Flat roofs can be a great choice for many buildings. Because of their levelness, they are able to support HVAC equipment or solar panels. They also allow the interior space of the building to be utilized more efficiently - no pitched roof means you won’t have an angled ceiling to contend with when designing the interior or considering storage spaces. As such, flat roofs are quite common in commercial buildings around Fort Myers, though they are sometimes also used in private residences.
While these advantages to a flat roof do exist, there are some challenges as well, mainly how to drain water off of the flat surface. Pitched roofs can utilize gravity to help with rain runoff, but this technique cannot be used with flat roofs. In a place such as Fort Myers, which experiences heavy rainstorms, having a drainage solution in place for your building’s flat roof is essential.
The most visually-pleasing of the 3 drainage solutions offered here, inner drains can be quite effective - if installed properly. Inner drains consist of a system placed in the center of the roof attached to pipes which direct the water to gutters attached to the roof’s edges. The inner drains usually come with a cover to keep leaves and other debris out of the pipes and the gutters, thereby reducing the maintenance costs associated with this particular drainage style. Additionally, as the drains are located in the center of the roof itself, they are often not visible from the street. Finally, due to the system being protected from the walls and building itself, the system is protected from extreme temperature changes more than any other drainage system.
Gutters work on a flat roof building much the same way as they work on a traditionally-sloped roof. Gutters are a perfectly acceptable drainage system, directing water away from the building and its foundations, as well as away from any clients that may be coming to the building in a storm. Gutters are also a preferred method of drainage for flat roofs because they are relatively inexpensive. Although gutters can be extremely effective at preventing water damage to your building, they only function the way they are intended if they are well-maintained. Failure to perform proper maintenance on your building’s gutters could prove to be problematic if not handled correctly.
Scuppers function much the same way as gutters, although they are designed as part of the roof, not as an addition. Scuppers are essentially built-in gutters that direct the water away from the building. If using scuppers as your drainage system, your flat roof will be built at a slight angle, angling away from the center of the building and toward the edge. There, metal receptacles around the edge of the roof catch any runoff and ensure that it is deposited far away from the building’s foundation. Scuppers are a great drainage system because they can be incorporated into the visual design of the roof, often adding to the building’s aesthetic. They are also wide enough that most debris will not get caught in them and will just be directed away from the building along with the water.
Regardless of what type of drainage system you choose to install for your flat roofed building, you should definitely consider hiring a professional. Professionals like us will be able to identify the best drainage solution for your building’s specific requirements. We also offer a warranty on all of our work and will stand by our product for a lot longer than other roofing professionals in South Florida. If you would like more information or are ready to get started, please feel free to contact us by filling out our easy online form or by calling us at (239) 694 - 1056 today!