What is Parapet?

Definition of Parapet in Construction

The parapet of a structure, is the upper portion of a structure that normally extends above the roof line.

Many flat roof systems require a parapet to properly waterproof the edge of the structure. This structure ( parapet ) allows a vertical face to be flashed against ,when installing the roof flashings. Parapets, are in many instances designed to hide the roof equipment such as roof top mechanical units or exhaust fans that may be above the roof elevation. Parapets are also architectural features on structures and enhance the appearance of the exterior facade, by making the structure appear larger and higher than it actually is. In many cases, the parapet is decorated with architectural details to add to the design of the exterior facade. The parapet can have scuppers installed to allow the roof to drain off the sides of the structure. In some cases the use of gargoyles are installed to hide the scupper or even used as the scupper to direct the water to the exterior. Drain pipes or leaders are normally installed beneath the scuppers or gargoyles to provide a controlled vertical path for the roof drainage. Parapets are commonly major points of deterioration and therefore, restoration. The top of the parapet is called the coping stone or cap. If these stones or caps start to leak and water infiltrates the interior of the parapet, deterioration is rapid. The restoration of parapets and the trim, called the cornice, is a growing business, especially in the larger cities.