Firewalls & Parapets Brighton & Hove
A firewall is a fire resistant barrier constructed with non or low combustive materials. Its main purpose is to act as a fire barrier to delay the spread of fire to other areas of the building for a period of time. This will give people time to escape and help the emergency services to contain the fire more effectively. Firewalls are an essential feature in terraced houses and other buildings that are joined together by a party wall. They are also present in the attic areas of multi-resident properties such as houses that have been converted into flats.
Firewalls are required to have a parapet which is a portion of wall that extends out of the building and beyond the roofline. Parapets are usually considered an aesthetic feature and a wind protection barrier, however their primary purpose is fire prevention. Parapets prevent flames that rise up the exterior of a building from igniting combustible roof membrane, therefore protecting the roof and helping to prevent the fire from spreading to adjoining properties.
Parapet walls are a common sight in Brighton where a high percentage of streets are lined with terraced properties. To comply with fire regulations, parapet walls should rise to a minimum of 30 inches above the roof line and they must be as fire resistant as the portion of firewall below.
Parapets, like chimneys, are constantly exposed to the elements which means they are more susceptible to cracking and erosion. This can lead to water leaking down the inner and outer walls resulting in serious damp problems in the attic and lower floors.
The top of the parapet suffers the most from water penetration so it needs to be capped properly to eliminate the problem. However, traditional capping and damp proofing methods only provide a short-term solution.
MB Roofing DPC
Damp is a common problem in the Brighton & Hove area. The majority of terraced houses were built before 1960 and although firewalls and parapets were solid enough, they were installed without a damp proof course (DPC).
The South of England has its fair share of wet weather. Prolonged periods of rain can result in water seepage into the parapets and down into the firewalls. Traditional methods of re-rendering and adding a sealant can be costly and messy while only providing a short-term solution.
MB Roofing use a unique DPC method which is long-lasting and cost-effective while causing minimal mess and disruption. This involves:
- Repairing damaged rendering and flashings.
- Applying bitumen primer to the side walls and entire parapet.
- Capping with a layer of high-performance, elasticated anderson charcoal mineral felt.
- Bonding the felt to the walls and parapet top with a hot torch. This will form a watertight and attractive DPC covering that will last for years to come.
We’ve been successfully using this method for the last 12 years. Our DPC system is now being used by local councils and several surveying firms. Contact us today for more information on our DPC service.