Collapsed Miami condo pool deck was flagged as a problem TWENTY FIVE YEARS ago in report which found 500ft of cracks and warned waterproofing had to be completely replaced

 The pool deck at the Miami condo building that collapsed killing more than 90 people last month, was flagged as having issues 25 years ago.

An inspection report from 1996 found 500ft of cracks in the pool deck above the garage at Champlain Tower South, in Surfside, and warned that the waterproofing under the deck had to be completely removed and replaced, a newly released construction permit shows.

The report highlighted serious issues in the building just 15 years after it was built.


Although the report didn't specifically indicate the building was at risk of collapse, it did outline an array of concerns similar to those raised in an October 2018 report by engineer Frank Morabito of Morabito Consultants Inc. 

The building collapsed in the early hours of June 24, with 95 people so far confirmed dead and 22 people unaccounted for. 

It appears that $156,602 of structural concrete construction work and waterproofing was certified on the building, according to a November 20, 1997, letter to the town.

Tong Le, the consulting engineer on the project, wrote: 'I performed inspection of different phases of the waterproofing of the deck and the repair of approximately … 20 square feet of spalls in the ceiling of the garage,' Le wrote. 'The repair has been performed under our inspections from the beginning to completion.

The pool deck has become a focal point in the investigation into why the tower suddenly collapsed on June 24.

The 2018 report previously highlighted a 'major error' in the original construction or design of the deck that prevented proper drainage and caused 'major structural damage' to the concrete slab below. 

Morabito supposedly warned Prieto of 'major structural damage' in the Champlain Towers South building he said would cost around $9 million to repair

Morabito supposedly warned Prieto of 'major structural damage' in the Champlain Towers South building he said would cost around $9 million to repair

The stability of a cracked pool deck has become the focal point for engineers investigating the June 24 collapse of the Surfside, Florida condo building

The stability of a cracked pool deck has become the focal point for engineers investigating the June 24 collapse of the Surfside, Florida condo building

The building collapsed in the early hours of June 24

The building collapsed in the early hours of June 24 

According to a 2018 report , conducted by engineer Frank Morabito of Morabito Consultants Inc., the pool deck above the garage at Champlain Tower South raised concerns as far back as 25 years ago

According to a 2018 report , conducted by engineer Frank Morabito of Morabito Consultants Inc., the pool deck above the garage at Champlain Tower South raised concerns as far back as 25 years ago


The 1996 also flagged issues in the walls around the pool deck, and said they would be 'sealed with a urethane sealant.'   

Polyurethane sealants are primarily used in construction and anywhere else a high-strength, water-resistant seal is needed.

They are meant to provide sufficient stress recovery to retain shape after being bent or pulled, and create even adherence to non-primed concrete. 

'The scope of work will be concrete structural repair in the parking garage,' Rob Sommer of Western Waterproofing Company of America said in a March 1996 letter to Surfside building officials.

'This type of repair entails removing loose concrete overhead, treating steel rebar with rust inhibitive coating and patching back with repair mortar,' Sommer wrote. 

The report explains that the pool deck had 500 cracks that needed to be sealed and a 20-square-foot slab that needed to be replaced during a 1996 inspection - 15 years after the original construction of the building

The report explains that the pool deck had 500 cracks that needed to be sealed and a 20-square-foot slab that needed to be replaced during a 1996 inspection - 15 years after the original construction of the building

The report goes on to add that minor cracking in the knee walls was discovered around the pool deck which would be 'sealed with a urethane sealant.'

The report goes on to add that minor cracking in the knee walls was discovered around the pool deck which would be 'sealed with a urethane sealant.'

Disputes over the deck, which sat atop a parking garage, resurfaced again in 2018 when Morabito found “major structural damage.'

Disputes over the deck, which sat atop a parking garage, resurfaced again in 2018 when Morabito found 'major structural damage.' 

Photos taken last in the pool equipment room at Champlain Towers South, which is located in the basement parking garage, show extensive concrete spalling and corroded rebar.
A contractor who photos of the pool equipment room, noticed puddles of water in the parking garage, which were in the direct spot beneath the leaking pool deck

Photos taken on June 22 in the pool equipment room at Champlain Towers South, which is located in the basement parking garage, show extensive concrete spalling and corroded rebar.

Crews work in the rubble Champlain Towers South condo, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after last Thursday's fatal collapse

Crews work in the rubble Champlain Towers South condo, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Many people were still unaccounted for after last Thursday's fatal collapse 

The report also indicated that the pavers on the pool deck showed 'moderate wear and tear from years of being exposed to the elements.' 

While the pavers didn't appear to pose any threat to the building's residents, the joint sealant was observed to be beyond its useful life and 'in need of complete replacement.' 

The report noted that the waterproofing below the pool deck and entrance drive also need to be completely removed and repaired.    

The lack of waterproofing was 'a systemic issue' tracing back to a flaw 'in the development of the original contract documents' 40 years ago, the report said.  

Disputes over the deck, which sat atop a parking garage, resurfaced again in 2018 when Morabito found 'major structural damage.' 

'Failure to replace waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially,' Morabito said in the report, which was produced for the Condominium Association.   

Rosendo Prieto was chief building official of Surfside until November 2020. Last week, he was placed on leave from his job as interim building official for C.A.P. Government Inc. 

Now, city officials in Doral are planning on reviewing his previous work to make sure he didn't clear other buildings that may be dangerous.

Morabito supposedly warned Prieto of 'major structural damage' in the Champlain Towers South building he said would cost around $9 million to repair. 

He said the concrete deterioration should 'be repaired in a timely fashion.'    

In November 2018, Prieto told the residents that he had reviewed Morabito's report and found little of concern.

'It appears the building is in very good shape,' Prieto told them, according to the minutes of the meeting released by Surfside on Monday, and obtained by NBC News     

Collapsed Miami condo pool deck was flagged as a problem TWENTY FIVE YEARS ago in report which found 500ft of cracks and warned waterproofing had to be completely replaced Collapsed Miami condo pool deck was flagged as a problem TWENTY FIVE YEARS ago in report which found 500ft of cracks and warned waterproofing had to be completely replaced Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:25 Rating: 5

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