The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is the country’s most widely visited museum, and that means they’re eventually going to have to deal with wear and tear. This wear and tear started to become evident in over 2,000 square feet of uneven and cracked sidewalk, which was becoming a tripping hazard for their guests. By analyzing the problem and providing a solution, JES made people’s visits more comfortable once again.
1. The Challenges
Cracking, sinking concrete is not rare or confined to just residential or just commercial instances. But the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum posed some interesting challenges that many residential repairs don’t have to deal with like constant traffic and lots of visitation.
The most obvious problem was the cracking concrete outside of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Of course, this cracking concrete happened because, over a long period of time, people impacted the concrete, eventually causing it to develop cracks. Mostly, the museum was just worried that this would cause a tripping hazard for guests. Because it wasn’t indoors, it wasn’t really evidence of foundation failure; it was just an indication of the type of traffic the museum got.
Speaking of traffic, the near-constant stream of traffic all around the museum was a significant challenge.
If you were to take a classical approach, which would require tearing up the concrete and laying new concrete, you would have to deal with the thousands of tourists and residents walking past every day. This constant traffic required something that would set almost immediately. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum couldn’t just cordon off the sidewalks for days at a time to allow for concrete to set. It needed something much quicker.
Going along with the concept of traffic is the fact that the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is the most widely visited museum in the country. That means it draws a lot of visits every day and every year. Because of how many visitors the museum draws, it was important that any repair method could handle the weight of thousands of individuals walking over it, sometimes in just a single afternoon. It couldn’t be a cheap fix that would break quickly.
2. The Solution
By crafting a quick and easy solution that didn’t take long and still set solid, JES was able to provide a fix to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s problems.
The main ingredient of the solution for the museum was PolyRenewal polyurethane foam injections. These foam injections take only minutes to settle, require only about a penny-sized hole in the ground, and set solid for years to come. This polyurethane foam injection is an effective way to fix sunken concrete in both commercial and residential areas. If your home has sunken concrete problems, JES may recommend polyurethane foam injections in that area as well.
Even after raising the concrete sidewalks and ensuring that all pieces of the concrete fit together perfectly, there were still cracks in the concrete. These typically indicated the cracks that were already there before raising the concrete, but that may not have been obvious. To fix these cracks and ensure that no one tripped on them, JES used a joint sealant. This prevents debris and moisture from getting into the cracks and eating away at the polyurethane foam injections.
3. The Result
In a shockingly short amount of time, JES was able to turn the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s concrete from an uneven patchwork of potentially dangerous concrete into a well-leveled plane of concrete the museum could be proud of.
Interestingly enough, this process works nearly the same for both commercial and residential homes. If you have a commercial building, know that JES can work around your limitations to craft a solution that works for you. If you have a residential building, know that you’re getting corporate-level strength from all your fixes.