Scuppers are openings in roofs and parapet walls that provide a way for excess water to drain from low-slope, flat and built-up roofs. They typically connect directly to gutters and downspouts to direct the flow of water to a particular location, but may also protrude from a parapet wall to serve as a method of directing water away from exterior walls.
On flat roofs and in parapet walls, scuppers function essentially as a continuation of the roof membrane. Scuppers install into perimeter curbs and parapet walls on your roof and carry water from the roof, through a wall and then down the side of the building. They have a metal box surrounding the drain tube that serves as flashing. Scuppers are typically made of small sections of copper or stainless steel tubing. They resemble a small drain pipe with a box or flange around the top that extends about 4 inches onto the roof on all sides.
Solutions for the Stucco Parapet
Scupper drains typically protrude from a roof parapet or wall by about 3 inches when not directed into a gutter or downspout.
When connected directly into downspouts or gutters, scuppers may also feature a conductor head that helps direct the flow of water. When installing scuppers in your wall or roof, wood blocking beneath the flange provides a solid surface for the flashing to fasten to. To ensure optimum drainage of water, space each scupper no more than 10 feet apart along the roof or parapet wall.
Make sure the scupper flange installs flush against the roofing substrate and fastens securely with screws or roofing adhesive. Renee Miller began writing professionally incontributing to websites and the "Community Press" newspaper. She is co-founder of On Fiction Writing, a website for writers. Miller holds a diploma in social services from Clarke College in Belleville, Ontario.
Skip to main content. Home Guides Home Home Improvement DIY Scuppers are openings in roofs and parapet walls that provide a way for excess water to drain from low-slope, flat and built-up roofs. Basic Function On flat roofs and in parapet walls, scuppers function essentially as a continuation of the roof membrane. Design and Materials Scuppers are typically made of small sections of copper or stainless steel tubing.
Installation Tips When installing scuppers in your wall or roof, wood blocking beneath the flange provides a solid surface for the flashing to fasten to. References 4 Copper Development Association, Inc. About the Author Renee Miller began writing professionally incontributing to websites and the "Community Press" newspaper.For any leak or water problem that may cause serious damage to your building, we highly advise property managers to schedule a commercial roof repair from a trusted contractor such as Bloom Roofing.Gazebo development
Ponding water can be one of the most common causes for commercial roof leaks or water damage, and can add significant strain to the roofing system as one square foot of ponding water weighs roughly 5 pounds per inch of water.
However, in some instances, the current drainage system may not be properly routing water, which may require commercial roof repairs. If flashing is damaged, improperly installed, or becomes loose due to wind or storms, edges of the roof cover are often exposed, allowing moisture and water to seep in to the roofing system and building.
Because roofing systems expand and contract as temperature changes throughout the seasons, flashings often tear or break and can fail the rest of the roofing system deteriorates.
Property managers should keep a close eye for damage to flashings as these are some of the most common sources for leaks on flat roofing systems.
All roof penetrations are prone to leaks and must be secured properly to ensure that the roofing system is protected from water damage. Roof penetrations can include HVAC units, conduits, vents, drains, pipes, hot stacks, gas lines, or other objects that are routed through the roofing membrane.
If the roof membrane is visibly damaged on your commercial roofing system, we highly recommend calling a roofing professional immediately to help prevent any additional water damage from occurring.
If the problem is caught in time, roofing contractors can often conduct commercial roof repairs rather than having to go with a full-scale replacement.
At a certain point in time, commercial roofing systems will start to deteriorate beyond the point of repair.
How Do Scuppers Work on a Parapet or Wall?
Age of the Roofing System At a certain point in time, commercial roofing systems will start to deteriorate beyond the point of repair. At Bloom Roofing, the health and safety of our employees, customers and communities is of primary concern, and we are monitoring the COVID situation very closely. We are taking proactive steps to help minimize the spread of COVID, and we are confident in our ability to abide by local public health policies and OSHA guidelines while continuing to ensure safe operations for our customers.
For roof top safety each service team includes two roof technicians. To limit contact, the technicians are driving in separate vehicles Roof technicians have been instructed to wear a mask and gloves.
Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions you may have. The Bloom Roofing Team.InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest.
