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drbracken 08-23-2006 11:16 PM

installing a roof drain -BUR
Hello all: I need to install a drain in the center of the BUR over my family room. It's a long open span and the trusses have sagged a bit so that water collects in the center of the roof. A local company put a drain in another section of the roof last year for me for $600 but I wasn't too thrilled with the install. They just scraped back a bit of the ballast, cut a hole in the roof and glopped the flange of the drain down with roofing cement and nails. I'm sure I can do a better job than that.
My plan was to scrape a 3x3 patch then cut the smallest hole I can. I'd then torch the roof arount the hole and set the flange into the hot bitumine. Then I thought a square sheet of ice and water shield over top of the whole works, and reballast

How would the pros do it??


Talos4 08-24-2006 09:29 AM

This is really not a DIY project.

From your description it does sound like a poor installation.

A properly installed drain should be sumped lower than the surrounding roof level.

Ideally the drain itself should be a 3 piece drain. A drain bowl, a clamp ring and a strainer. Also a lead drain pan should be installed.

DO NOT use Ice and water for the cap sheet. It is not designed to be exposed to the weather even it is covered with gravel. It will quickly deteriorate and cause some real problems.

Click the link for an example of a proper roof drain installation.

You'll see it is alot more involved than just cutting a hole and burning new around the hole.

I would seriously consider calling one of the larger commercial roofing outfits in town for quotes. PLEASE do not have a residential roofing company look at it.

I'm with a large commercial outfit in the Service Division. In our area installing a drain like this would take 2 men 4 hours at the MOST.

For about the same price you paid for the first one. But it would be installed by guy's who do this every day.

Low slope roofing and steep slope roofing are two different animals.

I do not dabble in the shingle division because I know flat roofing. I pass on shingle work to our Steep slope division. They do the same when they come across flat roofing.

This is just my $.02 worth. I've seen enough penetrations badly to know what kind of nightmare it can turn into.

drbracken 08-24-2006 11:01 AM


Thanks for your quick reply. If I could get an install like the diagram for $600 I'd be thrilled. Our problem in my town is we have a "flat roof mafia" who are only interested in commercial work and it's difficult to even get them out to see a residential job. There are 6 or 7 companies listed in the yellow pages but they are all inter-related somehow!

My only "in" with the business is that the brother-in-law of one of my co-workers works for a roofing company and is supposed to be one of the best torch down guys in the city. I had him out last year to look at the roof which leaked from the stripping at the edge after it completely filled up with water and he suggested that we scrap off all the ballast and he would torch down a granulated bitumine-but he didn't want anything to do with the drain- he gave me a number of another company who he said would do the drain. I put a pool pump up on the roof and pumped it off whenever it rained and avoided any further leakage so now I'm thinking maybe just a proper drain would solve my problem.

The frustrating thing is that we had a leak from the original drain plumbing in this room which was pumbed with gavanized metal drainpipe and set near the edge of the roof. This filled with water one spring as the temperature in the attic rose and the snow on the roof began to melt but the ouside drain pipe was still frozen so there was no place for the water to go and when the temp dropped at night I guess it froze and split the pipe. We has the entire ceiling and insulation torn out so the entire roof deck was exposed from below so it was an optimal time to address the drainage problem, however the commercial roofers who came to put the drain in put out it right at the rear edge of the roof telling me that I should avoid a penetration over the middle of the room. The first thing my torch down guy said when he saw the drain placement was "why put it there, another 1/4 inch of water and it's over scupers anyway". Now whoever does the drain will have to crawl through the attic to plumb it plus remove and patch the hole from the other useless drain. I guess it's this kind of thing that leads me to attempt to do it myself!!

It must be frustrating, however, as a professional to see people attempting DIY projects beyound their expertise and then being called to deal with the resulting problems.

I think I'll call my roofing guy up again and get the other guys number so they can come out and look at the situation

Thanks for the heads up on the ice and water shield


Talos4 08-24-2006 04:36 PM

I'm sorry you're having such problems. That's unfortunate.

What city are you in? I may be able to steer you to a reputable contractor who will work on your residence.

A built up roof is a built up roof whether it's on your home or the McCormick center in Chicago.

We are a very large shop and take on everything from sports stadiums to the corner mom and pop store. So the size of the company doesn't necessarily mean they won't do the "small stuff".

As far as installing the plumbing, we're roofers not plumbers.

We work very closely with a couple different plumbing contractors. Coordination is critical when the roof is open.

So we always refer the plumbing, HVAC, electrical work etc. to other contractors.

That really is the way to go. More expensive? yes, but in the long run your installation will end up being problem free and you won't have to climb your roof everytime it rains.

AaronB 08-24-2006 05:15 PM

This new Talos4 guy seems to know his dooky. :)

Talos4 08-25-2006 07:47 AM

Thanks Aaron, I think it's time for a cup of coffee!:drink:

csi 12-02-2010 10:33 AM

Roof repair
Would an installation of a roof drain (cost less than $1000) be considered a structural repair?

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