In order to ensure that your business is safe and functional, it’s important that you have good exterior drainage systems in place. Whether you’re looking at roof drainage systems or ground drainage systems, your business should have a place for rainwater to go. Even if you rarely ever have rainy days, you should always be prepared for heavy rain.
Why are Drainage Systems Important?
Drain systems are put in place so that water has a place to go that won’t damage your property. If water is allowed to build up either on your roof or at the base of your building, it can result in both interior and exterior water damage.
Not having a good drainage system in place on your roof can mean that your roof needs to be replaced more often. You may also find leaks inside your office. If you don’t have a good ground drainage system, water may end up blocking entrances and exits as well as deteriorate the foundation much more rapidly.
3 Types of Roof Drainage Systems
There are two main types of roof drainage systems: siphonic and gravity. Depending on which type of system you want, you have different solutions available.
Siphonic systems prevent air from entering the drain and as a result, use lower atmospheric pressure to suck water into the drain without the aid of a slope or decline. As can be expected by the name, gravity systems require a decline and work by letting water flow downstream and into a drain.
As an affordable drainage option, gutters are installed on the edge of the roof and direct water into a downspout using gravity. Although gutters are common on both commercial and residential buildings, they do need regular cleaning and maintenance and can be easily damaged in severe weather.
Scuppers can be either square or round and are often placed on the edge of commercial roofs. Unlike gutters, they are a channel in the roof and often have downspouts directly underneath them that direct water away from the building. While they are another affordable option, the downspouts do need regular maintenance and they aren’t as effective during heavy rain storms.
#3. Interior Drains
Similar to sink drains, interior drains are placed in an area of the roof where the majority of the water will flow or collect. The water flows into the drain and is then sent through a system of pipes until it can reach a gutter and be drained out onto the street. They are commonly used in combination with scuppers.
5 Types of Ground Drainage Systems
When it comes to commercial ground drains, you may end up using different types of drains for different areas of your property. Uneven land may result in dramatically different drainage needs depending on where you are. It’s equally important to think about how a certain type of drain will look on your property as you don’t want something clunky or out of place.
#1. French Drains
French drains are used in areas of flat land where water tends to collect. They are a perforated drain that is installed on the ground and uses a series of pipes below the ground to redirect the water. These drains will help prevent flooding and help divert standing water off your property or into a sewer.
#2. Trench Drains
To build trench drains, a commercial team will first come to your property and dig a long trench along the problem area. They will then cover the area with a metal grate that will allow water to flow in. Trench drains direct excess water either into the earth or into groundwater just below the surface.
Trench drains are very visible, but they can be designed to meet certain aesthetics and styles. If you need trench drains but don’t want them to impact the look of your business, it’s certainly possible to speak with the dig team about different styles.
#3. Catch Basins
Catch basins separate sediment from water by allowing heavier sediment particulars to sink further down than filtered water. This type of filtering system isn’t always necessary for businesses, but it can help if you decide to install a storm drainage system.
#4. Storm Drains
Storm drains focus on salvaging rainwater when possible and reusing it. They are built using a series of underground drainage pipes that redirect water and prevent it from collecting in parking lots, on sidewalks, and on lawns. They’re a good way to reuse water and prevent waste, but you’ll need somewhere to store the water as well.
#5. Seepage Pits
Seepage pits catch blackwater that comes from toilets, dishwashers, and washing machines. As seepage pits contain biomass that contains anaerobic bacteria, the toxins are removed from the water. The bacteria feed off of the blackwater, cleansing it from potential toxins and biohazards before the water is then redirected into the soil.
Seepage pits are a slower way to get rid of excess water, but they prevent black and greywater from seeping into the earth too soon and harming the environment.
Should You Really Invest in Exterior Drainage Systems?
Some areas of the county see more rainfall than others. Seattle and Santa Fe, for example, need to prepare for completely different types of storms, but both cities need to have some type of exterior drainage system in place. If a business in Santa Fe never plans for heavy rain, it will experience much more severe damage than if it had a simple drainage system in place.
Depending on where your business is located, you may need different types of drainage systems. Certain land may need extra help in diverting standing water and flat roofs will have different drainage challenges to overcome than inclined roofs.
No matter how much annual rainfall you expect, it’s important to always be prepared. Even if you only have a basic drainage system in place and you hardly expect to use it, you’ll be protecting your business from potentially expensive water damage.
Also read: Tips from Drainage Experts on How to Prevent Blockages