Are you considering installing a flat roof on your commercial property? Curious about your options when it comes to drainage systems? Good news! This is the exact focus of today’s blog. Here at Tim Leeper Roofing, we take tremendous pride in being one of the premier roofing companies in the middle Tennessee area. And to us, a big part of being a full-service roofing contractor is not just offering residential roofing services, but also offering our clients low slope repairs, replacements, and other commercial roofing services. Learn more about our services and contact us today!

While gutters and drainage systems are a crucial part of the integrity, safety, and appearance of your home, they are even more essential to commercial properties with flat roofs or low slope roofs. Without a proper drainage system, water can pool, causing leaks, deterioration, and costly repairs. Below are some common drainage solutions for flat roofs.

Interior Dams

This type of system is comprised of drains that are placed near the center of the roof and then linked to a network of gutters that direct water, snow, and all other moisture to the exterior of the building. This type of system is often a good solution for commercial roofs that tend to collect water near the center. Because the pipes and drains are housed in the roof’s interior, this is often considered to be a very aesthetically pleasing option. The downside, however, is that this tends to be a more costly alternative to exterior drainage systems.

Key Attributes of Interior Dams

  • Easy to clean (all of the drains are covered with guards and strainers that prevent debris from getting into the pipes)
  • Relatively expensive
  • No freezing
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Maintenance often requires a professional technician

Gutters

Gutters are not only a staple in the residential roof world, they are also one of the most common options for commercial roofs. Gutters are essentially pipes that are attached to the edge of the roof. They collect water that has been directed to drain off the roof and then they ensure that the water is directed away from the structure.  They are often chosen because they are relatively inexpensive and effective. However, with that said, many people opt for other alternatives because they find that gutters are high-maintenance, hard to clean, fragile, and susceptible to ice dams.

Key Attributes of Gutters

  • Low cost
  • Protects doorways, windows, and exterior
  • Prevents water from pooling
  • High maintenance
  • Prone to breaking and ice dams

Scuppers

To keep it short, scuppers are basically openings or outlets placed on the outer part of the roof that direct water away from the building. By way of a metal box that protects and surrounds the scuppers, they essentially allow water to run through the wall. Like all good drainage systems, they reliably keep the walls of your building dry and prevent the foundation from being exposed to water. When installed correctly, many consider scuppers to offer the most value for low slope roof systems.

Key Attributes of Scuppers

  • Inexpensive
  • Very low maintenance
  • No build-up or debris (except when connected to downspouts or gutters)
  • Can enhance building appearance

If you are considering installing a flat or low slope roof, we hope that this blog has helped you get a better idea of your drainage system options. All three of these common drainage systems are great choices—assuming they are properly installed and maintained. The type of drainage system that best suits your commercial space will ultimately be determined by your individual needs. If you need help making this decision, we encourage you to contact your gutter and drainage contractors. If you need assistance with your low slope repairs, replacements, coatings, and more, do not hesitate to contact one of Tennessee’s best roofing companies—Tim Leeper Roofing!