While many homeowners don’t think about it, drain systems are crucial to the protection of their roofs and their property. If your gutters and downspouts aren’t working properly, you run the risk of water damage and flooding. That’s why it’s important to have an effective drainage system attached to your home. It’s not as expensive as you might think, and it can save you thousands in damage repairs over time.
That said, homes and structures with flat roofs have the greatest need for efficient drainage solution since water and snow will sit there for days. This can cause rot, mold, and other damage.
There is a myriad of options for structures with flat roofs when it comes to drainage systems, but we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular and accessible.
Definition of Flat Roof Drain System
Before we get started, it’s important to know exactly what we mean when talking about a flat roof drain system. A flat roof drain system is a network of pipes and other plumbing that flush water away from the roof. They’re a little more complicated than the traditional gutter/downspout because of the nature of the roof, but no less essential.
Let’s look at the most common drain systems.
Interior Drains
The interior drain makes your flat roof work like a giant sink. You have a drain that’s attached to a network of pipes that flush water and other debris out of the building. And, like the sink, most of these drains are built into the center of the flat roof. Because the pipes are usually inside the building, they’re protected and easier to repair. Also, since it focuses water toward the center of the roof, it lessens the amount of damage to the walls of the building. However, because this system requires a separate drain line in the building, it can get quite expensive.
Scuppers
Have you ever seen a pipe at the end of a flat roof that’s shooting out water? This is a scupper. The scupper is installed on a the edges of a flat roof and directs water usually into a gutter for disposal. The benefit of scuppers is that they’re easy to install and are efficient. The downside is that snow and ice can block the scupper, which renders it useless at times.
Gutters
Gutters are most common on slanted roofs. They’re ideal for catching water runoff and debris and direct it toward pipes or downspouts for disposal. The benefit of gutters is that they’re the cheapest way to go for roof drainage. They’re available at almost every hardware store and big-box home improvement retailer. They’re easy to install, repair, and maintain. The downside, though, is that because they’re designed to handle almost any kind of debris, they’re susceptible to clogs. With traditional gutters, you’re going to have to be vigilant about cleaning them and making sure the water flows freely. Call your local roofing contractors to take a look at your roof.

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