Better Business Bureau
Angies List 2011

Parapet Walls, Chicago

Parapet wall is one of the most common element of Chicago architecture. It crowns walls on a great majority of flat roof buildings.  Due to exposure to harsh Chicago weather, parapet walls require attention and proper maintenance. The most common materials used to crown parapet walls are clay and limestone copings. Some buildings have metal copings. Copings are placed on top of masonry walls to prevent moisture penetration.  Majority of the problems with tops of masonry walls, commonly called “parapets”, start due to deteriorated, defective or improperly installed copings. If copings are not kept in good condition they allow water to penetrate walls, causing mortar washouts, brick spalling and leaks into living areas of the building. We often see entire parapet wall crumbling, because maintenance work on copings was not done in a timely and proper fashion. Regardless of proper copings parapet walls are exposed to changing weather conditions. Especially walls with western exposure take heavy toll from incoming storms. Water penetration causes efflorescence, spalling and structural cracks.  Failing to maintain parapet walls in proper condition may not only cause water damage to the interiors but also may cause hazardous situation and City code violations.