Humans have been using flat roofs to cover their buildings for thousands of years. As far back as ancient civilizations, people have been using a level surface to cover their home due to ease of installation and care in the event repair work needs to be done. However, since those ancient times property owners have had to battle a serious threat to flat roofs: stagnant water. Water which sits for long periods of time can wear away at your roof’s surface, cause cracks, and lead to leaks and structural damage.
Today, commercial property owners have a number of different drainage options available to them that will help keep the water off their roof and improve its longevity and reliability for many years. Contrary to their name, flat roofs are not actually completely flat. In fact, a perfectly flat roof would be prone to leaks, stagnant water, and all sorts of other threats. This means even flat roofs have a small amount of slope to them, though you may not be able to tell with just your eyes. What kind of drainage system you install should determine how you roof is sloped. Let’s take a closer look at these different systems.
An interior drainage system is a drain or multiple drains which are placed at specific intervals at the center of a roof. These drains are connected into main drain pipe, which then carries the water away from the roof and out to the storm gutter or away from the building’s foundation. The drains themselves are usually covered with some sort of a grate or filter which keeps sticks, leaves, rocks, and other debris from getting into the drain and clogging them up.
While these drainage systems are remarkably effective they can be tremendously expensive to install if your building does not already have it built in. You’ll most likely want to wait until your roof is replaced before installing one of these systems because your roof will need to be properly sloped towards each of the drains and have a network of drains and gutters installed beneath the surface. However, they’re virtually invisible to the surrounding environment, making them popular for business owners.
Scuppers are outlets placed on the side of a building right at a roof’s edge. The roof is sloped down towards that edge, and the water flows out through that outlet and usually down a rain gutter pipe and away from the building’s foundation. Since most commercial roofs are already sloped in one direction, these are usually considerably cheaper to install than an interior drain system. However, they tend to work best when paired with a tapered insulation system. They also involve cutting a hole in the side of your building which the water can flow out of, which can sometimes be made to look natural in your building, but in other situations could stick out like a sore thumb.
Gutters are essentially the same thing as what you have around your sloped-roof home: a series of troughs that line the edge of your roof and collect runoff water and then feed it into a drain pipe. Gutters are probably the cheapest option since they’re usually just a few dollars per foot, and are pretty easy to install without any modification to your building whatsoever.
But like your home gutters, they’ll also need regular cleaning and clearing in order to make sure they can still do their job. Most gutters regularly become clogged up with dirt, sticks, leaves, and other debris. You can help limit this problem by installing gutter guards, but that also adds to the cost. And no matter how you put it, you’ll still have a gutter sticking off the side of your building, which does tend to stand out more when you have a flat roof. They also will be entirely ineffective if you have a parapet roof, or a roof which has a small raised section of wall surrounding the roof surface itself.
Bronco Roofing & Construction has helped residents of Forth Worth with their roofing needs since 1990, providing exceptional workmanship and quality products at affordable prices. We are proud of our track record, and our long list of highly-satisfied customer can attest to our dedication to quality. All our roofing materials are installed in compliance with manufacturer specifications in order to ensure you receive the best possible warranty on your roof and it will last for many years to come.For more information on drainage for your business’s roof, call Bronco Roofing & Construction today at (817) 241-2303 and ask to receive a free estimate!