DOES THE WATER ON YOUR ROOF MAKE IT UNSAFE?
While the slope of your roof ensures that any water is “shedded” of the roof surface to the edge of the roof, roof drainage makes sure that water gets from the roof surface to the ground. The slope takes water to the drains; the drains take water to the ground. Do you have proper drainage on your roof, and what can you do to improve it if you don’t?
Does Your Building Have Proper Flat Roof Drainage?
There are three major aspects that make up a roof drainage system, and each one must be properly analyzed to determine if your roof is draining properly. The first of the three are internal drains, then scuppers, and then gutters and downspouts, which are considered one drainage aspect.
Internal drains are placed throughout the field of the roof, and allow drainage to occur at roof locations other than the edge. On a large roof, you can’t possibly use the roof slope to direct all water to the edge of the building to use the gutters. For this reason, internal drains can be placed throughout the interior of the field, which allows for better use of roof slope to encourage drainage, while maintaining a flat roof.
If you have a large roof with a lot of square feet, internal drains are a necessity to keep your roof performing well. If you don’t install internal drains, it is nearly impossible to keep the slope of your roof flat and still properly drain the roof.
Scuppers are easily confused with roof drains, but they are not the same thing and have distinctively different definitions. A scupper allows water to exit the roof through a metal edge, or through the roof deck and into a downspout on the exterior of the building. The distinctive factor of roof scuppers is that they drain on the outside of the building, and are therefore commonly freezing hazards and a headache for building owners.
Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts operate in much the same way on a commercial roof as they do on residential. What you need to remember on your commercial roof is that the flat roof will catch significantly more water than a residential roof, and therefore the gutters must be larger, you need to have more downspouts, and you need to have larger downspouts.
How Can You Improve Your Drainage?
Did the previous paragraphs make you realize that you don’t have proper drainage on your flat commercial roof? The easiest way to correct your drainage is to add more components to the roof drainage system. Obviously the gutter system is very easy to correct, by simply installing larger gutters and more downspouts, but interior drains aren’t quite as easy. This will require serious repairs, and it may be easier to install water barriers that simply help to direct water to the roof edge.
Does your roof have proper drainage? Do you have the right number and size of drainage fixtures? If not, you need to contact a roofing professional for a roof inspection and analysis. Let a professional tell you what repairs you need to make, and then allow the professional to make the repairs on your roof. Ponding water can cause severe damage to your roof; don’t let it because you didn’t fix known drainage issues.