Drains causing roof leaks

Flat Roof Drain Detached from Rubber Membrane
The rubber membrane was never attached to the drain flashing in this image

When a drain is leaking, it is not always necessary that which causes the leak. Because the drain is normally lower than the rest of the roof, a leak could start somewhere else and flow towards the drain underneath the roof membrane.

Ho to locate a leak around a drain:

  • Try to open the ceiling where the drain is coming through the roof and make a visual inspection
  • Clean all debris that has accumulated around the drain and strainer
  • Remove the strainer to make a visual inspection of the drain pipe from above
  • Make a close-up inspection of the roofing membrane and the drain flange to see if it hasn’t separated
  • If you can’t find an obvious problem, call an experienced roofing technician to find and repair the leak

Roof Drains that are clogged will cause leaks

Debris Around Flat Roof Drain Strainer
Debris Around Flat Roof Drain Strainer

Watch the 3D video explaining how a roof drain should really work

How to inspect a roof drain for leaks

  • Remove the strainer
  • Check if debris has collected inside the drainpipe blocking it
  • Inspect the membrane that is attached to the drain to see if there are any tears or cracks
  • Remove all debris
  • Remove all water completely to make a visual inspection

  • Make sure to keep drains clean from debris once a week
  • Clean entire roof regularly to prevent debris flowing to drain during a rainstorm
  • Make sure drain pipes are unrestricted all the way
  • Replace broken plastic strainers with metal ones
  • If water is ponding around the drain area due to being too high, have a roofing contractor lower the drain
This is a 3 D Video explaining the proper configuration of a drain
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