We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website. In our page top photo my grandson, Tanner Gilligan points out the white caulk that was installed as a stopgap measure where the builder has installed a bay window into a stuccoed wall without proper roof-wall flashing red arrow.
Tanner would have also pointed out the horizontal flashing orange arrow had he not needed his other arm to hold on to the building. Above we show a feeble attempt at flashing and counter flashing at the roof-wall intersection of a low slope roof.
The installer tacked a row of asphalt shingles to the wall, caulked their top edge, and hoped for the best. To install the roof-wall flashing above the builder bent the top edge of the flashing into a degree lip about 2 cm in width. That lip is then set into a reglet or groove, in this case cut into the mortar joint of the brick wall above. Above the flashing lip the groove is sealed with mortar or with a sealant to prevent water from running behind the flashing and to hold it in place.
Just below we illustrate a proper installation of flashing, in this case lead, installed at the abutment of a lower roof to a masonry wall on a building near Goodrich Castle in Ross on Wye in Herefordshire in the U.
Below we illustrate that using a single piece of metal flashing where the uppermost edge of a shed-roof abuts a vertical building sidewall works fine, though the use of exposed nails see our photo below may form leak or wear points in the roof.
Below we discuss the very different case of the use of single-piece versus step flashing at the abutment of the side of a sloping roof to a building sidewall. At re-roofing time, when the old shingles are to be torn off, it's not always so easy to re-use the original step flashing that extends up under the building siding.
As we see in our step flashing re-use at re-roofing time photo left the installer cut the new shingles too long so they have two reasons to be buckled, lifted, and vulnerable to wind-blown rain leaks at this building wall. It's easy to get confused when installing step flashing, leading to lots of building leaks. Our step flashing snafu photos below demonstrate a few typical step flashing snarl ups. At left our photo shows some interesting work. It looks as if someone re-sided the building and installed new counter flashing over a wood strip along the roof-wall intersection.
But take a closer look click to enlarge and you'll see that the new roof shingles are out of step with the original step flashing, so that the flashing extends less than an inch on top of each shingle course, and the head of the flashing in some locations appears not very far at all under the shingle course above. Flashing against irregular sidewalls such as this up-state New York cabin above left can require some thought. We'd need to use custom-formed lead counterflashing as is done on tile roofs, or cut a reglet into the wall deep enough to bend the counterflashing and hook it into the wall to keep wind-blown rain and wall run-down rain from moving behind this step flashing.
Our second photo above right shows leak stains on the interior of the building wall where this detail was used. Below are two photographs of roof-wall step flashing, completed and effective of a slate roof against a brick wall below leftand in-process, with step flashing against a dormer sidewall before the dormer siding has been put in place below right.
Our photo shows the bottom end of a single-piece of damaged sloped-roof-wall flashing. In our OPINION it's not likely that this flashing installation will long resist any significant quantity of water at the lower roof edge, and both blowing wind and any backup due to gutters, ice, or snow will exacerbate the leak risk.
Signs of a Water Leak Behind the Walls
NRCA Berg points out that while continuous metal flashing is used at wall junctures in certain steep-slope roof installations, special flashing installation details are required that are different from a step-flashing sealed roof, and even when installed according to specifications, this approach can leave the roof vulnerable to leaks or moisture damage from wind-driven rain.
Berg continues that "Because the hook edge and cleats tend to raise the shingles above the flashing, the detail is somewhat vulnerable to wind-driven rain and from moisture trapped in debris that may accumulate in lower areas of the flashing". OPINION: DF: inspecting thousands of residential properties we have encountered quite a few attempts to use a single piece of metal flashing instead of step flashing at roof-wall abutments, virtually never installed according even to the not-entirely-reliable NRCA recommendations above.
And in our experience, when a single piece of flashing extends only a few inches under the shingles, especially on a long roof slope, and worse on a roof that happens to slope slightly towards rather than away from the abutting vertical building wall, the accumulated roof drainage water near the bottom end of the roof-wall intersection will overwhelm the width of the flashing and, because it is not directed back out on top of successive shingle courses, it leaks into the building or building wall.
