The purpose of a cornice is chiefly decorative, however, cornices serve a waterproofing function by shielding the top of the building's façade from rain runoff. For building owners who want to preserve the architectural qualities and historical character of their properties — particularly in landmarked buildings or designated historic districts — keeping the cornice in sound condition is paramount.
When repairing or replacing your cornice, DCS's first step is to perform a hands-on evaluation and probe from a scaffold. This will help determine whether the cornice can be patched or repaired in places, or if sections or the entire cornice needs replacing. The important thing is that the new cornice must be an exact visual replica of the original.
Cornices were traditionally constructed from either masonry (terra cotta or stone), sheet metal (galvanized steel or sometimes copper), or even wood. It is suggested, but not required that buildings repair or replace materials with like materials. Replacing sections of the cornice with different materials, however, even if they match visually, can lead to problems resulting from the materials' different expansion and contraction properties and attachment details.
Detroit Cornice & Slate has a long history of refurbishing and/or replicating cornices in widely diverse applications. It is this experience that allows us to enjoy an excellent reputation in our industry.