In the world of architectural fabrications, we hear a lot of clients, customers, and partners using the terms cappings and copings interchangeably. There is nothing wrong with that as they both are incredibly similar, but we thought we could explore the differences.
In this article, we will explore what cappings and copings are and how they are different, especially when it comes to application.
Wall Cappings Vs. Copings
A coping is an architectural fabrication that lays on top of a wall and comes down the sides of it, encasing the brick and providing weather protection. However, a capping sits on the wall with its edges flush to the width of the wall.
Wall copings have this projection over the edges of the parapet wall to ensure rain doesn’t run down a building’s structure, contributing to unsightly marks on walls, and the risk of water ingress.
To throw a twist in the works, in the aluminium fabrication industry, we refer to cappings and copings as one and the same. This is because only in non-brick structures would a capping be an appropriate finishing method.
Cappings are more associated with masonry and stone fabrications. Capping stones don’t need to project rain off a wall as stone is not porous like bricks are.
Therefore, we would differentiate copings and cappings by the theory that a capping is a fixed element i.e. is bolted onto a parapet wall, whereas a coping system is not fixed, but is attached to a bracket which is.
Which is Better?
At HJA Fabrications, we only ever fabricate aluminium copings as they are more effective at the job of protecting building envelopes. Having a capping, that sits flush to the building, can cause moss to grow, mould inside a building, and cracked rendering on the bricks.
There are, however, some benefits to cappings, if appropriate for a project. They have a shorter lead time than copings as there isn’t the need for the added manufacture of brackets. They are also relatively faster to install than copings as the capping can just be bolted straight onto the wall, without any brackets.
However, when everything is weighed up, aluminium copings are much better than cappings and are what we recommend for an effective and aesthetically pleasing coping solution.
In summary, aluminium wall copings are an important aspect and play a functional role in protecting a building structure from water ingress and the issues that can cause.
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