In sum, single piece roof-wall flashing is a bad idea in the hands of typical residential roofers and re-roofers, and this approach has been found by home inspectors to be unreliable in practice. Try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly. Just ask us!Rivet nut insert tool
Share this article. Search the InspectApedia website.This is a brilliant solution for homeowners, who have problems with their thatched roof. With this new drainage channel installed, they wouldn't worry about unnecessary damages caused by rainwater to their roofs. Plus, their houses would look better with this kind of thatched roof installed.
Just keep on brushing it regularly to prevent dirt from accumulating to the corners of the roof. Rodney Orton. Hi Rodney, Thanks for your support - these drainage channels really do wonders for drainage on thatch roofs and you're right, they look neat and tidy whilst doing the job. This proves that experience is really a great teacher! Drainage on parapet walls, being a common problem on thatch roofs, mainly causes early rotting and leaks.
And Rodney is right. Hi Darryl, Thanks for reading our post and taking the time to comment - using a thatching contractor is so important to prevent unnecessary problems in the future. Kind regards, Jonathan. Remember that when you see even a very small, dark, wet patch on your thatched roof, it only means that there is a leak.
Well, a drainage system is really part of the required maintenance of having a thatched roof. Congrats on doing the job! Althea Tumlin. Hi Althea, Thanks for reading our blog and sharing your advice. You're right - small problems in thatch, if dealt with early on, can save a lot of headaches and costs later on.
Drainage system is most important part of a house. If your drainage system is not well you can not live in your house with harmony. As you mention you are expert in water main installations. Post a Comment. Posted by Unknown on October 15, There are a group of houses in a small coastal village that I often work at, all of the houses are built to the exact same design, all of the houses have parapet walls and all of the houses suffer from leaking at the parapet walls.
I have been called in almost every year to deal with these problems from one house or another in that same village and I have perfected the solution for this problem.
The problem lies in the connection of the thatch to the parapet wall - many thatch roof designs for parapets do not allow for rain water drainage. This leads to the rain having no clear drainage channel and leads the parapet to hold the water, decreasing the lifespan of the thatch in that area and creating to rotting and leaking problems. My solution addresses this problem head on - creating a clean, clear drainage channel or gutter for the rain water to exit the roof.
The perfect water drainage channel for a thatch roof:. For more information regarding water drainage and valley systems for thatch roofs refer to the Thatched Roof Maintenance page on my website.
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Location: Morgan BaySouth Africa. Rodney Orton 7 November at Unknown 11 December at Darryl Iorio 10 December at Unknown 20 December at Unknown 7 March at Unknown 3 July at Complex parapet wall design before channel was fitted.Seam separation is a common issue with traditional roofing materials.
The parapet walls around the roof also have these seams. Roof leaks in the roofing seams on the parapet walls can be repaired the same way as the flat roof area in just a few minutes with the SCRS. Often, roof leaks in flat roofs and low-slope roofs are actually coming in through the parapet walls surrounding the roof. This short video shows how to complete a leak-free repair over roof parapet wall caps. Many flat and low-slope roofs are surrounded by parapet walls.
As a roof ages, the roofing seams begin to separate often beginning where the flat roof meets the parapet wall.
This short repair video shows how to tie in a flat roof to a parapet wall with an L-Flashing using only SureCoat roof coating and Poly-Mesh. Email Address. StrucSureCoat Wall Coatings. Does your roof suffer from ponding water? Most flat and low-slope roofs will pond water to some degree. Are you tired of the play-on-words which eliminates coverage for the 1 offender of flat and low-slope roof systems? Do you want the security of a roof warranty that actually covers this culprit? Product Data and Specs.
Roof Parapet Wall Repair Videos. Parapet Wall Seams Repair Video. Need Support? Contact Us. Company Name. Testimonials div.Seminario sobre indicios de calidad y sexenios para
Love your product and have been telling everybody we know about it. Great stuff!Flat roofs are known as being problematic, with many suffering leaks.
However in my own experience the problems with leaking flat roofs are usually as a result of either poor workmanship installing the roof membrane, poor maintenance by the building owner or as a result of age. A well designed and waterproofed flat roof should not cause problems or leak. Is a flat roof actually flat? For clarity, flat roofs actually have a slight slope to allow rain water to drain off the roof, but they seem flat, when compared with more traditional steeply sloped roofs.
