Flat House Roofs in SW
A friend has a house in NM … typical of thousands of houses in that area … stucco SW style w/ flat roofs, parapet walls, and scuppers for drainage. However, when they get snows, it tends to ice up the scupper through freeze/thaw cycles. This increases the chances for leaking.
I know the flat roof is classic for the desert SW, but there is this issue w/ the scuppers. Can you guys comment on this? How did flat roofs get started in use if there would always be issues with drainage?
New scuppers ain't what they used to be.
Old houses probably had no insulation, and the roofs didn't freeze.
Old dobies probably always leaked.
flat roof drainage
same problem here in Pacific NW with flat roofs.
Solution one: build pitched roof (not economical)
Solution two: Shovel snow off right away
Solution three: Heating cables (expensive but effective) I see those on steep driveways on North Shore homes
Are the roofs in SW designed for any snowfall at all? Does'nt matter: if you have too much snow on the roof it is always a problem. The sooner you get it off the better
Heat cables aren't really that expensive. The trick is to only run them when they're needed (when temps are near 32), and only have enough cable to maintain an opening, vs trying to melt the whole roof.
"The trick is to only run them when they're needed (when temps are near 32), "
That is not special trick. All roof heat cables I have ever seen had in line thermostats so the only make heat below something like 36°F
Well, you haven't seen all roof heat cables, then -- many don't have thermostats. And you don't need the heat below about 25F. Though the precise temp range depends on sunlight exposure, et al.
I suppose in this chinese import day and age where everything is dumbed down, that there are manufacturers who do away with the thermostat to save money, and there may even be HOs and pros dumb enough to install such cheap ones. Why - I can't imagine.
"And you don't need the heat below about 25F. "
That's right. How stoopid of me after fifteen years roofing in the SW, how ould I have foirgotten that snow melts itself off once you get things that cccccold.
The cables have been sold without thermostats for 35 years that I know about -- well before Chinese imports.
And, yes, you do not need the heat below about 25F. The purpose of the heat is to provide a channel for meltwater to run off, not to melt the snow. No meltwater -- no need for heat.