Gutters on Flat Roofs – Important Drainage Systems

Flat Roof Debris and Gutter Drainage

Flat roofs collect an abundance of debris that may not be removed regularly. During rainstorms, this debris gets washed into the gutter trough and clogs it, preventing proper drainage. Over time debris accumulates in the trough, causing it to overflow, which compromises the exterior walls and the foundation with water infiltration.

It is important to keep the roof free from debris at all times. Doing so, will allow water to flow freely to the tough, through the downspouts and leader pipes, and away from the building for proper drainage.


If there are branches that hang over your flat roof, we recommend that you remove the debris from the roof and the gutters as often as you rake leaves or mow your lawns or yards. The easiest way to remove debris from flat roofs and gutters is to use a hand held leaf blower.

Gutters on Flat Roofs and Drainage - Gutters accumulate debris very fast if tree branches hang over the roof.
Gutters and Flat Roofs - Important Drainage System - Gutters with built up of ice and icicles often break.

Flat Roof Edging and Gutters

Flat roofs should be pitched or sloped towards gutters for a positive water flow. Even when they are, we often see that the edge of the roof is slightly higher due to a tar build-up, from repeated repairs, preventing water from flowing into the gutter. This can cause ponding on the roof, which can lead to leaks. Gutters should also be flush with facia board to prevent water from flowing behind gutter troughs, if not, water will damage the walls or paint.

Flat Roof and Gutter Inspection for Maintenance

Follow these preventive flat roof and gutter inspection and maintenance procedures for a well maintained drainage system.

  • Inspect the entire gutter system; the quality of all seams, joints, and downspouts.
  • Check that gutter brackets and hangers are properly secured.
  • Make sure the gutter is properly angled to create a positive water flow.
  • Keep tree branches trimmed away from flat roofs and gutters to prevent damage from high winds.
  • After severe storms, inspect both the roof and gutters to remove debris.
  • Ensure that leader pipes are well positioned to funnel water away from the foundation.

Drain Strainers for a flat roof. Custom strainers are better. Watch this video how it works
Improving-drainage-for-a-flat-roof by lowering the drain Watch video
Installing a Retrofit Drain on a flat roof - Watch Video
Best draining system for a flat roof - See this video about a drain that was lowerde 15 years ago
Cracked skylight seal causing leaks - watch this 3d animated video to see where a skylight can leak
Installing a flat roof over Tar and Gravel roof. This is a two ply roofing system that is the best in the industry -Watch the video
 UltraViolet beating a EPDM rubber roof - watch this video to see how a EPDM rubber got destroyed
EPDM Rubber Seam Problems - the most common place for EPDM rubber roofs to leak is at the seams - Watch Video
Deciding when to replace or repair a flat roof - Watch this video to help you make decisions
Ultraviolets will damage EPDM Rubber roofs prematurely - Watch the video to see how bad ultraviolets are for a rubber EPDM roof
Metal Roof Rusting Through - Almost any metal roof can be recovered or repaired - Watch this video
EPDM Roofing problems stem from prolonged exposure to harmful UV rays.
Caulking incorrectly applied causes leaks behind flashing
A/C Unit Installed on an EPDM Roofing System
Silicone sealant on metal roof failing
Flat Roof Drains: Location, Installation & Maintenance
Explaing why inner roof drains are important

Flat Roofs and Gutter problems

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