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How to Prevent Salt Corrosion of Your Parking Garage Drains

by Patti Althoff - Siwicki | Sep 28, 2017 | Plumbing, Parking Garage, Pipe Lining | 0 Comments

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When you think about maintaining your parking garage, you probably think about sealing the concrete to prevent premature deterioration of the concrete and the steel reinforcements running through the concrete.  While protective sealants are essential, you should not forget about your parking garage drains, which are also typically constructed from cast iron and/or steel and other metal components which are susceptible to corrosion under the right circumstances.  Unfortunately, if your garage drains significantly deteriorate, you could be looking at the need to completely replace the system, which could render your parking garage unusable and inconvenience your tenants.


Preparing for the 2017 Winter

At Althoff, we want Chicago property managers to be ready for winter and take preventive measures to protect garage floor drains before bone-chilling temperatures enter the city.  To help us in our endeavor, we’ve been looking at the weather predictions in the Farmer’s Almanac.  While Chicago isn’t predicted to see a deep freeze, the city is expected to see cold to very cold temperatures with average snowfall that’s slated to occur near the end of January and the middle of February.  For Chicago, that means we’ll see an average of 28.5 days of snow and 36.7 inches.  That means that there will be at least 28 days of snow plows and salting and de-icing, which could wreak havoc on your parking garage drains.

Causes of Parking Garage Drain Corrosion

Parking garage drains are highly susceptible to corrosion and clogs.  Cars traveling in and out and parking inside the garage can leak gas, oil and other automotive fluids, which can pose a hazard to your metal paring garage drains and the drainage system. 

In the winter, these drainage system hazards become worse with the addition of snow, ice water, salt and ice-melt products.  When snow and ice-melt combine with salt and de-icing products, they create a solution that can lead to rust and the degradation of your parking garage drainage system.

Inconvenient Truths About Parking Garage Drain Corrosion

Your parking garage drainage system is responsible for routing water, snow and ice from your parking garage and into the city’s storm drainage system.  When your system is highly corroded, it could slow the runoff process, leading to large puddles in your garage, which, if given enough time, could degrade the structure, leading to the need for an expensive restoration project.

In the worst case scenarios, the corrosion and deterioration of your parking garage floor drain system could render your entire garage unusable until the drainage system is repaired or completely replaced.  This could severely inconvenience your residents, employees and visitors if there aren’t enough parking lots on your property.

Pipe Lining to Prevent Parking Garage Drain Corrosion

Parking garage drain corrosion happens when harsh chemicals, including salt and ice-melt, come in contact with your metal garage floor drain pipes.  In order to prevent these chemicals and solutions from coming into contact with the metal pipes, we offer pipe lining. 

Our pipe lining solutions involve visually inspecting your garage drains, cleaning all your drains and the retention tanks and lining all your garage drainage pipes with an epoxy liner.  The liner, once cured, prevents water and salt from coming into contact with the metal of your pipes, which helps prevent future corrosion.  If your plumbers identify any severely worn or corroded pipes, we can create a combination plan that replaces the worst pipes in your parking garage while the rest are lined.

To schedule a cleaning of your parking garage drainage system and to see if pipe lining would help keep your garage floor drains flowing smoothly, call us at 815-790-9000.

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