A flat roof is a unique architectural design for a home and with that unique style comes a few extra maintenance concerns to worry about, namely the issue of adequate drainage. While most flat roof homes are found in areas that typically don’t experience much water or moisture, no matter where you live, you still need to make sure your flat roof is ready for rain with the proper drainage solutions.

Now that you know that with the proper drainage solutions and regular maintenance from your professional roofing contractor a flat roof can be protected from leaks as well as any other roofing design can, if you are currently looking for ways to make your flat roof better equipped to drain water, or are thinking about having a flat roof installed on your house and want to prepare by going with the most efficient draining system as possible, here are three of the most common drainage solutions for flat roofs and some of their pros and cons:


– One of the most cost effective drainage solutions for homes and business with flat roofs

– Essentially made up of open pipes that are attached to the edges of the roof and don’t typically require any type of roof modification upon installation.

– Gutters work by collecting the water that has drained off the roof and carrying that water down and away from the building. A guttering system also helps to protect your foundation, windows, and doors, by carrying away water that would otherwise be pooling up.

Potential drawbacks of gutters:

  • Gutters are a maintenance-heavy drainage solution as they often need to be cleaned of debris if they are to work at top capacity.
  • Have a tendency to crack and leak under weight of leaves and debris if not regularly cleaned out; tendency to freeze in the winter as well.

Interior Drains:

  • Made up of several drains placed at strategic intervals located near the middle of your roof. And an internal network of pipes and gutters that work to move water to the exterior of the building, keeping water drainage safely away from the foundation.
  • Strains are often used on top of the drains themselves to catch and collect any leaves and debris that could clog the drains and gutters. Recommended for homes or business with large, flat roofs that have a problem with water collecting and pooling in the center of the roof.
  • Durable drainage solution that doesn’t crack under weight or freeze in cold temperatures
  • Customizable interior drain options make this solutions an attractive one for the curb side appeal of your home.

Potential drawbacks of interior drains:

  • Priciest of all the drainage options; requires special roofing technician for proper installation that also increases the cost.
  • Vital that just the right number of drains installed for successful drainage.
  • As with gutters, a roof with an interior drainage system must constantly be monitored for debris so a clog doesn’t occur.


  • This type of drainage solution is made up of an outlet box that is installed near the edges of the roof which is designed specifically to project water away from the building, so as not to have the building constantly being saturated with the draining water.
  • Very low cost and minimal maintenance requirements.
  • Unlikely to clog if scupper is of adequate size.

Potential drawbacks of scuppers:

  • Works most effectively when coupled with some type of sloped structure or tapered insulation system, which means that a scupper drainage system really works best in conjunction with an additional draining component.
  • Though the gutter and downspout attachments have a tendency to clog if not regulatory maintained.

Whichever drainage solution you decide to invest in for your flat roof, what’s really important is the quality of the contractors who perform the installation and choose the materials, so be sure to find a Bay Area roofing contractor you can trust!