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Parking garages – Maintenance and inspection

Multistorey parking garages must be inspected regularly to ensure they are free from any defect that could endanger safety or contribute to the development of dangerous conditions.

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In Québec, more than anywhere else, multistorey parking garages are regularly subjected to the effects of the freeze-thaw cycle, de-icing salt and abrasives. That is why all regulated infrastructures with underground or aboveground parking where at least one driveable surface is not laid directly on the ground must be verified and maintained periodically.

Keeping of a register

During the building's lifetime, the following information or documents must be recorded in a register kept on the premises:

  • the owner's contact information
  • A copy of the construction plans for the garage as built, and any photograph, document or technical information showing the changes made, if available
  • a description of all repair or modification work carried out on the garage
  • a description of recurrent repairs to solve a given problem
  • the annual verification reports and the reports on any problem observed with respect to the garage
  • the in-depth verification reports for the garage.

Annual verification

Once a year, the owner must carry out a visual verification of the garage. The resulting observations must be recorded on an information sheet accompanied by dated photographs.

The Information sheet for the annual verification of a multistorey garage [Fr] – PDF (588 KB) is available for that purpose.

You may also create your own information sheet, in the desired format, provided it contains at least the same information as required in Schedule II in the Buildings chapter of the Safety Code This link leaves the Régie du bâtiment du Québec’s Website.This link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window..

This video This link leaves the Régie du bâtiment du Québec’s Website. (available in French only) shows you have to perform this verification and provides some tips for maintenance of your multi-level parking structure.

In-depth verification by an engineer

Every five years, the owner must obtain an in-depth verification report from an engineer stating that the garage is not in a dangerous condition and, if applicable, giving recommendations on ways to correct defects that could contribute to the development of a dangerous condition.

The owner must provide access to the site and make the construction plans and specifications and any other relevant documents available to the engineer, including reports on the soil and foundations, previous annual verification reports and previous in-depth verification reports.

The engineer's report, which must be produced no later than six months after the verification, must contain the following information:

  • the name, signature and business contact information of the engineer
  • a description of the mandate, the documentary review, the observation methods applied and the scope of the verification
  • information on the garage: location, age, dimensions, method of construction and load carrying capacity
  • the date of the verification
  • the outcome of the verification of all the structural elements: concrete characteristics, the state of corrosion of the reinforcement, and a description of any defects that could contribute to the development of a dangerous condition, along with their causes
  • the location of any defects noted
  • a description of the corrective work and the schedule recommended for its implementation
  • a summary of the report confirming that the garage is not in a dangerous condition and, where applicable, that recommendations have been submitted to the owner
  • appendices containing photographs, drawings and any other relevant information, to complete the report.

Frequency of in-depth verifications

The owner of a new garage must obtain an in-depth verification report between 12 and 18 months after the construction work is completed.

If the garage was built over five years ago as at March 18, 2013, the owner had to obtain a verification report before March 18, 2016.

Subsequently, the owner must obtain an in-depth verification report every five years.

An in-depth verification must also be carried out following any event that could affect the structural behaviour of the garage.

Reporting of dangerous conditions

If the engineer notes the presence of a dangerous condition, he or she must inform the owner and the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). In addition, the engineer must describe the emergency measures implemented or to be implemented without delay to correct the dangerous condition. In addition to implementing those emergency measures, the owner must:

  • notify the RBQ about them without delay. The owner must complete the form entitled Reporting a dangerous condition: façade or parking garage [Fr]
  • Send the RBQ a written description prepared by an engineer of the corrective work required and a schedule for the work for approval, all within 30 days
  • ensure that the work is completed in accordance with the above-mentioned description, plan and schedule
  • obtain, upon completion of the work, a verification report confirming the safety of the garage
  • send the RBQ a letter signed by the engineer confirming that all the corrective work has been completed to the engineer's satisfaction and that the garage is no longer in a dangerous condition.

Preventive maintenance

The owner is responsible for ensuring the maintenance and good condition of the multistorey parking garage. For preventive maintenance to be adequate, it should include the following actions:

  • Ensure proper floor drainage to prevent the formation of puddles. This involves: ­
    • ­ Checking the slope of the floor slabs and ensuring the floor drains are located at the lowest points
    • ­
    • ­ Cleaning the floor drains at least twice a year
  • Ensure the expansion or movement joints are airtight to prevent water infiltrations
  • Thoroughly clean the slabs at least twice a year. It is crucial that this operation be performed at least once each spring to eliminate de-icing salts accumulated in the winter. The salts penetrate the slabs, causing the corrosion of the steel bars, thus reducing the structural resistance.

Repairs

To extend the life expectancy of the structures in place while ensuring the continual safety of parking garage users, regular repairs are inevitable. Here is an overview of the repairs to be performed periodically:

  • Applying a filler or waterproof membrane. A membrane is good for about two years.
  • Installing new expansion or movement joints. Joints are good for about ten years.
  • Protecting the waterproof membrane with a wear liner.

Attention: All modifications and repairs must be made based on the recommendations and plans of an engineer, as some might increase the weight of the slabs.

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