Average Maintenance Cost for Parking Garage

by Tendon, on Aug 3, 2021 8:35:00 AM

As with any structure, parking garages require maintenance. It’s important that building owners budget for this. At Tendon Systems, we can design and supply materials for parking garages using the best concrete slab and post-tensioning systems. Sometimes, we have clients circle back to us after a year or two with complaints. These are unrelated to the actual structural components. Most issues you experience with a parking garage in the first ten years even will be the result of poor or unperformed maintenance. This can be a costly mistake.

To avoid paying out for fixes that could have been avoided, building owners and managers should understand and plan for the average maintenance cost for a parking garage. Read on to get a breakdown of what we recommend for different types of parking garages and how you can plan for the cost of keeping your structure in good repair.

Lifecycle Costs of Parking Garages

Any structure has a general lifecycle. Because they are made with durable materials, and as long as they are expertly designed and executed, a parking garage should incur minimal ongoing costs. But that doesn’t mean there are no ongoing costs. The bottom line varies based on a few factors.

There are three common types of parking garages, which are:

  1. Cast-in-Place (CIP)
  2. Steel
  3. Precast

These carry different costs (of magnitude) for repair, which may be worth considering before you even build. For example:

  • CIP has a higher initial cost (on average $500+ per parking space) but lower ongoing maintenance cost (on average $160 per parking space).
  • Steel has the lowest initial cost (on average $300+ per parking space) but the highest ongoing maintenance cost (on average, $450 per parking space).
  • Precast is the mid-range option, with a $450 average initial cost and $250 average ongoing maintenance cost.

Knowing which materials have the best life span and are still suitable for your property is vitally important. Contact us to consult with a construction expert or engineer.

A myriad of additional factors play into these very general numbers, including where you are located and whether you have underground parking. Remember that with each descending level (below grade), you will pay higher initial costs.

Two Cost Categories for Operating a Parking Facility

There are two main areas that make up the expenses for running a parking facility. These are:

  1. Operational
  2. Maintenance

Read on to get more detail on what individual expenses contribute to each budget item.

Operational Expenses for a Parking Garage

Numerous variables factor into the operational cost of running a parking garage. The first important point is that parking systems vary. Your parking garage may provide valet parking, transient parking, monthly parking, special event parking, etc. This will impact staffing, which is typically the highest expense in your operational budget. 

Here is a breakdown of the common operational budget items:

  • Staffing: staffing costs vary based on automation and type of parking services.
  • Cleaning: depending on how highly trafficked your parking garage is, cleaning may need to occur more frequently, which will drive up costs.
  • Management Fees: professional operators and location-based fees may apply to your facility.
  • Equipment service: elevators/escalators, digital systems and point of sale systems will all require regular attention and updates.
  • Aesthetic improvements: updated signage, a coat of paint, replacing doors, landscaping, etc.
  • Fire protection
  • Security system install and updates
  • Plumbing
  • Cost of required inspections

The operating conditions specific to your structure will be the best context for setting your own budget. 

Operational expenses most obviously impact your net income, but they are not all of the expenses you will incur in a year. The second type of expense, maintenance expenses, directly relate to the value and longevity of your building.

Maintenance Expenses for a Parking Garage

Ongoing maintenance maximizes the life of your facility. There are a few categories that can be helpful to consider:

  • Facility maintenance: this includes structural maintenance, wash-downs, painting and maintaining equipment.
  • Seasonal maintenance: if you have seasonal and climate-related changes through the year, you will have to factor those into your maintenance. Snow removal, sweeping and cleaning costs may all fluctuate throughout the calendar year.
  • Concrete slab maintenance: sealing cracks, paying for spot repairs and applying sealant/protective coating.
  • Restoration: knowing when a shrinkage or thermal crack has surpassed spot repairs is vitally important. Your facility may also suffer corrosion of reinforcement, rebar issues, expansion joint issues, movement issues, etc. Diagnosing these will probably require expert assessment but could be a part of parking garage maintenance. 

Anticipating maintenance expenses keeps them from being surprising or unwelcome. Nothing has to be flawed for a parking system to require maintenance, repairs and even restoration after a certain length of time. Knowing this in advance can set realistic expectations for your responsibilities, and incentivize building owners to maintain the garage at a high standard.

How Much Does Parking Garage Maintenance Cost?

There are some global statistics on what maintaining a parking structure costs.

On average, experts estimate the following finances for parking garage maintenance:

  • Operational and maintenance expenses for a parking garage may cost $200-$300 per parking space each year.

Preventative maintenance is always the best way to mitigate major costs. Energy-efficient lighting, regular deck sealing, caulking and joint replacement and other maintenance items can also offset this projected expense.

Build a Parking Garage + Maintain a Parking Garage

Tendon has been in the parking garage game for a long time. From towering structures to complete remodels or renovations, our team of engineers and designers have created enduring, reliable and innovative buildings. 

If you are in need of parking garage maintenance or simply want an expert consultation, we can help. Contact the Tendon team to learn more.