Lakewood, OH

Historical Buildings

Restoring a Neighborhood Church

Gethsemane Lutheran Church

Gethsemane Lutheran Church was built more than 60 years ago as a place for worship on Madison Avenue in a busy Lakewood neighborhood. The building had not been cleaned since its original construction, leaving the exterior with deep carbon residue and deteriorated mortar. At the time they reached out to Cleveland Building Restoration and Warren Roofing™, our partner on this job, they were dealing with leaks in various locations inside the church.

Finding Safe Access

The Challenge

The church’s location on a highly trafficked Lakewood street made getting to the exterior a unique challenge. While Cleveland Building Restoration would typically set up standard decking and scaffolding, the crew needed to use a man lift to give team members access to the exterior.

Complete Restoration

Our Process

One of the biggest aspects of the job was tackling the deep carbon residue on the building’s exterior. Because of the building’s proximity to the street in a busy urban area, the carbon monoxide produced by the auto exhaust of cars driving by had soiled the church’s exterior. Over time, this by-product—which is like soot—can greatly diminish exterior masonry and its appearance. This was definitely the case for Gethsemane Lutheran Church, which had decades of carbon staining.

For this tough masonry cleaning job, Cleveland Building Restoration selected PROSOCO® ReVeal, a restoration cleaner that is designed to remove carbon staining from masonry and stone. The entire building was washed with this cleaner and the results were significant—deep layers of stains were removed to reveal the building’s original exterior.

In addition to masonry cleaning, Cleveland Building Restoration was called to address interior leaks. Teams from both Cleveland Building Restoration and Warren Roofing™ walked the entirety of the building’s interior to identify all leaks. While Warren Roofing™ handled the necessary removal and replacement of the church’s flat roofing systems, Cleveland Building Restoration tuckpointed more than 30 percent of the building, removing and replacing damaged mortar, and recaulked around windows to eliminate opportunities for water infiltration.

An Exterior Refresh

The Outcome

Gethsemane Lutheran Church and its congregation were thrilled with the exterior changes—and the security of knowing the source of the interior leaks was completely repaired. The church now has restored curb appeal to welcome current and new parishioners.