This job in Torrance California was a warehouse that needed to close 4 truck docks for a new tenant. However they wanted to keep the truck docks for future use after the tenant leaves. This poses a few challenges I have not encountered before.

Typically when closing a truck dock permanently we will demo the dock leveler and rolling door and infill both with concrete or a CMU as appropriate. But in th this case we needed to build something that would last 50 years if necessary but was still easy to remove later.

To start we rolled up the rolling door and simply disabled it by means iof the chain. The door rails were left in place because the interior wall was to be furred out and the entire door would be hidden anyways.




Next the dock levelers were disabled by using a a stick or SMAW welded steel tab to prevent them from moving. These tabs were two inches long with two on each side. These can easily be cut and ground smooth if the dock leveler is needed. On the outside a galvanized steel box was manufactured to fit round the levelers front and create a more aesthetic appearance.

Inside we built a wood frame infill and coated it with a waterproof kraft paper similar to stucco construction. On top of this we add regular cement board. Water is diverted by a flashing on top which the paper is tucked under. Water flowing on top lands on the galvanized steel leveler cover which has a 1″ lip on the backside. With this the construction was waterproof and secure.

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To finish the outside we used a a layer of a product called cement all with a special mesh tape to fill in the major voids. After that we used to coats of a products called one pass to finish the exterior smooth. Then it was primed and painted. The reality of any painted concrete is that the paint itself is a very significant waterproofing. The kraft paper etc was just to be doubly sure.

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The inside was a bit trickier because although the dock leveler was not moving is still was a large metal plate with big gaps inside our future workshop area. To fix these we used a wire fed MIG welder and spot welded 20 gauge metal across the openings. Then we skim coated the entire surface with super-krete’s “gray bond kote” product. It was difficult to install because it was very sticky but so far it has adhered very well to the metal, which was the biggest concern, and after some practice finishing the material has produced a color and texture sufficient for th new ownership.

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Of course whenever I install anything I never promise perfection. Concrete color and texture especially. But my hand troweled bond kote was aesthetically pleasing and similar to the machine troweled concrete of 30 years plus.

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