and winter weather.
How Does Harbor Park Garage Maintain Its Structure & Prioritize Safety?
Harbor Park entered into a long-term contract with StructureCare several years ago, after a major upgrade to the structure. Twice a year – each fall and spring – StructureCare engineers tour the structure to identify any issues that may go unnoticed to the untrained eye. They then prioritize the work necessary to keep the building in tip-top shape; this maintenance is done incrementally, over time, to minimize inconvenience to customers while ensuring the staff stays ahead of issues that could become costly and disruptive if not addressed early.
StructureCare’s approach involved “predictive” maintenance – not just preventive. During inspections, their engineers evaluate the structure’s current state along with knowledge of its history, including how and when it was built, to use their expertise to predict what actions should be taken over the next three to five years, so garage owners can head off issues before they happen. They aim to help their customers, including Harbor Park, do the maintenance necessary to avoid having to make repairs and restore aspects of the structure.
Harbor Park also works with specially-trained technicians to power wash the property three times a year, using an approach that ensures no damage to key joints. Cleaning is key to both maintenance and providing a high quality experience for parkers – but it is important to handle that cleaning in a thoughtful, precise way that enhances the work done by StructureCare.
About Harbor Park Garage
Located at 55 Market Place, Harbor Park Garage is centrally located among numerous downtown Baltimore attractions, including the National Aquarium, Inner Harbor, Harbor East shops and restaurants, and Little Italy.
The garage, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is accessible to I-83 and other major routes in and out of downtown Baltimore. It is also clean, well-lit, and staffed 24/7 by a friendly, knowledgeable crew who are happy to answer questions about where to go, what to do and how to get there.
For more information about Harbor Park, visit https://harborparkgarage.com
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