Dallas, Texas-based Western Specialty Contractors, formerly named Western Waterproofing Company, recently proved that doing work the old fashioned way by hand is still sometimes the best way.

Western crews recently completed a maintenance and repair project for the Southern Methodist University (SMU) School of Law in Dallas, Texas which required workers to use hand-sanding instead of machinery to complete the job.

Concrete around the quadrant area had begun to deteriorate due to steel rails being embedded directly into the concrete. Water eventually reached the steel, which caused it to expand and damage the surrounding concrete. The steel rails were sanded to ensure bonding and aesthetic longevity and were sealed to prevent future damage.

The scope of work also included re-caulking the walkway and steps, making epoxy injection repairs to the concrete cracks, repairing metal expansion joints, cleaning and repainting steel joint brackets, making overhead concrete spall repairs, repainting and caulking the handrail, removing stains and repairing stone, replacing the corroded hollow metal frame doors, and cleaning the pavement and steps.

The university required that the area be kept completely open at all times for students to walk through, and that noise and dust be kept at a minimum so nearby classes would not be disrupted. Western used strategic planning to allow a steady flow of pedestrian traffic through the construction zone and utilized hand-sanding, instead of sand blasting or power washing, to keep the dust and noise levels down.

"The strategic planning between Western and SMU was one of the most important aspects of the project. Western effectively planned ahead and mobilized quickly to take advantage of the month-long holiday break to do all of the heavy work. If this work had been done while school was in session, the walkway would have needed to be closed. Therefore, noise and dust was kept to a minimum by planning ahead and hand-sanding when school resumed," said Teddy Williams, Western Assistant Regional Business Development Manager.

Western crews were able to successfully complete the project within two months.