Rich Roofing Tips: Three Drainage Solutions for Flat Roofs

There is a long and rich history when it comes to flat roofs in the United States, especially in regards to commercial construction.

With that said, did you know flat roofs depend greatly on drainage? It’s true! Whether it be rain or snow melt, drainage is of the utmost importance when it comes to preserving a flat roofs integrity.  Without proper drainage, water pools can begin to occur which in turn leads to leaks, deterioration in the roof membrane and even ice formation during winter.

Thankfully, the team at Rich Roofing has put together this handy “Tips” blog detailing three types of drainage systems which worked wonderfully for flat roofs.

Interior Drains

An interior drainage system is comprise of drains which are placed at intervals near the center of the roof. Off of that is an internal network of pipes and gutters which assists in moving water to the exterior of the building.

These drains are usually topped with a strainer which prevents leaves and other debris from getting into the pipes. They are also an excellent solution for larger roofs where water tends to collect in the center.

Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of interior drains is they are more aesthetically pleasing in that all of the pipes and gutter are located inside the roof and are not visible from the outside. At the same rate, this setup can also cause interior drains to be a bit more costly to install than exterior drainage systems and often require a significant investment.


Scuppers are outlets placed on the edges of the roof that project water that drains off the roof away from the building. They keep the walls of the building dry and prevent the foundation from being destabilized by too much exposure to water. Scuppers are more cost effective than inner drains, but they work best when all of the water is directed to them using a tapered insulation system or a sloped structure. They are a good solution for areas that frequently get heavy rains, but are not ideal for dealing with snow melt.


Gutters are open pipes that are attached to the edges of the roof. They collect water as it drains off the roof and carry it away from the building. They are generally the most cost effective drainage solution since they can be attached to a finished roof without any modification to the roof itself. They are also good at dealing with variable levels of rain and snow. As with drains and scuppers, gutters do regularly need to be cleared of debris and cleaned in order to continue functioning properly.

When it comes to deciding which type of drainage is best for you it can vary. Ultimately, you’ll want to seek the advice of a professional.  Ensuring the roofing contractor you hire is experience in installing all of these drainage systems is a plus as well.

Looking for a drainage solution for your flat roof? We can help! Click Here to get in touch with a member of our team today.