Delving into drains

Installing retrofit roof drains can help you increase sales and add value to your jobs

After nearly 25 years on the market, retrofit or insert roof drains remain one of the roofing industry's best-kept secrets. In fact, a recent study conducted by OMG Roofing Products, Agawam, Mass., revealed among commercial roofing contractors, less than 20 percent of respondents said they use retrofit drains on reroofing projects "most" or "all of the time."

This is not surprising: Many consider drains as part of a building's plumbing system and, therefore, not part of the roof system package. However, the reality is roof drains offer an opportunity for you to increase sales and profits while providing value-added services to building owners.

The three options

When it comes to rooftop drains, you typically have three options: you can subcontract the work to a plumbing contractor, rework existing drains or install insert drains. As with everything in the commercial roofing industry, no one strategy is better than the others; they all are appropriate at one time or another depending on several factors.