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Flat roofing systems and the importance of proper drainage

By : John Martino | In : Home Inspections

One important defect  that I find while inspecting houses with flat type roofs  is the lack of adequate roof drains.  When  a flat roof system exists it is very important that the roof scupper drains remain obstruction free and free flowing because water will pool on the flat roof surface and infiltrate into the dwelling. Under the right climate conditions  flat roofing systems have been known to collapse under snow and ice loads because of the lack of roof drainage. snow, ice and water collect until the roof structure buckles under the weight. It is imperative that a home inspector view the roof drains  and determine if they are sufficient to properly drain the roof surface. A single drain is usually inadequate to propelry drain the roof surface.  Additional drains and downspouts should be installed to pipe water off the surface and away from the home. Having a multiple drain system is a very good idea because if one drain were to be obstructed the other drain will pipe water away from the surface of the roof.

John Martino (64 Posts)

LookSmart Home Inspections, LLC is owned and operated by John Martino. He has successfully performed over 3000 inspections for clients throughout northern and central NJ and has an exemplary track record of customer satisfaction. Mr. Martino completed a 300-hour approved NJ Home Inspector training program and was mentored by one of the most respected names in NJ home inspections. He continues to attend over 30 hours of continuing education classes each year.


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Buying a house is one of life’s biggest decisions. Before you close, you’ll want a professional inspection of the house to ascertain its true condition. John Martino is a formally trained New Jersey home inspector and member of the American Society of Home Inspectors...ReadMore