What Is A Parapet Roof?

Sep 9, 2021 | Home Exteriors, Home Improvement Repair

Parapet roofs are often thought of as a decorative element, but they have many practical purposes. 

Many homeowners don’t realize that the extended walls created by parapet roof designs will still take the force of wind, rain, hail, and snow. This means that these roofs do more than looking good on your home; they also help protect it from damage caused by weather conditions. 

If you’re looking for an attractive way to add some protection to your home without adding too much bulk or taking up too much space, a parapet roof is probably right for you. The design does not only improve the look of your house but also its functionality and safety in adverse weather conditions. These roofs can be built on top of existing structures or installed as part of new construction projects with ease and flexibility so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider this type of roofing system if one fits into your budget.

What Is a Parapet?

A parapet is simply a solid structure that is placed along the edge of any roof to protect it from damage. It’s usually made of stone or concrete and installed within an inch or two of the wall surface below for protection. Parapets are also used as guard rails during construction projects, but they can be very attractive to look at once completed. 

A parapet is a simple but effective improvement to any exterior design. It protects the roofing system from damage and prevents water, snow, and ice from accumulating on top of it. Most importantly, parapets help keep people off your roof during times when you know there will be bad weather conditions like heavy rain or extreme cold. 

Parapets are built with lightweight materials that won’t cause too much weight on top of the roof but still add strength and stability to the structure as well as protection against outside elements like hail, wind, water leakage, etc. This means they can easily be removed whenever necessary without damaging your home’s foundation or interior walls in any way.

How Do Parapet Roofs Work?

A parapet roof is designed to help protect any home you place it on, so the first thing to consider is how your own structure will be affected. Your roofing system won’t get damaged by the rain and wind as long as your parapet roof design protects it but that doesn’t mean there won’t still be some changes inside or under the surface of the house itself.

Parapets are usually placed at least a few inches from your home’s exterior walls. Because of this, you’ll have to make sure there is enough space between the two and carefully plan for expansion joints that can accommodate movement if need be. If you don’t leave enough room for expansion then water could leak in through cracks when rain runs down, which would damage your walls over time and cause expensive damage to your roof.

Parapets can be built on top of an existing roof, but they often need extra support from walls and columns inside if you’re building a new home or adding a new room. This means that any interior changes will probably come with added upkeep when it comes to ensuring these structures are taken care of properly. 

If you have a question about parapet roofs in your home then it’s best to speak with someone who knows more than the average professional. Contractors who specialize in home structure and design should be able to provide accurate information so you know exactly what else is needed when deciding whether or not this type of roofing system would look good on your house without negatively affecting its overall quality.

Why Choose a Parapet Roof?

There are many reasons to choose a parapet roof design for your home. Whether you’re adding one for the first time or repairing an existing structure, there are tons of benefits to having these roofs in place.

Parapets make sense both aesthetically and practically. They can be designed so they blend into the architecture of any building but still protect it from bad weather and more severe damage caused by storms, wind, hail, etc. The added walls allow for extra space as well which makes them great at hiding clutter from view once installed. 

The most attractive aspect about parapets is how easy they are to install. Any homeowner can add them on top of their existing roofing system or as part of new construction projects with ease if they’re willing to make sure they have enough room to install them.

Building a Parapet Roof

Parapet roofs can be built quickly and conveniently even by novice homeowners who aren’t experienced in building construction. The easiest way to build one is to find a contractor who specializes in parapets so they can help you design the roofing system that’s right for your home.

The materials needed will depend on what kind of parapet you want, but most require using lightweight yet sturdy materials like aluminum or stone that won’t cause too much weight on top of your ceiling without still providing added stability and protection from weather elements. There are many designs available for different kinds of homes, but this simple overview should help anyone understand how these structures work no matter what kind of house it’s being placed on.

Adding a Parapet Roof

You may want to build a parapet roof because you love the way they look or because it’s an improvement that makes sense for your home, but it can also be something done out of necessity. If you have extended wall sections leading from the top of your roof then water could leak in through cracks when rain runs down, so having these walls built will protect your interior as well as the exterior.

