Posts Tagged ‘ice dam’

Roof Drainage Systems to Avoid Costly Home Damage

Posted on: October 5th, 2013 by editor

Most people may never even think about their home’s roof drainage system and how it affects their roofing.

A Roof drainage system is the gutters, downspouts, splash blocks and other components used to carry water off of a roof and away from a structure.

We all know that the main purpose of a roof is to protect a building from weather. Rain and melting snow are able to cause damage to a building if they are allowed to stay on the roof and allow water to seep into the structure. A roof drainage system is designed to redirect water from the roof to the ground in order to protect the building from water damage.

Some buildings may use large overhangs (soffits) that carry the rainwater a distance from the building to protect the foundation form water damage. Other buildings will install a drainage system to redirect the flow into the ground.
There are a number of factors involved in determining the proper roof drainage system for a structure. The slope of the roof will dictate the flow of water. Drain size must be appropriate to prohibit water backup or standing water on the roof. The size of the roof will determine the number of drains required to prevent backed up water.

Other factors to consider in proper installation and placement of roof drainage systems include local building codes, type of soil, grade of the lawn and whether or not the building has a basement. A contractor might also need to consider the average amount of rainfall in an area and the rate at which rainfall might collect at a drain.

It is very important that the drainage system be installed where there is proper slope, the drainage could get backed up into a puddle of standing water. The standing water allows a collection of debris on the roof surface. Now, the collection of leaves, sticks, etc will cause more blockage and more standing water to continue to collect.

Whatever type of roofing and flashing you may have the water, melting snow, and ice, come off your roof, and into your gutters. Whether you have wood, aluminum, or copper gutters, they will lead to downspouts, header boxes, sometimes called collector boxes. Often these downspouts run into drywells, outpipes, catch basins and drains.

It is very important that once the roof drainage system has been installed, it is inspected regularly! The drains must be cleared of any blockage from leaves, sticks and other debris.

Here, in New England, we must consider the effects of snow on our roofing systems. If an attic is not properly insulated, the collected snow on the roof may melt. This melted snow then runs under the remaining snow and refreezes at the eaves. This is the cause of ice dams. Ice dams block the flow of the melting snow, causing it to seep into the roof, causing leaks.

Have your roof inspected regularly (yearly) to see if there is anywhere that water is collecting, or if the eaves gutters are cleared. If you have a flat roof, you will want to check to be sure there is no built up grit, leaves or other debris in a puddle. This situation may encourage the growth of algae or weeds that would weaken the integrity of the roof. Often basement water, icy stairs and walkways, really begin on your roof, at your gutters, and downspouts, as well as drainage components.

Keeping debris out of these systems can save you lots of headaches, and avoid costly damage to the system, foundation, and interior spaces.

At Landmark Roofing we can help you to evaluate your drainage system.
Contact us to schedule your free consultation.


Roofing Contractor | Newton

Newton, Wellesley, Weston, Brookline, Sudbury