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Roof Scuppers – Ultimate Guidelines Things You Should Know

A solid roof above your head is more than the sum of the things that make it. It is an insurance that you and your loved ones are going to be safe from the harsh natural elements, coming in the form of stormy winds and showers.

There are as many types of roofs as there are homeowners. Each type serves some purposes better than its counterparts. Some of the most common and sought-after roofs are tiled, concrete, flat, metal, and many more.

And then a string of FAQs to answer some burning questions in this regard.

In simple terms, a scupper is an opening in the roof around parapet walls or gravel stops. These are strategically placed to drain water from the roof without much hassle.

The rationale behind making an opening like that is to make sure no excess water remains on the flat roof. Otherwise, the water will seep through the layers and before you know it, you will have a leaked roof on your hands.

Interestingly, you can spot roof scuppers on your roof, if there is one, by going to the backyard and looking around the exterior of the roof. If you can’t spot one, maybe your roof does not have one and it may rely on roof drainage. It is another way excess water can be removed from the roof by attaching a pipe at the opening and then leading that pipe to the main or auxiliary drain line.

Roof Scuppers: Pros and Cons

Before delving into further details regarding types and their alternatives, it is important to go through the pros and cons of roof scuppers.


  • Cost-effective – when you get a new roof, the cost of getting a new scupper is almost free.
  • Customizable – you can keep them as wide as you want them, depending on the quantity your area receives or the kind of debris that lands on your roof.
  • Maintenance-free – whenever it is clogged, it is very easy to get it clean and running without much effort.


  • Smaller ones do get clogged. This can lead water to seep under the edge of the roof. That is where the trouble starts related to roofs and roofing.
  • Downspout is necessary to give water a push away from the foundations. Otherwise, it will penetrate through the surface to the foundations and compromise the structure.
  • Smaller scuppers need regular maintenance and cleaning as their chances of being blocked by debris are much higher.

Types of Roof Scuppers

Scuppers come in two common types or shapes:

  • Open/ Channel Type Scuppers
  • Through-Wall Scuppers

Open/ Channel Type Scuppers

These scuppers are lined with metal like their through-wall counterparts. But, the edge material or coping is integrated with metal. In case of single-layered roofs, like PVC ones, the membrane that is used to line the roof is also used to line the scuppers for added sturdiness.

Through-Wall Scuppers

These scuppers are lined with metals like galvanized steel or copper. Aluminum is not desirable because it is hard to form and solder. The scupper box is integrated with the roof system on the interior of the wall. For added strength, the faceplate of the scuppers is sealed with a sealant.

Roof Scupper vs. Roof Drain

As mentioned in the above sections, a scupper is an opening, may be led by an external pipe, that drains water and debris from the roof to the ground. However, we haven’t learned what a roof drain is, which is very much different from the former.

In this case, water from the roof is drained through an assembly installed on the roof that drains the water into the piping of the building which in turn empties in the storm sewer or simply into the grade.

Just like scuppers, drains are also installed with care and lined with sealants to ensure that escaping water does not seep through the layers and cause damage to the structure.

Now, to the FAQs.


What Is A Roof Scupper?

A roof scupper is an opening in the roof along the exterior wall to let excess water and debris drain from the roof. It is a cost-effective way of keeping your roof dry and clean to prevent roof damage.

How To Make A Roof Scupper?

If you are installing a new flat roof, make a hole where the roof and wall intersects facing the exterior wall. Then, line the sides of the hole with metal siding and then apply a sealant to stop escaping water from getting in.

When A Roof Scupper Is Too High?

The primary and more obvious problem is splashing. In the long term, it may damage the foundations of the near by place as it will create a fissure in the ground with descending water.

How To Clear Or Clean A Roof Scupper?

It is relatively easier to clean or clear a scupper. Remove the bigger and accessible debris by hand and then apply pressure water through the scupper to ensure there is nothing stuck in the channel.

How To Calculate Roof Scupper Sizes?

In most cases, scuppers are three-sided. In that case, you need to calculate the three-dimensions of the hole, along with the length of the descending pipe that snakes its way to the ground.

How To Insert A Lower Roof Scupper?

To do that, you need to remove a small sliver of the roof surface. This can extend the opening of the scupper and will allow bigger pieces of debris to pass through the scupper.

How To Seal A Roof Scupper At Wall?

First, you need to apply a metal lining around the edges of the scupper. Then, get a roof lining sealant and apply it gently around the circumference of the scupper for a perfect seal.

How To Install A Scupper On A Flat Roof?

Breakthrough at the point of wall-roof junction. Then, attach a descending pipe at the exterior wall and secure the above hole with metal rings and industrial-grade sealants.

How Much Water Can Run Through A Roof Scupper?

Well, it is hard to determine the amount of water that can be drained through a roof scupper in unit time. Still, the number should be higher when compared with that of the roof drain. It is because water passes through it without channeling or loss.

How Much Water Drains Out Of A Roof Scupper?

There is no hard and fast method of calculating water drained through a roof scupper. The most common equation to gauge water flow in unit time is by calculating the dimensions of the scupper.

What Is A Scupper Drain Roof?

A scupper drain roof is another name of a roof scupper. It is an opening at the point of the wall-roof junction. It is used to drain excess water and debris off the roof to prevent water leaks and damage.

How To Pitch A Flat Roof Toward Scupper?

This is rather straightforward if you are laying a new flat roof. All you need to do is open a hole at the roof-wall junction facing the exterior wall. Then, lay the top of the roof in a way that the tipping of the surface is maximum right under the scupper.

How To Run A New Roof Scupper?

Build an opening in the roof at the junction of roof and wall. Line the sides of the hole with metal and then apply a sealant to make a patch. After that, attach a pipe length to the structure to run water down the roof.

How To Build A Roof Scupper?

Essentially it is a channel. The opening of the scupper depends on the hole on the roof that leads to the mouth of the scupper. Then, often it is narrowed down to build a force inside that lets water move at the fastest possible pace.

How To Divert Standing Water To Scupper On Top Of Membrane?

The best and simplest way to do that is by keeping the surface of the roof skewed in the favor of scupper. This way, the water will flow toward it and will reach the ground through the pipe.

How To Frame A Flat Roof To Pitch Toward Scupper?

The best and simplest way to do that is by keeping the surface of the roof skewed in the favor of scupper. This way, the water will flow toward it and will reach the ground through the pipe.

What Size Scupper Do You Need For a 10 By 50-Foot Flat Roof?

There is no simple answer to that. The best way to know the exact size of the scupper you need for a roof of that dimensions, it is best to contact professionals in your area.

How Many Scuppers Per Sq. Foot On Roof?

There is no simple answer to that. The best way to know the exact size of the scupper you need for a roof of that dimensions, it is best to contact professionals in your area.

Roof scuppers are cheap and effective to ensure your roof remains dry and safe from ensuing water damage. After reading this post, you will be able to determine your needs regarding scuppers installation and specification.

Source: Roofers101

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