EXP routinely goes beyond the expectations of our clients because our people are experienced, thorough and have the right solutions at their fingertips. Recently, Chris McConnell, a project manager in our building science façade group in Brampton, completed one of the more interesting restoration projects of his career, all because of an astute observation.

A mall, which was constructed in the path of a floodplain, was almost entirely suspended to allow water to flow underneath the structure. During a repair at this project, he decided to walk the six-foot high space under the mall, backfilled with stone and granular, and found that there was some water stains, rust stains and efflorescence on the underside of the suspended slab beneath the entrances into the mall. In addition to these stains, it was also identified that the suspended slab was not exclusively under the enclosed mall and extended past the building at most of the entrances.

A further review identified that during the original construction, there was no waterproofing system in place to protect the exposed concrete, or on the inside of the entrance vestibules. The client agreed to conduct a condition survey, including core samples, which led to a full project to rectify the problem. Years without a waterproofing membrane allowed salt laden water to penetrate through the concrete and had damaged the structural concrete slab’s reinforcement bars and the repairs were quite extensive.

Once repairs were completed, a new waterproofing membrane was installed on the exterior and interior portions of the slab, as foot traffic within the vestibule had brought water, salts and debris inside. A Pedimat grid system was also installed, and thanks to the detailing methods discussed with us and the manufacturer, each grid is self-contained.

Having a keen eye for detail is essential for inspections and site visits. Chris’s investigation of the underside of the mall prevented a much bigger problem in the future. That’s the power of strong client relationships, and why we’re a trusted advisor on major projects across North America.