Protecting the Concrete in Car Parks?

Multi-level concrete car parks deserve some special attention

Multi-level car parks are not very exciting structures, but of course, they’re practical. Due to the inherently low visual appeal, it sometimes seems the façade gets the most attention in the design process!
But if you want your car park to last its intended service life, at minimum maintenance cost, then there are some important factors to consider for the concrete.
This includes both above-ground and basement car parks. And some of these factors are true of other structures too!



Guess what uses a car park? Cars. And car tyres.
Car tyres are the biggest threat to the lifespan of car park slabs. The slab surface will, of course, tend to wear under the constant traffic, ultimately resulting in concrete dusting and reduced coverage of the reinforcing steel.
Those same tyres will bring water, oil and road grime onto the car park floors. Water carries contamination deep into the concrete, setting up the factors for corrosion of the steel.

And those same tyres will wear away any surface coating which is applied as a surface sealer. Surface sealer coatings are supposed to be re-applied periodically even when they aren’t under traffic. It’s doubtful how often that happens in accordance with the datasheet.
We’d like to introduce the INFRA-TECT system.

The key to INFRA-TECT is advanced hydrogel treatment, which penetrates deep into the concrete (around 150mm) and seals the porosity with anti-dust hardening.
No surface sealer to wear away! No need to re-apply – ever! The concrete floor slab is hardened and durable for the full intended service life of the structure.
Better still, if the INFRA-TECT system is applied at the curing stage, there’s no need for a separate curing compound or time-consuming water curing. You benefit from enhanced concrete curing, equal or superior to 14 days’ water curing.


Car park pic



Another place that’s often overlooked (underlooked?) is the ceiling or soffit – the underside of the floor slabs.
No, it doesn’t have cars driving on it. Yes, it does deteriorate with age. Remember that the soffit is exposed to constant exhaust fumes. Carbonation and dusting over time will tend to be accelerated.
Here again, the INFRA-TECT system can help, by penetrating, sealing, and binding up the reactive elements within the concrete. The system is a very effective anti-dust treatment for concrete ceilings.



…and you get the added factor of weather exposure.
Long story short, your car park roof deck absolutely must be protected against the weather. Not easy when it’s completely exposed.

Rainwater and wind combine to wear away exposed structures at the best of times. Add in that oil and road grime we mentioned, and you’ve got a serious recipe for premature concrete decay.
Steel corrosion and internal concrete reactants cause cracking. Little cracks become big cracks, and big cracks kill concrete.

MARKHAM specifically designed the flexible TOP-TECT® system for podium decks. But Hugh explains below…


Here’s where this multi-part waterproofing system comes into play for car parks.


This three-part system completely removes the need for a membrane and consists of

  • Advanced hydrogel waterproofing admixture
  • Additional spray-applied penetrating treatment
  • CONQOR 47B delayed swell water stop for joints and penetrations

A complete waterproofing system, ideal for car park roof slabs.
And by the way, it also suits car park basements. But, in a way, that’s another story.


A frequently asked question we get is “Is hydrogel treatment compatible with line marking or epoxy coatings?” YES.

This treatment does not introduce any element not already present in the concrete.
Any coating designed for bare concrete will work as normal on hydrogel-treated concrete.


Have you ever driven into a multi-level car park and SCREECHED rounds corners and SQUEALED into park position? That’s a direct result of tyre friction on surface-applied sealer coatings.

INFRA-TECT floor slab treatments do not cause tyre squeal. You heard it from us first!

So – if you’re designing or constructing a multi-level car park (or a basement car park for that matter) why not get in touch? Let’s see how we can help make your concrete stronger, and last longer. And probably save you some time and money along the way.


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