Before Collapse, Condo Had 'Major Structural Damage'

Concrete structural slab below building's pool deck was said to need extensive repairs
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 26, 2021 9:15 AM CDT
Report: Before Collapse, Condo Had 'Major Structural Damage'
In this aerial image, search and rescue workers are seen Friday at the site of an oceanfront condo building that partially collapsed, in Surfside, Fla.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The oceanfront condominium building that collapsed near Miami had "major structural damage" to a concrete structural slab below its pool deck that needed to be extensively repaired, according to a 2018 engineering report on the building. The report was among a series of documents released by the city of Surfside as rescuers continued to dig through the rubble of the building in an effort to find any of the people who remain unaccounted for after its Thursday collapse. While the engineering report from Morabito Consultants didn't warn of imminent danger from the damage—and it's unclear if any of the damage observed was responsible for the collapse—it did note the need for extensive and costly repairs to fix the systemic issues with the building, per the AP. It said the waterproofing under the pool deck had failed and been improperly laid flat instead of sloped, preventing water from draining off.

"The failed waterproofing is causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas," the report said. "Failure to replaced the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially." The firm recommended that the damaged slabs be replaced in what would be a major repair. The report also uncovered "abundant cracking and spalling" of concrete columns, beams, and walls in the parking garage. Some of the damage was minor, while other columns had exposed and deteriorating rebar. It also noted that many of the building's previous attempts to fix the columns and other damage with epoxy were marred by poor workmanship and were failing. While officials said no cause for the collapse has been determined, Gov. Ron DeSantis said a "definitive answer" was needed in a timely manner.

(Read more building collapse stories.)

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