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ICRI 2010 Project Award Winner
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Award of Merit: Low-Rise Category

Repair of the Sea Vista Condominiums
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South Padre Island, Texas

Submitted by Sika Corporation

Sea Vista Condominiums

Sea Vista Homeowners Association
South Padre Island, Texas

Project Engineer/

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Austin, Texas

Repair Contractor
Mobile Enterprises, Inc.
Fort Worth, Texas

Material Suppliers/

Sika Corporation
Lyndhurst, New Jersey

Cathodic Protection Technology
Cocoa Beach, Florida

The Sea Vista Condominiums consist of two six-story reinforced concrete buildings on the beach approximately 100 yd (91.4 m) from the Gulf of Mexico. They are located on South Padre Island, TX, and were built in 1981-1983. The condos were previously repaired in 1998 but required a significant rehabilitation after only 10 years because the root cause of the damage was not fully addressed the first time. Chloride-induced corrosion had caused extensive damage to the balconies, columns, and beams, which, in some cases, necessitated full-depth repairs to the structure. 

South Padre Island is a barrier island along the Texas Gulf. The humid, subtropical climate; extended summer months; proximity to the heavily salt-laden Gulf of Mexico; and high winds all contribute to one of the most aggressive corrosion spots in the U.S. Airborne chlorides were the source of the reinforcing bar deterioration in this project, which caused extensive cracking spalling, and overall deterioration to the structure. To make matters worse, the concrete cover was less than 0.5 in. (12.7 mm) in many locations, accelerating the corrosion process even more. 

A number of repair techniques were used on this project, making sure that the root cause—and not just the symptoms—was fully addressed. These consisted of hand-applied, form-and-pour, full-depth repairs to different sections of the building. Corrosion mitigation techniques consisted of embedded galvanic anodes installed in all of the patch locations and an impressed-current cathodic protection system installed on all of the soffits and columns throughout the structure. A protective coating and membrane system was applied after all of the structural repairs were completed to ensure a long-lasting, sustainable repair. The client’s overall goals were met, including restoring the structure, arresting the corrosion, adding value to the investment, and improving the aesthetics of the building.

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