Wall copings are a fundamental part of any building structure, providing a watertight protective barrier for parapet walls and roofs. However, copings are also visible.
Let’s face it, roofs are now often deliberately designed into architectural projects and we have seen a massive increase in residents having access to their roof as well as living roof gardens and rooftop bars.
To ensure the coping is an attractive addition to a building, using a Secret Fixing coping system will guarantee clean lines and a great finish. If you’re wondering about the benefits of Secret Fix copings vs Fixed copings, then just read our previous article.
But what do specifiers and architects need to look out for when choosing Secret Fix copings? In this article, we will explore exactly that!
The Design of the Secret Fix Coping
Firstly, they need to be designed attractively and effectively, with clean lines that look good but also provide effective waterproofing.
The bracket also needs to be designed in a way to contribute to protecting the parapet wall, with either the inclusion of a channel which “throws” water away from the wall, or a bracket that is completely water-resistant.
This superior design element means water stains marks and drips are prevented, meaning a better overall look for your building, but also the prevention of leaks, dampness, mould, and/or cracked rendering from the effects of freeze-thaw.
A high-quality Secret Fix coping ensures you maintain the high-quality visual you are aiming for your project, for years to come.
The Installation of the Secret Fix Coping
Secret Fix copings are an engineered bracket that delivers a better quality of installation and faster installation time than standard fixed copings, however, the drawback to this is they do require a longer lead time due to the added time it takes to manufacture the Secret Fix brackets. This is an important thing to consider when specifying a Secret Fix coping, depending on your project timelines.
Another important consideration for specifying (specifically) aluminium copings is the risk that can run due to bi-metallic corrosion. This form of corrosion occurs due to the placing together of two different metals, which means when installing aluminium copings, the bracket and other installation accessories must also be aluminium (not galvanised steel).
Bi-metallic corrosion can be exacerbated by salt and moisture in coastal areas.
You can read more about the installation considerations of Secret Fix copings in our previous article.
The Features of the Secret Fix Coping
Depending on the application of your coping system, specific features may be of more importance when specifying your Secret Fix solution.
You also must take into account the weather circumstances at your project site – wind, rain, sunlight, and temperature range can all make an impact on the efficacy and longevity of a coping system.
With wind, you must consider the strength of it at the height of the roof. Gusts of wind in the UK have been recorded as high as 150mph. This is a particular problem in exposed locations, especially along the coast.
Knowledge of the maximum peak wind speeds to be expected informs how the coping should be fixed to the wall. A strong coping attachment must be considered – HJA Secret Fix coping is wind-tested to 144mph and provides superior wind resistance than any other coping on the market.
Rain is also something to consider, especially as the point of a coping is to protect against water. You should consider if water will pool at the roof and whether an incline should be used to divert it (a weathered coping has a slope for this purpose).
Sunlight and variation in temperature are particular challenges when using metal copings. Thermal expansion and contraction must be factored into both the fixing methods used and the joint design. With a Secret Fix coping, one of the key advantages it offers in comparison to a fixed coping is the ability for thermal expansion to take place without putting pressure on the system and risking the fixing failing.
There are multiple considerations for specifying a Secret Fix coping, however, as long as you know the look and functions you need from your coping system, we are happy to give guidance and advice on exactly which coping system will be best for your project.
HJA Fabrications: Specialists in Aluminium Coping Systems
The HJA Secret Fix coping offers an attractive, low maintenance coping system that is simple to install yet both rigid and secure. The out of sight coping fixings provide a smooth, fastener-free appearance that architects like you want. Polyester powder coating to any RAL colour is also available.
If you want to read more about the HJA’s Secret Fix System then click here.
Contact Us for more information and find out how we can help with your architectural fabrications.