Call Us to Make an Appointment Today! 847-647-2500

Terra Cotta

What is Terra Cotta?

Terra cotta, derived from fired clay, is a specialized building material known for its versatility, durability and aesthetic appeal. It can be used in a variety of architectural situations, such as facades, roofing, cornices and columns as well as decorative features, adding warmth and character to buildings. It is valued for its energy efficiency and ability to withstand the elements, making it a popular choice in both historic and modern architecture.

Terra Cotta Services provided by Fortune Restoration

Cleaning: Terra cotta’s beauty often times gets tarnished by dirt, grime, mildew and stubborn stains that won’t come out. Fortune Restoration uses a superior cleaning product from Cathedral Stone, that is specially designed to remove the “permanent” dirt and stains.

Repairing Damage: As damage occurs, the route of simply replacing terra cotta is not a path frequently traveled. Due to its complex creation process and molding procedure, total replacement is extremely expensive. To repair terra cotta damage, the correct product must be used. Regular day to day mortar will lead to failure within three-to-five-years (earlier if salt and freeze-thaw are a factor); The most elite product in the industry is “Jahn M100” mortar. M100 is laboratory-engineered to match the unique physical properties of terra cotta, not only adhering to the substrate, but acting as one with the substrate. Jahn products last as long as the masonry being repaired/restored, making it a solution to your terra cotta problem, not a temporary three-to-five-year fix. Jahn mortars are very tedious and difficult to handle when it comes to the application process, requiring specialty training and certifications. Fortunately, Fortune Restoration has several foremen that are Jahn certified and highly trained in the application of this product, making us your safest and trusted contractor for your terra cotta repairs.

Sealing: As terra cotta ages and gets exposed to the elements, its sealing/glossy finish eventually fades away. After cleaning and repairing damage, Fortune Restoration will apply a clear acrylic coating, specifically designed for terra cotta. This clear coat emulates the look of new terra cotta, providing a natural looking, low lustre finish. This procedure wraps up your terra cotta project, restoring it back to a reflection of its original condition. 

Why Hire Fortune Restoration?

Fortune Restoration’s team has been specifically trained in the restoration of terracotta. Our selection of superior cleaning agents, specialty products and hands-on certification/training, separates us from our competitors. We have spent over a decade learning the proper procedures and techniques, allowing us to meet the industry standard and deliver customer satisfaction.

Terracotta: Care and Restoration by Fortune Restoration

At Fortune Restoration, we understand the timeless beauty and rich history of terracotta.  Used for centuries in everything from flower pots to architectural marvels, terracotta adds a touch of warmth and character to any space. But like any material, terracotta requires proper care to maintain its beauty and longevity.

What is Terracotta?

Terracotta, literally meaning “baked earth” in Italian, is a type of earthenware made from fired clay.  Its natural reddish-brown color comes from the iron content in the clay.  Terracotta is prized for its:

  • Versatility: It can be molded into various shapes and sizes, making it suitable for a wide range of uses.
  • Durability: When properly cared for, terracotta can last for centuries.
  • Breathability: Terracotta allows moisture to pass through, making it ideal for planters.

Terracotta Care: Cleaning and Maintenance

  • Regular dusting: Use a soft brush or microfiber cloth to remove dust and loose dirt.
  • Spot cleaning: For minor spills or stains, use a damp cloth with a mild soap solution. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and dry completely.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals: Never use abrasive cleaners, bleach, or ammonia, as these can damage the terracotta.

Repairing Terracotta

Small cracks or chips in terracotta can often be repaired. Here’s a general process:

  1. Clean the area around the damage: Remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Choose a patching material: A grout or epoxy designed for terracotta repairs is ideal.
  3. Apply the patching material: Fill the crack or chip carefully, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Sand and smooth the patch: Once dry, use fine-grit sandpaper to create a smooth finish.
  5. Consider sealing (optional): For outdoor terracotta or frequently used items, a sealant can provide additional protection.

Note: For extensive repairs or delicate pieces, consult a professional restoration service like Fortune Restoration.  We have the expertise and experience to handle even the most challenging repairs.

Terracotta Restoration

Over time, terracotta can become weathered, stained, or lose its original luster.  Fortune Restoration offers a range of restoration services to bring your terracotta back to life, including:

  • Deep cleaning: We use specialized techniques to remove dirt, grime, and stains without damaging the terracotta.
  • Crack and chip repair: Our skilled technicians can restore broken or chipped pieces to their original condition.
  • Color restoration: Through gentle cleaning and color matching, we can revive the natural beauty of your terracotta.

Preserving Terracotta

  • Protect from extreme weather: If possible, keep terracotta out of direct sunlight and harsh weather conditions. For outdoor pieces, consider applying a breathable sealant.
  • Winterize outdoor terracotta: During freezing temperatures, empty and cover outdoor planters to prevent cracking.
  • Handle with care: Terracotta can be heavy and brittle. Always handle it with care to avoid breakage.

By following these tips and consulting Fortune Restoration for professional cleaning and restoration services, you can ensure your terracotta pieces are enjoyed for generations to come.

Contact Fortune Restoration in Lincolnwood, Illinois today for a free consultation!

We proudly serve the following suburbs and neighborhoods:

  • Evanston
  • Lincoln Park 
  • Lake View 
  • Wilmette
  • Andersonville 
  • Winnetka
  • Oak Park
  • Rogers Park 
  • Park Ridge
  • Hyde Park 
  • Bucktown 
  • Wrigleyville 
  • Lake Forest 
  • River Forest
  • Kenwood/ Hyde Park 
  • Irving Park 
  • Wicker Park 
  • Edgewater
  • Ravenswood 
  • Highland Park
  • La Grange 
  • Goose Island/ Noble Square/ River West 
  • Wildwood/ Edgebrook/ S. Edgebrook/ Sauganash 
  • Rogers Park 
  • Old town/ Gold Coast/ Near North
  • University Village/ Near West Side 
  • Old Irving Park/ Cragin 
  • Norwood Park/ Edison Park
  • North Brook 
  • River Side 
  • Glenview 
  • East Garfield Park 
  • Hinsdale 
  • South Loop 
  • Belmont Heights/ Belmont Terr 
  • Belmont Cragin/ Hermosa 
  • Southside/ Auburn Grenshaw 
  • West Lawn/ Chicago/ Marquette Park 
  • New East Side 
  • Beverly/ Washington Heights/ Morgan Park 
  • Garfield Ridge 
  • Lower West Side