Scuppers – A Flat Roof Drain System for Commercial Roofs – Watch video

Scuppers are found on many commercial and residential flat roofs. Scupper drains are equally, as important as other drains, and special attention should be given to their location and installation on a flat roof. We serve Pittsburgh, Monroeville, Stamford, Greenwich, White Plains

What is a scupper? Scuppers are drain openings placed in areas on the side of a roof for water drainage. A scupper can be placed through a side wall, or a parapet wall, or could be on a low area on the edge of a roof.

Scuppers Installed Properly

Scupper - an opening on the edge of roof allowing water to drain off
This is a scupper on a small residential flat roof. Although it is narrow, there is not much debris so it will function well.

It is very important to install a scupper in a the proper place on a flat roof. There are several factors to consider:

Scupper not well designed- can't prevent from clogging. pittsburgh, Monroeville, Stamford, Greenwich, White Plains
This particular scupper is through a wall to the outside. This is a enclosed scupper and can easily be clogged with leaves and debris. A strainer is needed to prevent this from happening.
  1. Find points on a roof where water will drain naturally.
  2. Consider the accumulation of water below to avoid damage to the structure and foundation.
  3. The placement of the scupper must be accessible for debris removal and maintenance.
  4. The water should flow without restriction at all times.

Scuppers  Installed Improperly

Scupper position to high- water cannot flow and causes pooling Pittsburgh, Stamford, Greenwich, White Plains
This scupper was installed improperly because its position is too high from the roof causing water to pool rather than drain. Pittsburgh, Stamford, Monroeville, and White Plains.

The ponded water will eventually cause the rubber membrane to fail prematurely. If scuppers are the only way to drain water from a roof and into a gutter, they should always be positioned lower than the average roof surface.

Installing a Scupper on an EPDM Roof

Watch this video on the cutting away of the edge of a roof to lower it to create a scupper that drains into a gutter.

It is important to make the scupper wide enough to handle the amount of water drainage typical for each climate.  A roofing contractor may create a scupper that is too narrow to handle proper water drainage because the amount of leaves and other debris gets trapped in it. Notice the scupper in the video above is wide which will allow any debris to wash away easily.

The following videos are examples of how we lower edges to prevent water from pooling.

Proper positioning and size of a scupper is essential for maintenance which is cost effective. The video below shows how we lower an existing scupper in a parapet wall. This scupper was positioned too high and caused water to pool. Maintenance to this particular scupper was difficult because it was too narrow. There were tennis balls trapped inside of it and restricted the flow of water.

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