Flashings and Copings:
Coping Covers

Description: The horizontal top surfaces of walls are the most vulnerable point for water to enter the wall. There are a number of ways of protecting this surface with copper flashing alone, or in combination with stone or precast concrete.

In general, copper flashing for copings comes in lengths of 8 or 10 feet. Adjacent sheets are joined with standing seams or transverse seams that are locked and soldered. The width of the coping, the weight and the location of expansion joints can all be determined by utilizing Table 4.4.3.

For example, assume 20 oz. cold rolled copper is specified as a flat coping cover on an 8" thick parapet wall. The copper coping is bent down 4" on both sides of the wall at an angle of 90 degrees. The lower edges of the copper coping are hooked over an edge strip and are free to move. Referring to Table 4.4.3 for 20 oz. copper: first, find 8" in the column "width of gutter bottom"; then, travel horizontally to the right and in the column "90° MAX 90° MIN" find the dimension 24'-6"; the maximum allowable distance between expansion joints is 2 x 24'-6" or 49'-0".

Special Conditions: For areas where ice and snow conditions occur see Design and Installation Considerations Section.

On roofs with short parapet walls, positive roof drainage must be provided. The water level on the roof must not reach any point where the the roofing membrane terminates or has been punctured, such as at cleats.

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A. Typical Copper Coping The detail illustrates a copper cap flashing installed over a masonry wall. Continuous wood blocking is first securely anchored to the top of the masonry and covered by a layer of building paper. Continuous copper edge strips are then fastened to the wood blocking. The cap flashing is then locked over the edge strips.

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B. Two Walls of Same Height This detail can be used when a new wall is constructed adjacent to an existing wall of the same height. The principle is the same as that for Detail A. The cap flashing however, is formed from two sheets of copper joined longitudinally by a flat locked and soldered seam, which is cleated at the seam.

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C. Alternate Coping Seams - Section The first two depictions are alternative transverse seams for joining adjacent sheets of copper cap flashing. These seams are typically locked and soldered. Expansion joints must be used if the coping is more than 30 feet long.

The third is an expansion joint composed of a flat lock seam filled with sealant.

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D. Complete Cover at Short Parapet This coping is fully covered by a copper cap flashing. The roof composition flashing extends up the cant strip, over the coping, and part-way down its face, under the copper flashing. The roof side of the copper is cleated to the nailable cant strip. On the opposite side, a continuous copper edge strip is attached to the coping, and the lower edge is bent to form a drip. The cap flashing is then locked to the edge strip.

Expansion joints typically use a drive cleat (see Basic Details) set in 2 beads of sealant, 1/4" to 3/8" wide on each side of the joint.

See note under Special Conditions regarding short parapet walls.

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E. Partial Cover at Short Parapet This detail is used where the copper cap flashing should not be visible on the building facade. The cap flashing, therefore, does not fully cover the coping. The roof side of the coping is detailed similar to Detail D.

The upper edge of the copper flashing is locked into a continuous copper lock strip. This strip is inserted into a reglet cut or cast into the top of the coping. The strip can be grouted in, or held by lead wedges and sealed.

See note under Special Conditions regarding short parapet walls.

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F. Coping Cover This detail illustrates a copper cap flashing installed over a masonry wall. Continuous wood blocking is securely anchored to the top of the stone coping, along both edges, and covered with building paper. A continuous copper cleat, of 20 oz. cold rolled copper, is nailed to the blocking on the outside face. The copper coping cover is locked over the cleat to form a drip. On the roof side, 20 oz copper counterflashing is nailed to the blocking. The coping cover is locked onto the upper edge of the counterflashing.

See note under Special Conditions, regarding short parapet walls.

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G. Coping Cover In this detail, a reglet is formed in the stone or precast coping. This provides a suitable means by which to anchor (grout solid or wedge and seal) the continuous copper cleat. The counterflashing at the roof side of the coping is nailed to the wood blocking. The coping cover is locked into place.

See note under Special Conditions, regarding short parapet walls.

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H. Coping Cover This cap flashing detail combines elements of Detail F and Detail G. A reglet is used to hold the continuous cleat in place, thus eliminating the need for wood blocking. This cleat is bent down over front face of the coping. The coping cover is locked onto the cleat.

See note under Special Conditions, regarding short parapet walls.

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I. Cover - Where New Wall is Higher Than Old Shown is a condition where a new wall is constructed adjacent to an existing lower wall. A combination coping with a base and counterflashing is used.

A continuous copper edge strip is fastened to wood blocking which has been anchored to the top of the old wall. The coping flashing locks into this strip then runs over the old wall. A common lock seam joins it to the base flashing which runs up the face of the new wall at least 9". The top edge of the base flashing is cleated to the new wall.

Through-wall flashing is installed in the new wall, then bent down to lap the base flashing and cleats. The combined base and coping flashing must be installed to provide positive drainage away from the new wall. Its lower edge should be formed into a drip, either by projecting out over the wall as shown here or by introducing a bent drip edge as shown in Detail J.

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J. Cover - Where Old Wall is Higher Than New This condition is similar to Detail I, except it is not possible to install through-wall flashing in the old wall. A reglet is formed by raking the mortar joint between brick courses. Counterflashing is inserted into the reglet and held by lead wedges. The reglet is then filled with sealant.

The base and coping flashing are installed similar to Detail I.

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K. Masonry or Precast Coping This detail illustrates the use of copper through-wall flashing to protect the wall under a stone or precast concrete coping. The flashing is continuous and projects beyond the face on both sides of the wall. The projections provide drips.

The dowel securing the masonry coping is fully covered by a copper cap soldered to the flashing. If this is not possible, the penetrations through the flashing should be properly sealed.

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L. High Parapet - Copper Roof A combination of elements are used in this detail. The top of the wall is covered by a copper coping cover, similar to Detail A. On the roof side, the cover is locked into a standing seam parapet cover. This cover, in turn, laps over base flashing which is cleated to the roof deck or a nailing strip.

The lower edge of the parapet cover is joined to the upper edge of the copper roof with a transverse seam.

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