<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2445357002353931&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Roofing Tips, Tricks and Ideas

Drainage Solutions for Flat Roofs

Published by Pickard Roofing at

Commercial flat roofs require specific drainage solutions to properly evacuate water from its surface. Without proper drainage, water may pool up and cause damage to the roof, which could eventually affect the commercial building structure as well. Installing the best drainage solution for your flat roof design will ensure that your commercial property is protected from water damage for years to come.


Importance of Effective Flat Roof Drainage Systems

Flat roofs require a different approach to drainage solutions compared to other roofing systems. This is because the roofing surface of flat roofs are prone to rainwater accumulation. This means leaks and water damage can be common if proper drainage is not installed.

Commercial roofs that have sustained contact with standing water risk degradation of the integrity of the caulk and other waterproofing elements. As the roofing material begins to accumulate damage, ponding may occur, causing the materials to buckle under the load. To avoid irreversible damage to your commercial property, it is important to install effective flat roof drains.


Recommended Flat Roof Drainage Systems

There are many recommended flat roof drains and systems to consider for your commercial property. A professional commercial roofing company will be able to assess your commercial roofing needs, and recommend the installation of the best drainage solution.


If your flat roof has any slope to it, gutters are often recommended for installation to collect and direct the water away your commercial structure. The gutters often sit directly beside and below the roof’s edge to capture the most water possible. A roofing professional will be able to identify the best gutter type and placement for your specific flat roof.

Roof Scupper

Roof scuppers are small openings at the sides of the roof that allow water to flow away from the building. A majority of flat roof systems need roof scuppers installed at various points to allow proper drainage. The scuppers can direct water into gutters, or send it trailing to the ground. If you do not have gutters on your commercial roof, the scupper spout will need to arch away from the building to avoid damaging the exterior walls.

Interior Drainage

Using interior drainage systems ensures that water is effectively directed away from your flat roof. The internal drain pipes run through the ceiling and walls of your commercial property to direct water to appropriate drainage points. With this drainage system in place, the water flows through the pipes to the ground below without causing any damage to the roofing or building materials.

Tapered Insulation

If your commercial flat roof lacks proper drainage slope, tapered insulation may be the answer. The purpose-cut insulation effectively directs water to the drains and keeps it from ponding at various points along the way. The insulation can be installed as needed to keep your flat roof drains operating effectively year after year. The four-way tapered insulation system is most popular for commercial low slope roofs, but two-way tapered insulation may also be considered. You can work with your roofing contractor to find the best tapered insulation design.


How to Optimize Your Flat Roof Drainage System

All types of commercial roofing systems have their own set of needs; and flat commercial roofs are no different. To protect the condition of your flat roof for years to come, consider having the right combination of roof drainage systems installed by a skilled professional. Your roofing expert can help you find the best flat roof drainage solutions based on your commercial property size, design, and other structural needs. When you put the time and effort into maximizing the efficiency of your roof drainage systems, you can prevent the need for unneeded repairs and renovations well into the future.


Get a Roofing Evaluation


At Pickard Roofing, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.