Unreinforced masonry parapets

An overview of the hazard caused by unreinforced masonry parapets and potential strengthening solutions.

To find solutions that are appropriate for your building, consult a structural engineer for a professional assessment.

Unreinforced masonry parapets image
Image courtesy of Win Clark

Hazard

Pieces of masonry break away or the entire parapet collapses.

Potential structural strengthening project

Option 1: drill vertical holes into the body of the wall, to well below the support level of the roof. Then grout reinforcing dowels into the holes.

Option 2: and/or fit ties horizontally through the parapet, securing them to the roof framing and/or a timber deck structure (diaphragm).

Possible first steps with a structural engineer

They assess the structural capacity of the parapet and provide specifications for the vertical dowels and/or horizontal ties.