Flowcrete Australia has compiled a list of helpful suggestions to avoid flood damage in building car parks.

Queensland typically experiences some of its wildest weather in January, with flooding and heavy rainfall contributing to water ingress in buildings, and weakening their structural integrity. Multi-storey car parks in these buildings are especially affected when large amounts of rainwater seep through the joints and cracks of bare concrete, releasing lime and other corrosive contaminants. These corrosive substances can fall onto vehicles below, causing substantial paintwork damage and potentially creating expensive legal and insurance issues.

Flowcrete Australia aims to educate car park operators about the problems caused by flooding and overcoming these concerns using correctly specified, trafficable floor coatings.

Flowcrete Australia suggests the installation of a robust and waterproof deck coating to prevent the very occurrence of water ingress.

Buildings located in marine or waterfront environments are exposed to the saline atmosphere, which is likely to cause problematic structural issues in bare concrete areas. Steel reinforcements in commercial concrete slabs will quickly rust when exposed to the salt and water combination, expanding the steel up to five times its previous size and causing concrete spalling. The first signs of concrete spalling are concrete staining followed by the disintegration of concrete.

Concrete spalling is the first indication that the integrity of the structure has been compromised. A worst case scenario would see patches of concrete coming loose and falling away, risking both life and property, and leading to negligence claims being made against the car park’s owner or operator.

A car park floor coating helps safeguard the site against concrete spalling and disintegration by forming an impermeable barrier against large volumes of salt and water.

Water ingress in building car parks not only damages the concrete and compromises its structural integrity but also creates dangerous slip and trip hazards for pedestrians, especially after heavy rainfall. Having floors with the correct drainage gradients and a textured finish that enhances grip underfoot can help to minimise this danger.

Tyre squeal is another potentially unforeseen consequence of the wet season in car parks. Caused by water carried onto the site on tyres, the slippery floors aggravate the noise made by vehicles turning on a burnished or poorly sealed concrete floor.

Deck coating systems with anti-slip aggregates can be specified to minimise noise from tyres. The anti-slip aggregates provide the necessary friction for the vehicle’s tyres, reducing or removing the squealing sound. Especially beneficial in areas of the car park with tight turning circles, resin flooring solutions can be supplied with the right amount of aggregates to meet the anti-slip needs of the facility.

Flowcrete Australia advises that flooring for car parks in flood risk zones should be waterproof, have excellent bond strength and chemical resistance, and offer high abrasion resistance.