MAPEI PRODUCTS ON THE JOB
“The job started in December of 2017,” Hernandez said. “The areas that were specified in the Scope of Work were the facades and vertical elevations of the mall’s southeast section, the exterior facade of the parking garage, and the loading dock and hall areas inside the eastern section of the mall. It was 185,000 square feet [17 187 m2] in total.”
Working as MAPEI’s Concrete Restoration Specialist with a seven-to-10-man crew from GCC, Hernandez and the crew systematically planned their work around the frantic holiday shopping crowds. “We would start early in the morning before the mall opened,” he said, describing their strategy for working on the mall facades.
And when it came time to address the parking garage? “We blocked off the sections in which we were working by using cones and caution tape, preventing the public from accessing those areas,” Hernandez explained. “When we worked on the walls that were over the street access, we worked in lifts – tied off with four-point safety harnesses. And we did not spray-apply anything because trying to protect all of those people and cars from overspray would have been a logistic nightmare, especially during the holiday rush. Even in the morning and midday, the mall was busy. Also, we didn’t spray-apply because the contractor and I both believe that you get better waterproofing properties by using a roller or a brush.”
Before they could roller- or brush-apply Elastocolor products, however, they had to address the concrete itself. Hernandez described the application process, “Whether in the mall, the parking garage or the interior loading dock areas, the application process followed the same steps.”
First, the concrete substrate was pressure-washed clean. Then, any necessary repairs were addressed with Planitop XS. The crew trowel-applied the one-component, fiber-reinforced, polymer-modified repair mortar onto any spalls or cracks. “If there was any exposed reinforcing steel, we applied Mapefer 1K coating onto it as a corrosion inhibitor prior to applying the Planitop. Then, once any exposed rebar was repaired and the delaminations and cracks were filled and level, we trowel-applied Planiseal 88,” Hernandez said. Planiseal 88 is a one-component, polymer-modified, cementitious coating used for waterproofing. The Planiseal 88 was applied in all wall areas in which the existing paint had delaminated due to moisture coming from the negative side of the structure. Using trowels to apply the Planiseal 88 also allowed the crew to achieve the fine texture pattern that the Galleria wanted, Hernandez explained.
Next came the roller application of one coat of Elastocolor Primer WB, the 100% acrylic primer designed for use with Elastocolor Coat. Following the primer, “we used rollers and brushes to apply two, 12-mil WFT coats of Elastocolor Coat in the Galleria’s custom colors matched to the owner’s requirements,” Hernandez said. Depending on the area, those colors were light gray, light gray blue and light white.
Hernandez makes the process seem easy. Working with MAPEI products, it was. The challenge came with aspects of the jobsite itself. The first and largest challenge of working on this jobsite was due to project timing. “Holiday shoppers,” Hernandez said with a small laugh. “We didn’t work near them too much because we were largely able to schedule around them, but it made accessing the interior of the mall a challenge.” The crew also had the challenge of fighting mall traffic with their trucks and equipment to get to the jobsite. The structure of the mall itself was difficult: The surface of the concrete featured a complex square design with a very rough texture. “We had to work it with brushes and thicker rollers,” Hernandez explained. “We never used spray equipment.”
The Galleria appreciated MAPEI’s quality products, Hernandez’ knowledge and the GCC team’s attention to detail. And they will be back at work at the Galleria. The specifications for the rehabilitation of the north section of the mall are scheduled for next year.