4 Types of Roof Drains Explained

Roof drains are used to collect rainfall water, which travels to the sewage or drainage system through available plumbing lines. Always remember to check your chosen roof drain periodically, because it can become jammed with ice, garbage or other unwanted items. If such items are not removed in a timely manner, they can cause the roof to buckle or even collapse. However, when cleaned regularly, roof drains are useful for preventing water damage to buildings. Roof drains come in different shapes and sizes depending on the roof and building.  Before choosing one, be sure to consider your roof size, pitch, construction type, drain location, drainage rate, roof and safety load requirements and expected rainfall volume.

Flat Roof Drain

If your home or business building has a flat roof, it’s of the utmost importance that you install a roof drain. Since such roofs do not have slopes or slants, the water will sit on top of the roof and collect, which would be detrimental to your roof’s longevity. This type of drain is usually composed of rain gutters. They are set up on an incline to help keep the collected water moving. An advantage is that some come with roof drain covers, which keeps unwanted debris from accumulating within the drain itself.

Siphonic Roof Drain

This is a more high-tech drain that acts as a sort of vacuum by using an air baffle, which pushes the water into the pipes while not allowing much air into them.  The advantage of this system is that the water drains more rapidly than it might using another type of roof drain. This drain costs a little more than some, but it runs very smoothly, and it does not require much maintenance. Sometimes, paying a little more for the roof drain can save you money later on because you won’t be stuck with many repair costs.

Mesa Roof Drain

Made with rubber, the Mesa roof drains provide flexibility. This drain will not cause seal gaps, it doesn’t put pressure on floating roofs, and it doesn’t scrape on the plank floor. Additionally, the Mesa provides an internal fluidway that ensures proper drainage by reducing corrugation that might restrict flow or cause sediment to plug up valves. If your home or building sports a floating roof, the Mesa roof drain is your best bet.

Zurn Roof Drain

The unique feature about this longstanding drainage system, established in 1900, is that it offers diversity so that it can be used on different types of roofs.  Each drain is composed of a body or sump, a combination flashing clamp/gravel guard and a dome strainer. Drains come in materials such as plastic, used for above ground pipes, iron used for below-ground pipe extensions, and there is also the patented backwater valve. Zurn drains offer history and many options, so you might want to check them out first.