Can Your Concrete Floor Support A Mezzanine?
Mezzanine systems are a popular solution for expanding storage space in warehouses without increasing the building footprint. However, before installing a mezzanine, it's essential to determine whether the concrete floor in your warehouse can support the additional weight. Failure to do so can result in a serious safety hazard, as well as significant damage to the building and the mezzanine system.
First, Bring In An Architect Or Structural Engineer
While mezzanine vendors can give you quite a bit of information and engineering support, you should always do your homework. It's essential to consult with a qualified professional to confirm a floor's load capacity before proceeding with an installation. Raymond West can help you find the professional to make this assessment.
To determine whether your concrete floor can handle the weight of a mezzanine system, there are several factors that an architect or engineer will consider.
Concrete Thickness And Capacity
A primary consideration is the thickness of your concrete floor and its load capacity. An average concrete floor is six inches thick and has a capacity of about 25,000 pounds. However, this may vary depending on the soil compression beneath the slab, which can be affected by the underlying water table, soil type, and other environmental factors.
Platform Load Rating And Column Spacing
Another critical factor to consider is the platform load rating and column spacing of the mezzanine system you plan to install. The interior columns of the platform bear the most weight, as they support most of the platform's square footage. Different configurations of the platform can vary the uniform load.
Calculating Uniform Load
To determine the uniform load that the mezzanine system will place on the concrete floor, you can multiply the platform's square footage by the uniform load. For example, if the uniform load is 125 pounds per square foot and the platform's square footage is 196 square feet, the column loading would be 24,500 pounds.
What If My Floor Won’t Support A Mezzanine?
If the concrete floor cannot support the weight of a mezzanine system, there are alternative, albeit costly, solutions. For example, you can consult with a building architect about pouring footers for the columns. Footers are reinforced portions of the floor that can handle heavy loads, and a contractor can cut a portion of the floor out, dig out the underlying soil, and pour new concrete that can support the mezzanine system's weight.
Talk To A Mezzanine Expert
If you’d like to learn more about mezzanines, or need a referral to a qualified architect or engineer for your mezzanine project, talk to a mezzanine expert at Raymond West today.