Parapets are usually placed at least a few inches from your home’s exterior walls. Because of this, you’ll have to make sure there is enough space between the two and carefully plan for expansion joints that can accommodate movement if need be. If you don’t leave enough room for expansion then water could leak in through cracks when rain runs down, or your roofing system could be damaged over time.

Parapets can also be added as a way to obtain extra square footage in any room of the house where you most need it. Adding these walls will often take up less space than adding columns and beams for support which makes them perfect for rooms like attics and basements where supporting structure would dominate the rest of the area if not properly planned out ahead of time. If you have enough space between your roof and ceiling then building an entirely new room on top is possible, but this should only be done by professionals to make sure everything is built correctly so cracks don’t appear in existing areas due to improper support.

Running a parapet roof along the side of any home’s exterior can make it look more impressive while also defending the entire thing from hail and other severe weather. The added support will protect your home even if it’s not in danger of being attacked by medieval invaders.

The extended walls created by parapet roof designs will still take the force of wind, rain, hail, and snow so they should always be installed to withstand these elements without caving in or suffering too much damage. Parapets are definitely a useful tool that every homeowner should consider adding no matter what kind of house they’re building on top of. It might seem like a lot at first but once you get the hang of them they won’t seem any different from other roofs and they’ll provide many benefits to enjoy for years to come.

Parapet Roof Maintenance Tips

If you want your parapets to last over time then it’s important that you take time to maintain and repair them whenever necessary. It is not too difficult of a job, especially if there isn’t any damage but keeping up with routine maintenance can save you lots of money on expensive repairs in the future. 

You won’t be able to do anything about hail, wind, or snow damage but inclement weather will still cause small cracks over time even without these serious conditions. A simple crack in your structure can extend into something larger so make sure you check for any signs of damage before moisture has a chance to build up inside because water trapped in walls can cause mold and mildew to grow quickly.   

When you get any cracks patched make sure you use a waterproof adhesive or sealant that will prevent water from seeping through the cracks later on if they open up again. If you’re looking for more information then it’s best to speak with someone who specializes in roofing repairs as it is an area of expertise.

If your parapet roof needs repair over time then seek out professional help so that your home won’t have problems with leaks when it rains or snow melts away in warmer months, which could lead to bigger issues down the road. There are plenty of options available for practically any homeowner even though they will need some maintenance friendliness just like every other type of roofing system.

What Are Parapet Roof Materials & Colors?

Although parapets can be made from a variety of materials, most designers pick an attractive brick or stone to use for this area of the structure because it matches the building’s wall and is guaranteed to last over time. It also has the added benefit of hiding damaged areas well if they cannot be patched properly. If you want a more modern style then metal works really well but since these are much less durable than stonework or bricks you will probably need to have them replaced sooner rather than later. Regardless of what material was used to build your walls and roofing systems, there should still be some type of waterproof sealant between layers so that moisture doesn’t make its way inside the walls and cause damage.

After the materials are installed then you can have them painted to match your house’s color scheme. There are many designs to choose from, including bold patterns like paisley or striped that are meant for exterior use only because these will quickly become ragged or faded if they are used indoors. Paisley is great for warmer climates since it has large but open spaces between colors while a solid uniform pattern works best in colder areas of the country so that moisture doesn’t pool on surfaces too easily even when temperatures drop below freezing levels

What About Pricing?

The price of a parapet or brick roof system depends on where you live, how big the structure is overall, and what type of materials were used during construction. You should consult with a developer or local roofer for more information about how much it will cost to install parapets on your home, as each project is unique and pricing will vary wildly.

Keep in mind that the larger the structure you’re planning to add them onto then the more expensive they usually are because labor costs go up when there’s lots of material involved. The best way to reduce these costs is by using classic materials like brick, stone , or metal so that you won’t have to make any major repairs over time even if you don’t get the job done right away.


The parapet roof is an attractive and functional way to extend the life of your home. Taking care of these roofs will require some maintenance, but they are worth it when you think about their potential benefits for a house’s longevity. Parapets give walls extra strength against wind, rain, hail and snow so that water doesn’t pool in cracks long term or cause mold inside the structure. If you’re looking for ways to save money on this project then consider using simple materials like brick or stone with waterproof sealant between layers before painting them to match your exterior color scheme because paisley patterns work better in warmer climates while solid colors are best if you live somewhere cold where there won’t be much melting during winter months.


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