top of page
  • Writer's pictureElite Roofing

3 Types of Drainage for Flat Roofing Systems

Flat roofs are one of the most common types of roofing systems here in Jersey City, New Jersey for multiple reasons, but a common issue with flat roofs are their drainage abilities. Because of the unique architecture of flat roofing systems, three different types of drainage methods can be utilized to remove sitting rainwater from your home effectively and efficiently. Depending on the size and location of your roof, your roofing contractor may recommend one of the three drainage options listed below to best suit your home! Most flat roofs are designed to have a slight enough pitch that allows water to naturally flow towards these drains, yet if your roof does not, your contractor will recommend certain corrections to adjust the pitch, slope, and/or slant of your flat roofing system. Read on to learn what these three different types of drainage methods are and which one best suits your home!

Internal/Inner Drains

Most commonly found on commercial buildings and/or extremely large flat roofing systems, internal or inner drains are an effective way to keep sitting water away from the walls and foundations of your home. Often placed directly in the middle of the roof, these drains feature attached pipes that redirect rainwater down into the roof of your building and outside to keep sitting water at bay. It is important to note that internal or inner drains need to feature a strainer to catch debris as any blockages can cause your drains to malfunction and result in pools of water in and around the drain. Unlike other types of drainage systems, such as gutters, internal/inner drains will not freeze up in cold temperatures as the building and surrounding walls protect the pipes from the elements.

Scupper Boxes

Scupper Boxes are custom fabricated drainage tubes that are used to redirect rainwater into a pipe and down through the side of a building. Scupper Boxes act as an alternative and additional drain which allow excess rainwater to drain properly, avoiding the possibility for water to sit or penetrate into your roofing system. Unlike internal/inner drains, scupper boxes do not require a strainer as most openings for a scupper box are large enough to clear out any debris or leaves that the traveling rainwater may collect. Here at Elite Roofing, we offer our customers the option to install a custom copper scupper box specifically designed for their unique roofing system. If you’d like to learn more about our custom copper scupper boxes and see photos and videos, be sure to check out our Customer Scupper Box page on our website using the link below!


Lastly, the most common type of drainage system for any type of roof are gutters. Gutters, also known as conductor pipes, are “a shallow trough that is placed beneath the edge of the roof to carry excess water away from the building.” In order to utilize gutters on your flat roof system, your roof must have a slight pitch or slope to allow water to naturally flow to the edges of your roof. The most common types of gutters are usually made out of aluminum, vinyl, or galvanized steel; although your contractor may recommend a specific type of gutter, this option is up to the homeowner. It is important to note that, unlike internal/inner drains and scupper boxes, gutters often need to be regularly cleaned out as debris, leaves, and other greenery tend to build up quickly. In order to reduce the number of times your gutters need to be cleared out, certain options such as gutter guards are available that block debris from entering and clogging your gutters.

In all, which of these three drainage systems you choose to add to your flat roofing system is completely up to you, but we do recommend you first get an opinion from a trusted roofing contractor. When working with your contractor, they’ll be able to recommend the best fitting drainage system for your specific flat roof to avoid sitting/pooling rainwater to become trapped.

If you’ve noticed that your roof has sitting water or would like to discuss better drainage options for your home, be sure to reach out to us here at Elite Roofing! We have the knowledge and experience to inform you of what option is the best fit for your home, and we also have the ability to create a custom copper scupper box for you! Give us a call today at (201)436-1011, send us an email at, or visit our website at to find more information about custom drainage solutions for your roof!


24 views1 comment

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Unknown member
May 10, 2023

Roofs are one of the most vital parts of any building as they protect the occupants from the extremities of the weather and at the same time provide structural stability to the building framework. Contact Roof Repair North Miami Beach for more info.

bottom of page