Flat roofs have become a common choice for high-end residential homes and commercial properties. They work well with the aesthetic styles of many buildings and also offer high durability and resistance to environmental factors such as hail, rain, wind, and ice. Flat roofs for residential homes can also be used as extra outdoor living spaces or rooftop gardens, giving your home a unique element.
One major challenge with flat roofing systems is ensuring proper drainage. Unlike pitched roofs, flat roofs require inbuilt drainage systems to help eliminate water, moisture, and roof debris. Poor drainage can lead to various problems, including leaks and structural damage.
Why a Drainage System is Important for Flat Roofs
Flat roofs don’t drain water naturally like sloped roofs which typically rely on the force of gravity to eliminate water from the roof. If proper drainage systems are not fitted, they will experience poor drainage, leading to the following problems:
- Pooling of water
- Accumulation of debris
Leaving your flat roof without a proper drainage system will greatly expose it to damage from these issues. Flat roofs aren’t designed to hold water on them, and ponding water can wear down the roofing membrane and cause leaks. The roof can also sag from the extra weight of water or ice, causing it to fail prematurely. Drain systems help to prevent the growth of plants, algae, and moss on your rooftop.
Types of Flat Roof Drainage Systems
There are several drainage solutions for flat roofs, and it is important to consider the pros and cons of each before making a decision. Generally, an efficient drainage system should use gravity, and the drains installed at the lowest point of the roof. Here are the three most common flat roof drainage systems to consider:
- Interior Drains – This flat roof draining system works just like the regular drain in your sink or shower. They are installed in areas of the roof where water gathers, goes through a system of pipes, and then exits through a gutter or downspout.
- Gutters – Gutters are the most commonly used and inexpensive flat roof drainage system. They collect rainwater as it rolls off the edge of the roof and directs it into downspouts which take it safely away from your building’s foundation. Since gutters can clog fast, they require regular cleaning to keep them working efficiently.
- Scuppers – These are effective drainage systems which utilize large square openings along the edge of the roof to shoot water away from the roof.
Get Professional Help!
When choosing a drainage solution for your flat roof, always consider the cost of the system, the level maintenance required, and its durability. Every drainage system is vulnerable to clogs from debris, so it’s important to schedule regular inspections and maintenance by a professional roofer. You can count on our experts at Imperial Roofing in Tampa, FL, for advice on the right drainage system for your flat roof. Contact us today for a free inspection and estimate.