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Parapet Walls-Chimneys

Updated on June 15, 2017

Parapet Tips

Many urban townhouses have parapet walls, which is a dividing wall between two roofs, and chimneys. Although they may be superficial to the structure, use, or appearance of the house, both parapets and chimneys can suffer exceptional damage. They are exposed to water and freezing from more than one side and are susceptible to blows from branches, workers, windstorms, and the like.

If damage to the masonry is extensive, consider removing the structure altogether. If a parapet or chimney no aesthetics, fire code, heating, or structural function, it will be nothing but a source of repair demands in the future. You will be better off removing most of it from the body or the house. If you are removing the parapet that prevents rainwater from streaming down the wall, leave enough of it intact to perform its retaining function.

If the damage to the parapet or chimney is confined to mortar joints and cosmetics, you can cover the structure with stucco. Another covering for a parapet is class A (Non-flammable roofing material) or flashing ( sheet metal used for waterproofing).

Where parapet acts as a fire separation wall, it must remain ( it helps to keep fires from spreading to the adjoining roof. In this case, it is best to make sure that water doesn't penetrate the joints, because deterioration will follow, more rapidly in freezing climates than in moderate ones. Make sure the capping on the parapet is sound. Re-pointing where necessary. Cover the whole parapet with stucco, roofing material, or flashing. If you are coating the bricks with silicone, use only the new, semipermeable kind; the older silicone locks in moisture that may freeze and pull off the skin of the brick in cold weather.

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