The historic United Pentecostal Church in Cleveland, Ohio, originally built in 1905, is constructed with ornate terracotta gutters, window mullions, ashlars and relief placards. Over the years the terracotta gutter system deteriorated due to water infiltration and subsequently caused water to enter the building damaging the decorative plaster ceilings.
After careful review, the Church Board selected M-A Building and Maintenance Company to conduct an inspection and develop alternative solutions to restore the terracotta gutter system/structures.
Terracotta Restoration - GFRC
The Church Board selected to remove and salvage the entire gutter system and replace certain terracotta pieces that could not be repaired with Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) elements because it is lightweight, durable and easy to install. M-A Building's craftsmen documented and catalogued each piece of salvageable terracotta. Architectural Restoration Castings, Inc. (ARC), from Ambridge, PA was selected to produce matching elements with careful attention to color, size, relief and texture.
Deteriorated Terracotta / Corroded Steel
The assessment of the terracotta gutter systems revealed the original slope for drainage was no longer intact to maintain water flow to the downspouts and in fact may cause potential future problems with regard to load. The loss of slope was caused by corrosion of the supporting steel structure which induced cracking, spalling and chipping of the terracotta gutter and modillion. In most cases, the ashlars below the modillion were in good condition. All gutter locations had been repaired previously, at least two times and had 3 layers of flashing attached to the system and to the edge of the eave. The top two layers were a thin metal flashing and asphalt paper. The original metal flashing was the innermost layer. These layers created an extra load on the terra cotta gutter.
A section of gutter, including the modillion was removed in tact to facilitate the development of alternative solutions for replacing the structural supports and the decorative terracotta. The structural support consisted of a pair of opposed steel angles situated at the bottom of the gutters. These angles also act as a hanger system for each modillion. The angles are set in a masonry pocket and protrude perpendicular to the masonry wall approximately 2 feet.
Terracotta Modillion Repair
Over 100 new GFRC pieces and nearly 300 salvaged and repaired terra cotta pieces will be installed when the restoration project is complete. Once installed the new decorative gutter system West Side roofing will install a layer of EPDM sheeting to protect it from water infiltration and re-attach the downspouts capturing and carrying water away from the historic structure.
Check back soon to see updates of our progress!
M-A Building and Maintenance Company - 5515 Old Brecksville Rd - Independence, Ohio 44131