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Commercial Flat Roof Drainage Options

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Since flat roofs are susceptible to inefficient drainage and water pooling, it is essential to be aware of the different options that are available that can mitigate these problems. Fortunately, there are several different types of drainage solution that may be selected and combined with EPDM rubberized waterproofing. Here is a closer look at some of the drawbacks and benefits of each of them.

EPDM Waterproofing

First of all, it is critical that the roof is protected using EPDM roofing materials. The synthetic rubber may adhere to a roof. Its properties provide outstanding protection against even heavy torrential rains. However, water might still gather and pool in low-lying areas. That is why it is crucial for EPDB roofing to be used along with a drainage system that has been properly installed.   

Drain Options

Drains are obviously one of the more common things that can help to remove water off of a flat roof. Scupper drains, for example, are located on the roof’s edges in low-lying parts. The galvanized units guide water into downspouts that are nearby, which allows runoff to exit effectively before undue weight is placed on the roof. However, one thing that needs to be noted is that any gaps on the perimeter of the drains may cause water leaks below.

Commercial Flat Roof Replacement ContractorsInternal drains are another type of drains. They are an affordable option and are made out of copper or aluminum pipes and are placed in areas where water pools. A plumbing system s attached under the roof which allows water to exit the area. A potential downside to the method is this type of system requires that a licensed plumber be used. Another possibility is eavestrough drainage techniques although they are becoming antiquated. This type of system is comprised of ditches situated in low-lying areas that help to guide water into the downspouts Mainly they are used by older structures and although they can be effective, there are newer methods that are easier to install and that are less expensive.

Drains may become blocked by debris and leaves. A roof outlet is perfect for trapping leaves and letting water drain away from the roof.

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Other Methods

Combined along with EPDM roofing, and in addition to ensuring proper drainage, there are other options that can prevent the pooling of water. Drainage helps, for example, use recessed insulation within existing drains. This allows the water to exit faster.

True sloped insulation is a type of angled surface that gets placed underneath a flat roof (ideally made out of EPDM rubber) which allows water to pass through the drains on a flat roof and then be diverted to the sides of the roof when it gets to the underneath level. However, they are very expensive systems and are mainly used in new construction.

One less expensive option is the step-sloped method. Stepped insulation board layers are installed around the drains, with the thinnest ones being nearest to the existing drains in the low-lying areas.  Then EPDM (the roof “membrane”) gets installed over the sloping structure. Although it is less expensive compared to true slope insulation, this technique can still be costly.   

Ecologically-friendly plant carriers may be installed in order to absorb any of the water from areas that are most likely to pool. But this might not eliminate all of the water.

Although all of the above systems have drawbacks and benefits, using them along with EPDM rubber roofing can significantly increase efficiency which will help to extend the life of the roof.

Armadillo Roofing & Exteriors provides commercial flat roof repair, commercial flat roof installation and commercial flat roof replacement services to Austin, Texas and the surrounding area cities. When you need advice on anything related to your commercial flat roof, give us a call at 512-333-7663.

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