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Flat Roof Drains and Strainers on Commercial Roofs

Flat roof drains and strainers are the most important components of any commercial flat roof. They are responsible for properly draining any and all accumulated precipitation. To preserve the life of the roof, however, the debris that collects around them, must be removed on a regular basis. There are several ideas you can implement to improve the effectiveness of a drain system.

The video below shows how a large metal strainer is more effective than a smaller, dome-shaped, plastic strainer.

Improve Your Commercial Flat Roof’s Drainage System

Improve your commercial flat roof’s drainage system by replacing the small plastic or metal strainers with a customized strainer made from metal. Plastic strainers tend to deteriorate and break from harmful UV rays. Also, the holes and slots of both metal and plastic strainers are too small and narrow, preventing small debris from flowing through to reach the drain. If these types of strainers are not maintained regularly, the buildup of small debris around them will eventually block the flow of water, causing the area to pond. Ponded water can promote the growth of moss and other plant life. Also, leaks are likely to spring from these ponded areas.

Make a Custom Drain Strainer

Make a custom metal drain strainer to improve your drainage system and preserve the life of your commercial flat roof. In the video above, there is an example of the type of strainer we have made to improve water flow even when there is a build-up of debris.

Flat Roof Drains and Strainers - This customized drain strainer improves drainage systems and the life of the roof.

Notice the cracks on this plastic strainer. Eventually, the strainer will develop more cracks, then break apart, and become ineffective.

Flat Roof Drains and Strainers - Notice the cracks on this plastic strainer. Eventually, the strainer will develop more cracks, then break apart, and become ineffective.

Lowering a Drain

Lowering a drain will improve drainage from your commercial flat roof. A professional roofer will remove a section of the drain pipe from below the roof, to shorten it. The drain and roof, will then, be reattached to the shortened drain pipe. This is, by far, the best way to remove pooling water from a drain area.

Considerations Before Lowering a Commercial Roof Drain

  • What is the current type of roofing membrane?
  • What are other roofing membranes under the current one?
  • What type of drain is installed? (plastic, copper, aluminum or cast iron.)
  • Are both a plumber and carpenter needed, or can a roofer do all the required work?

The cost of lowering a drain can be as low as $1200 and cost as much $2500.

This video shows how a drain can be lowered to improve drainage.

A Lowered Drain Will Work – Watch Video

Lowering a drain will work. We have lowered drains for over 20 years. A drain that we installed about 10 years ago, shows that even though debris was not removed on a regular basis, the drain still functioned as was intended.

 

The image below shows how debris can block a strainer. The muddy water pooled and weakened the rubber membrane seals which caused leaks.  

Debris around a strainer and drain will eventually clog drains up

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