Emseal Parking Garage Expansion Joints at Island Park Ramp, Fargo ND

Island Park Ramp, Fargo “Yah that’s a good one.”

North Dakota

Date: 2001

Parking Deck Expansion Joints By EMSEAL at Island Park Ramp, Fargo ND

Parking garage expansion joints in Fargo, ND are standing the test of time–“You betcha!”

16 years later and the Thermaflex parking expansion joints are still looking good and performing well at the Island Park Ramp in downtown Fargo, North Dakota.

Caulk and backerrod in perimeter joints has long ago dried up and failed adhesively and cohesively (“Oh Geez!”) while the Thermaflex soldiers on. Even the factory-welded curb transitions are intact and working (“You’re darned tootin’!”)

You see, you could spend less up front on your expansion joints, but you’ll never spend less in the long run with Emseal. (“There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don’tcha know that?”)

Thermaflex in the Island Park Ramp in Fargo, “Yah that’s a good one.”

-Quotes courtesy of characters “Marge Gunderson” and “Jerry Lundegaard” from the movie, “Fargo”.

Thermaflex Parking Expansion Joints After 16 years of Service

Parking ramp expansion joint Thermaflex from EMSEAL

The Thermaflex system is a combination of a nosing material and extruded thermoplastic rubber seal set into a blockout. Longevity derives from the ability of both components to withstand traffic, abrasion, contaminants, and impact.  Aggregate loading of the nosing material resin is key to its ability to withstand impact and abrasion. Emseal chooses to forgo some yield and the resulting cost savings of heavily loading the resin of the nosing material with sand aggregate. Instead, we use a combination of fine sand and chopped fiberglass for aggregate. Furthermore we limit the aggregate to about 2 parts to 1 part of the mixed resin. This visit in 2017 showed the Thermaflex to be holding up very well, even after 16 years of service.

Caulk and Backerrod Aging and Adhesive Failure

Caulk and backerrod aging and adhesive failure

At the roof level, in the deck to wall joints at entrances, the sealant used was polyurethane “caulk and backerrod”. This liquid sealant is gunned into the joints over a foam backerrod that is used to set the depth and sized to achieve a proper “hour-glass” cross section in the tooled sealant. Over time the sealant has aged, hardened and failed in tension at the bondline in this location. Adhesion in tension is the weakest way to use an adhesive. The nosing material of the Thermaflex system uses its adhesive in shear. The Emcrete nosing material that bonds the double-celled, extruded sealing gland to the deck, is adhered across the base and to the back of the blockout. As the deck cools and the joints open, the modest tension required to pull the extruded gland open occurs in shear and spreads over the comparatively large bond area of the blockout.

Alternative To Liquid Sealant for Perimeter Joint Durability

Parking garage sealant selection can impact life cycle

Even on the lower levels where UV aging is less of a concern, the Thermaflex is seen to have outlasted the liquid sealant and backerrod.

An alternative to liquid sealant and backerrod in these joints would have been Horizontal Colorseal. Because Horizontal Colorseal is a precompressed, hybrid sealant, it would more likely have stood the test of time along with the Thermaflex. A great example of the Thermaflex and Horizontal Colorseal systems working together and standing the test of time can be seen at this case study of the US Patent and Trademark Office parking structure.

How Does Thermaflex Hold Up to Engine Oil?

Expansion joint resistance to engine oil. Thermaflex from EMSEAL

“How does your Thermaflex parking garage expansion joint hold up to engine oil?” is a question we get less frequently given our decades long track record of successful performance, but it does come up once in a while. It holds up really well.

Island Park Ramp offered some evidence of this. This parking space is clearly the daily home to a leaky sump. The nosing material and gland are resisting this exposure exceptionally.

Continuity of Seal: How Do Factory Welds Perform Over Time?

Parking deck factory-fabricated transition and termination. EMSEAL Thermaflex.

Continuity of seal is hallmark of the EMSEAL approach to lasting joint sealing. At the heart of this approach is the ability to deliver custom-made, factory-fabricated transitions. Factory-fabrication takes the risk of leaks improper field-fabrication out of the picture. It also makes installation more efficient and the end result looks better too.  Curb transitions at the Island Park Ramp feature a factory-fabricated inside-90, outside-90 and end-dam termination in the Thermaflex TM 1.5 system installed in 2001. After 16 years, no weld breaks are evident.

Lowest Total Cost of Ownership Expansion Joints

Parking expansion joint at egress doorways EMSEAL Thermaflex

At the end of the day, whether it’s a small deck in Fargo, ND or a consolidated rental care facility at a major airport, lowest total cost of ownership is our goal. With expansion joints, the common law of business balance is never more evident.

Specify EMSEAL and let us know how we can help you achieve your goals.