OH Clinton County Courthouse Colorseal EMSEAL joint sealants

Clinton County Courthouse, Ohio


Colorseal Expansion Joint installed in Clinton Court House Dome

Crowning Achievement–Horizontal Colorseal Serves and Protects a Precious Dome

Clinton County, Ohio: In 1996, the stunning plaster interior of the dome of the Clinton County Courthouse was under attack–from water. Previous attempts to seal the dome using traditional caulk and backer-rod materials and methods had failed to provide a lasting solution.

Colorseal Expansion Joint installed in Clinton Court House Dome

The dome is clad in natural stone. Each slab abuts the next at a joint. The joints vary in width all over the dome. The joint sizes range from as small as 1/4″ (6mm) to as large as 1 1/4″ (30mm). This variation has made sealing the dome a challenge for traditional caulk and backer-rod. Installation methods for this technology rely on the tooling in the field of a difficult “hour-glass” geometry in order to ensure the proper functioning of the material. Caulk or “liquid sealant” materials then rely on adhesion to the substrate for proper performance. This adhesion, when placed under even small amounts of tension is seldom reliable in the long-term.

Colorseal Expansion Joint installed in Clinton Court House Dome

Even in small sizes, EMSEAL’s Horizontal Colorseal features the best characteristics of liquid sealants while eliminating all of their shortcomings.

The material exposed to the weather is a factory-controlled and cured bellows of low-modulus silicone. It is backed by an acrylic-impregnated foam that provides non-invasive anchoring to the stone substrate through adhesion and through compression in the foam matrix. A small corner-bead of silicone between the silicone bellows and stone further ensures watertightness. The corner-bead, because of the backpressure of the foam, is never in tension and therefore suffers no adhesion loss as in the caulk and backer-rod option.

EMSEAL Colorseal Expansion Joint at Clinton Court House Dome

The operations crew are delighted with the results. The dome hasn’t leaked at the joints in 16-plus years. This means that leak-chasing mops and buckets have been replaced by rakes and garden tools in pursuit of keeping the grounds looking neat and tidy. Case closed.