Report indicated that condos in Florida suffered'major damage' before they collapsed

The concrete slab on which the ground floor pool deck of the oceanfront condo building collapsed in Miami had "major structural damage" that required extensive repair. According to an engineering report from 2018, the concrete slab also had "abundant cracking, spalling" of concrete columns and beams, and walls within the garage.

Report indicated that condos in Florida suffered'major damage' before they collapsed

This report was one of a number of documents that Surfside released as rescuers continued digging through rubble Saturday in an attempt to locate any of the 159 people still missing after the collapse. At least four people died.

Although the Morabito Consultants engineering report did not mention any imminent danger, and it is not clear if any of it was responsible for the collapse, it did highlight the need for costly repairs to address the systemic problems with Champlain Towers South.

According to the report, the waterproofing had failed under the pool deck and was improperly laid flat rather than sloped. This prevented water from draining away.

"Failed waterproofing is causing severe structural damage to concrete slabs below these areas." The report stated that failure to replace the waterproofing in the immediate future would cause concrete deterioration and exponential growth.

The firm suggested that the slabs damaged in major repairs be replaced.

The concrete damage in the parking garage was mostly minor. However, other columns had exposed and deteriorating bars. It was also found that previous attempts at fixing the columns or other damage with epoxy had been marred by poor workmanship, and failed.

The report stated that beneath the pool deck, "where the slab was epoxy-injected", new cracks radiate from the previously repaired cracks.

These were problems that needed to be addressed quickly, according to Gregg Schlesinger who is an attorney specializing on construction defects and a former project engineer.

"The building speaks to me. "It is telling us that we have a serious issue," Schlesinger stated in a Saturday telephone interview about the new documents. "They (building managers), kicked the can down to the road. Maintenance was poor. These were red flags that had to be addressed. They weren't.

Morabito Consultants released a statement Saturday confirming that its report had "detailed significant cracks in the concrete, which required repairs for the safety of residents."

Champlain Towers South hired the firm again in June 2020 to start the 40-year recertification process. This would outline what work was required.

The statement stated that roof repairs had been underway at the time of the collapse but concrete restoration hadn't yet started.

Abi Aghayere is an engineering researcher at Drexel University. He said that the engineering report showed significant damage. He noted that there were possible problems below the pool and that several areas over the entrance drive showed signs of deterioration. These should have been fixed immediately.

After reviewing the report, he sent an email to the AP asking for clarification. "Were there any other areas of the structure that were not noticed or badly damaged?"

The building was currently undergoing its 40-year recertification, which involves detailed structural and electrical inspections. Charles Burkett, Surfside Mayor, said Friday that he was not sure if the inspection had been completed but said that it could contain crucial clues.

Burkett stated, "It should've been very simple." Buildings in America don't just collapse like this. There's a reason. We must find the reason.

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