Coping in construction is a method for protecting walls, columns, piers, chimneys and other structures from erosion by creating a barrier and diverting water away from its surfaces. Coping also adds aesthetic appeal while adding decorative features.
Wall copings come in various materials that serve different functions depending on the project requirements. Stone, brick, clay, concrete, and metal are popular choices.
Material choice often dictates the design of a wall coping, such as limestone or sandstone for more traditional looks, while concrete can be formed to achieve more modern or contemporary designs.
Most copings are designed to protect the wall below by creating a barrier and redirecting water directly to the ground through drip grooves, thus helping reduce efflorescence and wood rot, prolonging its life span and prolonging efflorescence treatments.
Sealant should be applied to a coping's joints to protect it against water penetration, whether that's formed with mortar joints or using scribed joints - this allows for shrinkage of pieces as they age while simultaneously having joints face desired directions from most viewing angles.
Masonry copings can be attached to walls using a mortar bed, while concrete ones may be cast or bonded directly onto them. They're among the more expensive types of wall copings but can be made more decorative by adding pigments into the mix.