By Allen Foster

Your roof is one of your most valuable assets. It not only protects everything you house in your company’s building, but it also protects the building itself. Because of this vital role, a roof is constructed to withstand both the brutal cold of winter and the intense heat of summer. Heat is magnified on a roof, which means it can hit temperatures of 150°F or higher. Your roof is also designed to weather the elements to help keep you and your assets warm and safe and dry.

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However, as resilient as your roof is, it is not invulnerable. One of your roof’s most irksome adversaries is water. If water sits on your roof for an extended period of time — two days or longer — it can degrade the materials that were used in your roof’s construction and lead to leaks or worse. That is why your contractor installs a system to help clear that bothersome water from your roof. Following are the three most common systems that your contractor will use.

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The most common drainage system for all roofs is gutters. Water runs down the pitch, gathers in the gutters, and travels to the downspout where it is ultimately directed away from your building’s foundation. Gutters are inexpensive and they work exceptionally well, but only if they are properly cleaned and maintained year-round. Unwanted debris can easily clog your gutter and make the water spill over the edge, creating a problem for your windows, doors, walls, and foundation. In the winter, freezing and ice dams can become an issue too.

Inner Drains

Think of inner drains as a downspout that runs inside your building. Instead of being directed to the edge of your flat roof, water is sent to the center of your building and it is drained internally. Inner drains have a variety of designs and are fully customizable to create virtually whatever look you’d like. Additionally, they are impervious to cold and will not freeze in the winter. On the downside, inner drains are the priciest of options, and you must be extremely vigilant to keep debris away because inner drains can easily clog. Once a problem manifests on the inside, it can lead to costly repairs.

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A scupper is an opening in the parapet of your flat roof that allows water to freely drain off. Although you can have the runoff funneled into a downspout, scuppers can also be designed to allow the water to shoot away from your building, making downspouts unnecessary. Additionally, if the opening is wide enough, debris build-up is not an issue. Properly designed scuppers can be a very low maintenance option.