fbpx

4 Drainage Options for a Flat Roof

Modern building with large windows.
While they are architecturally interesting, flat roofs come with their own drainage issues.

Flat roofs can be an attractive architectural decision; however, when it comes to drainage, they can make life more complex. If you have a home with a flat roof, what drainage options do you have? How can you ensure that your roof stays well-drained even if you live in a wet climate?

The Challenge of a Flat Roof

Flat roofs should not actually be flat. Like the land outside your home, they should have a slight slope that allows them to direct water into a drainage system. Unfortunately, this does not always work. Some flat roofs are poorly-designed or older, and they experience ponding water. Ponding water is water that still sitting on the roof two days after a rainfall event.

According to Green Slope, ponding can be due to:

  • A poorly-sloped roof design
  • A sagging roof deck
  • Inadequate drains
  • Blocked drains

Ponding can lead to roof leaks, plant growth, an increase in mosquito populations, and the deterioration of sealings and caulking. How can you ensure that your flat roof drains properly?

1. Investigate Diverse Drainage Options

To protect your flat roof, make sure that you investigate many possible drainage options.

Inner drains are located in the place where water tends to pond: the middle of the roof. They are connected to drains that move the water from the middle of the roof to the sewer. When these drains are working well, they remove ponding water and allow your roof to stay free of puddles, even when it has been quite rainy.

However, they can experience clogging, so you will need to monitor them for clogs or you’ll be back to the problems of ponding and a leaky roof.

Scuppers are openings in the walls along the roofline. Water runs through the water via a metal box. They need to be designed and installed well, so connect with a roofing professional to get that done.

2. Use Gravity to Your Advantage

Gravity is your best ally when it comes to draining your roof. A low-slope drainage system works by using gravity to direct the water to the lowest points, where drains take over and move the water away from the home. When you’re renovating a roof or adding new drains, make sure that the roof directs the water to drains and that the drains are on the lowest points on the roof. That way, gravity can do its job.

Flat roof home with balcony.
Flat roofs should not be completely flat; they use gravity to gently direct the water in the right direction.

3. Install Gutters for a Flat Roof

Since your flat roof is not really flat, you can still add gutters to your roof. Gutters are the most common drainage option for all roofs. However, when you add gutters to your home, you need to ensure that they are high-quality gutters that will not leak or sag. Talk with your roof and drainage provider about adding other forms of gutter protection such as a gutter cover as well, so that you don’t need to worry about clogged gutters.

4. Inspect Your Roof Regularly

Just like the drainage system on a home with an angled roof, drainage systems on flat-roofed homes need regular inspections. Do frequent checks of your drainage system, particularly during the spring and the fall when blossoms and leaves can clog the system. During the winter months, be conscious of how winter storms and debris can both puncture your roof and clog or damage your drainage system. In the summer, if there is ponding on the roof, watch for plant growth that could damage the roof.

Are you ready to change your home for the better this year? Talk with us at Harry Helmet. We’re focused on making your home drainage work. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate.

Gutter Guard Buyers Guide

Year End Sale
Free Gutter Cleaning & Re-Alignment!
available with purchase* | Buy Now, Pay Later† | Save Additional 18% Off | 0% Interest OR Monthly Payment Options to Fit Any Budget† | Hurry, Sales End 12/31/22
*By clicking below, I’m interested in having your products installed on my home and would like to learn more about Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet products and sales in the future - I understand you use an autodialing phone and text system and my consent is not required to obtain a free estimate - I can call 888-543-5638 instead.

REVIEWS

135,000 HAPPY CUSTOMERS & COUNTING

I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
StarStarStarStarStar
I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
StarStarStarStarStar
Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet just replaced our roof and we could not be more satisfied. The crew showed up early, worked all day and stayed late, were professional and caring regarding the project and the surrounding impact it had on our property and home. They completed the roof quickly and it looks simply amazing!
StarStarStarStarStar
VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
StarStarStarStarStar
We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
StarStarStarStarStar
We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.
StarStarStarStarStar

Year End Sale - Free Gutter Cleaning & Re-Alignment*

We work hard with each manufacturer to offer our customers the best promotions monthly.

Find a Location

Serving a Location Near You

Careers

Join the Harry Helmet Family

We're seeking fun, outgoing, and confident individuals who enjoy winning to join our team. Harry Helmet is an equal opportunity employer and we operate a safety first & drug-free workplace focused on employee safety. Great pay and benefits, apply today!