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The dome of this historic county courthouse, built in 1906 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, underwent a terra cotta replacement to the original dome resigned by William Kauffman. Several years after the replacement construction, the contractor retained RRJ to evaluate the gold-colored glazed terra cotta deterioration.
RRJ’s investigation revealed that water was entering at the mortar-to-terra cotta bond line through small normal separations. This water filled the pore structure of the terra cotta clay body. Additionally, the glaze on the terra cotta surface and waterproofing below the terra cotta prevented any drying of the terra cotta, which led to freeze/thaw deterioration.
Major ventilation modifications were recommended by RRJ to permit evaporation of entrapped moisture and to eliminate the critically saturated terra cotta freeze/thaw conditions.