ST. LOUIS, MO — Sealing and protecting a parking garage from the daily wear and tear of vehicle traffic and the elements is vital to maintaining a garage's overall structural integrity. Concrete restoration experts at the Springfield, Illinois, branch of Western Specialty Contractors recently spent two months repairing and protecting parking garages B4 and F29 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

University officials reached out to Western Specialty Contractors, general contractor FH Paschen and Sika Corp. to assist with pre-construction testing, evaluation and restoration of the two campus parking garages. A sizable project, university officials required that all of the work be completed during the summer, before the start of the fall semester.

Western started the project by shot blasting surface areas within both garages to open up the pores of the concrete to better accept the traffic coating material, as well as remove surface contaminants that could compromise its adhesion. Barricades and traffic-control measures were established to detour traffic around any active work areas.

After the shot blasting was complete, Western crews routed and then caulked with a urethane sealant any cracks wider than 1/16".

Due to the project's short timeframe, Western used a heavy-duty, urethane traffic coating called Sikalastic 720/745, manufactured by Sika Corp, that has a fast cure time and low odor to protect the garage occupants during its application.

The coating system was applied using notched squeegees and back rolling to meet the specified mil-thicknesses of the coating system. A dried silica sand was broadcast and back-rolled into the wet, uncured top coat to provide a non-skid surface.

After the coating was allowed to cure for a minimum of 48 hours, the traffic markings and striping were painted to match the existing layout. The project was completed on time and within budget.