The slope should be a minimum of 1 in 80, but in practice a minimum slope of 1 to 40 should be used to allow for deflection of the roof and for normal building tolerances. Why are flat roofs popular? Flat roofs are economical to construct.Clinical embryologist
They reduce the volume of the building thus reducing energy costs and allow, if required, for the roof to be used for other activities like a patio, positioning of services or simply as a green roof. How long do waterproofing membranes last? The membranes used to cover and waterproof flat roofs usually only last 20 to 30 years. This is less than a well constructed tiled roof. As a result building owners need to plan for replacing the membrane on their flat roofs.
What maintenance is required? Regular maintenance of flat roofs is still required, as they are less forgiving than steeply sloped roofs. The most common problems are that rainwater outlets become blocked with leaves and other windblown debris.
Installing leaf guards only slows this occurring as in my experience at this time of year, autumn, even these can become overpowered by the shear quantity of leaves being blown around by the wind. Actual example of problems. See the photograph below for what can go wrong; this was a section of school roof which I recently inspected where there was a leak.
The roof is covered to a depth of mm with water and resembles a swimming pool because a rainwater outlet was blocked by a football. The parapet walls prevented the water over spilling the sides. Originally there were leaf guards installed to prevent footballs jamming rainwater outlets but it was thought by the school that these were kicked off by kids who have a habit of climbing onto the roof. I removed the football and the resultant rush of water down the drain was nice to experience as it is rare that problems with buildings can be this quickly resolved.
There are a few lessons from this example. All flat roofs should be regularly inspected to prevent this type of blockage occurring and leaf guards should be well secured. The next photograph shows the same school roof with in this case leaves building up and beginning to block the drains in another area.
These should be cleared out during a regular maintenance schedule. Obviously anyone carrying out the roof inspections should take all necessary precautions against falls, and have the assistance of another person in case of problems.
This is a great article with wonderful photos that illustrate issues. Regular maintenance of a flat roof is critical to the overall performance and lifespan. In addition to footballs and leaves, flat roofs can experience issues when rodents or birds use drainage areas for nesting. Using a shop vac to remove debris on regular basis can easily prevent many expensive problems, such as the unintentionally creating a roof-top pool.
I am really impressed together with your writing skills as smartly as with the layout in your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you customize it your self? Either way keep up the nice high quality writing, it is rare to look a nice weblog like this one these days.How to Repair a Flat Roof - Parapet Wall L-Flashing
Sorry to here about that.Concrete walls sometimes only leak periodically, such as after a hard rain or during snow melts. However, some walls gush water through openings in the concrete.Boom 125 exhaust
The correct patch or sealant depends on the type of leak. Reinforcing rods installed into concrete walls are potential sources of leaks. Eventually, builders remove the rods but leave the holes behind. Cracks and voids also appear in concrete as the building settles over time. Some of these may even be small enough that you cannot easily detect them. Any of these openings are potential sources of water entry.
You can patch any obvious holes or cracks with hydraulic cement. This product is typically sold as a powder that you must mix with water before applying, although some brands come in a putty-like form that is ready to plug into place. You can even apply hydraulic cement as the concrete wall leaks, which allows you to treat the problem while it happens. Enlarge the opening slightly by removing any loose concrete material.
Then mix a batch of hydraulic cement as directed on the package and work it into place. Hydraulic cement cures quickly. Only mix what you can apply in three minutes or less. Concrete is a porous material when fully cured. It can also develop small, pinhole openings that act as capillaries for water transmission. Seal the entire concrete wall with a waterproof masonry product. Paint a generous coating of this material onto the wall, working the product in all directions to completely seal any pinholes.
The material is thick, much thicker than latex paint, but it brushes on with ordinary paint brushes. Once dried, waterproof masonry products form a watertight membrane that prevents water from leaking through the wall.
Look for the source of the water penetrating the concrete wall. Check whether a gutter or downspout is leaking into an above-grade wall. Make sure the ground around the building slopes away from the structure so that water can run downhill, away from the foundation. Install gutters, or make sure gutters already in place are clean and not causing water backups.
Install downspouts that take water several feet away from the foundation. Robert Korpella has been writing professionally since
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