Troubleshooting a Flat Roof Drainage System

A flat roof is prized for its affordability and durability which can be attributed to proper flat roof drainage. When water is allowed to sit on the flat roof there are several problems that can occur. Flashing can come loose, gravel can be washed away from shingles, nails can pop out of the roof and eventually it will begin to leak. When a roof leaks it can destroy the structure and even become a fire hazard by interfering with the electrical system. If your flat roof drainage is not properly draining there are things you can do in which to troubleshoot the possible problems. The information contained in the article below will go over how to get your flat roof drainage working properly again.

Determine Problem Areas

After a rain storm inspect the roof for areas of pooling water and you will be able to see where and how the water is moved from the roof and drained. If water is not moving forward or not draining then you will be able to determine where you need to begin looking for a solution. If the water is draining normally then the problem can be found on the roof itself. If the water that is pooling is being pushed toward the drains but not dispersing the problem is with the drain.

Look in Traps

In many flat roof drainage designs there are traps or filters in place over the drainage areas and pipes. These traps prevent anything other than water from falling in the drainage as they can clog the pipes and cause the system to not drain. Clean out the filters and remove any debris from the traps.

Inspect the Drainage Pipes

If your flat roof drainage system does not have any type of filter or trap then there is a possibility that the pipes may be clogged. Twigs, leaves and even small animals can become lodged in the pipes which will prevent proper flat roof drainage. A simple way to check for blockages is to use a screwdriver and gently tap the pipes. They should sound completely hollow if there are no blockages but will sound like a dull thud if there are blockages. A jet of water aimed down the pipe can dislodge the debris. If debris is not dislodged you will have to dismantle the drainage pipe.

Drainage Helpers

Simpler flat roof drainage designs use helpers to maneuver the water toward the drains. These exist as recesses within the insulation to create a channel. If the pooling of water is extremely bad these recesses will push the water toward the drains much faster. These recesses can also become blocked by larger debris which will inhibit the travel of water.

Plant Carriers

These are used to soak up water that is pooling and aid the flat roof drainage. These plants include netting that is biodegradable or are small plants. Over time plant carriers may need to be replaced. If the pooling continues and no water is being soaked up then the plant carriers may need to be replaced.