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Roof Scupper vs. Roof Drain

Speaking the language of a roofing contractor can be a difficult skill to master. Most professions develop a unique vernacular over time that allows members of the profession to speak about details and projects with ease. However, it can appear to those on the outside of the profession that a trades-person is speaking in code.

Roof drain vs roof scupper

This is the case when a homeowner or building owner hears a contractor talking about a scupper versus a roof drain. Both are used to provide drainage for a roof system. However, they are not interchangeable. The term needs to be clarified when identifying the specific detail that you may have on your roof system because the corrective action for addressing these details and providing repairs is different.

What is a roof scupper?

In short, a scupper is a detail that provides drainage to a roof system by allowing the water runoff from the roof to exit the roof through a metal edge, parapet wall or through the deck into a downspout or leader not run through the interior of the building.

Scupper drains do not normally provide protection against water back up and, as a result, they are not recommended to provide drainage when they cannot be drained to the outside of the building.

In addition, scuppers can be prone to freezing during winter weather conditions since their drain lines are external to the building and do not remain exposed to the heated interior of the building.

Roof scupper drainage system.

What is a roof drain?

In contrast, a roof drain is a method of draining a roof assembly where the water runoff from the roof is transferred through the roof drain into piping that runs through the interior of the building before it empties either onto grade or into a storm sewer.

In most cases, roof drains are also installed in such a way that prevents water from leaking out of the drain in the event that there is a clog somewhere in the drain line.

Have you experienced problems with scuppers or roof drains freezing during cold weather conditions?

What solutions have you implemented to help relieve these conditions?

Roof drain
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Contact Jurin Roofing services today to discuss your roofing project.

Founded in 1974, Jurin Roofing Services, Inc. is known for top quality roofing throughout the east coast. Jurin Roofing Services is a full-service commercial roofing contractor offering roof maintenance, roof and leak repair, and roof replacements. Jurin Roofing Services also offers professional roof services such as roof inspections and infrared roof moisture scans. Jurin Roofing is also a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and is a Carlisle SynTec Hall of Fame and ESP (Excellence in Singly Ply) contractor.
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About the Author:

Jason Dickey

Creating a strong, long-lasting business relationship with our customers is a major focus in Jason’s career. Like relationships in any area of life, taking the right amount of time and effort as well as listening is a key part to ensure our relationship continues to grow. Along with these traits it is also of paramount importance that we provide quality products and services to establish customer loyalty and future opportunities.

One Comment

  1. Myron N Desai July 23, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Good blog post. I certainly appreciate this website. Thanks!

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