Parapet Roof & Firewalls

Roofing Services
What’s a Parapet Roof?

A parapet is typically the uppermost reaches of a wall that extends above the roof level and provides a degree of protection to roof, gutters, balconies and walkways of houses, churches, castles, apartment blocks, commercial and other buildings. It may be constructed from brick, stone, concrete, timber or even glass. A parapet may also prevent fire spreading to a roof and provide a degree of protection from a sudden and potentially fatal fall.

On a pitched roof, a parapet may only exist where a wall rises above the eaves, which is generally the lowest point of the roof as it terminates above a gutter; this point forms a convenient valley into which a gutter can be placed.

The top of a parapet will usually be terminated by some form of capping or coping in brick, stone, or concrete, or even sheet metal, such as lead, zinc or steel.
What’s a Firewall?

Firewalls are fire-resistant structures -- usually made of concrete, concrete blocks, or reinforced concrete -- designed to restrict the spread of fire by means of compartmentalization.

The key defining feature of firewalls are their structural independence. Firewalls, in effect, create completely separate, independent structures within a building. With firewalls in place, if one section of a building becomes structurally unstable during a fire, that section can break or fall away from the other sections protecting their occupants from the collapse.

Firewalls can also be designed with a fire resistance rating of up to four hours. The fire resistance rating is the amount of time in minutes or hours that a firewall can withstand exposure to fire. So, while you can't really see the firewalls in a building, you can be confident they are there protecting you by virtue of their structural integrity and fire resistance, which gives you more time to escape in the event of a fire.

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