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jrschenck 08-20-2011 06:07 PM

Capping a brick parapet wall
I have been renovating an old hotel I bought a few years ago. Originally it was built in 1880 and then in 1903 they added a brick addition. At the begining of this summer I decided to put a new roof on the brick addition and pulled the old layers off (I dont think this has been done since 1903). As I pulled the flashing off of the brick parapet wall, the parapet (not the whole wall) rocked back and forth, which I thought not a good thing for a brick wall to do. So I have been spending the summer tearing the wall down to where the bricks don't come off easyly and rebuilding it. I am a good carpenter but a mason I am not and it has been a learning experience for me. I rebuilt the parapet to look like the original, which had the top layers stick out from the wall for two rows and then capped with two rows of brick (originally a fire break from one roof to another). At some point in its history some body came up and stuccoed some concrete on top of the bricks for some weatherproofing, which I find very ineffective. I want to pour a concrete cap but after some research find that there is more to it than I expected and maybe I should have put in some of the membrane seals before I did my last row of bricks.

The questions are:
1. with all the proper flashing, anchors and seals, can I cast my own cap directly on the wall?
2. Can I get away with only useing the cement as a cap and not use the suggested flashing?
3. Is there an easier way (short of hiring someone else to do it) to weatherproof the parapet wall? (I like the look of the bear brick, but don't like the look of bricks falling off the wall)

shazapple 08-21-2011 07:06 AM

what did you use for a roof membrane? You could screw the membrane to the side of the fire wall and cap it with metal.

jrschenck 08-21-2011 11:22 AM

I have not begun the roof yet. The parapet wall extends 30 to 40 inches above the roof. I had planned on embedding the flashing into the wall nearer the actual roof, and was not going to cover the parapet wall between the roof and cap.

I had thought of using cement as a cap and casting it directly on top of the wall. I have thought of using a PVC membrane, the type one uses for shower pans when tiling a bathtub. If it has to be breathable then would felt paper work?

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