What Does Scupper Mean in Construction?
What Does Scupper Mean in Construction?
In construction, a scupper is an outlet through parapet walls or gravel stops on flat and built-up roofs that allows drainage of excess water.
Scuppers can be used in conjunction with gutters and downspouts to divert the flow of water to the desired location.
The National Roofing Contractors Association defines a scupper as “a drainage device in the form of an outlet through a wall, parapet wall or raised roof edge typically lined with a sheet-metal sleeve”.
A roof scupper is not the same as a roof drain. While a roof drain channels water through the deck of the roof into a piping system that carries water away, a scupper allows water to drain through an opening in the side of the roof edge.
In architecture, a scupper is simply an architectural device that allows water to escape from a roof. Many commercial and governmental buildings tend to have flat roofs, which require some sort of drainage system for rainwater. A scupper is one such system.
A scupper is also an opening in the side walls of vessels or open-air structures that allows water to drain instead of pooling within them.
Scupper Vs Downspout
Scupper and downspout are two different components of a roof drainage system. A scupper is an opening in the side walls of a vessel or an open-air structure, that allows water to drain instead of pooling within the bulwark or gunwales (of a vessel), or curbing or walls (of a building).
On the other hand, a downspout is a vertical pipe or conduit that carries rainwater from the scupper, guttering of a building to a lower roof level, drain, ground or storm water runoff system.
Scuppers can be used in conjunction with gutters and downspouts to divert the flow to the desired location. Downspouts are usually vertical and usually extend down to ground level.
Overflow scuppers can also be installed to prevent excess water from remaining on the roof if regular scuppers become clogged.
How to Install a Scupper?
To install a scupper on a flat roof, it is important to find points on the roof where water will drain naturally.
The placement of the scupper must be accessible for debris removal and maintenance, and the water should flow without restriction at all times.
It is also important to consider the accumulation of water below to avoid damage to the structure and foundation.
A roofing contractor may create a scupper that is too narrow to handle the amount of water drainage typical for each climate, so it is important to make sure that the scupper is wide enough to handle this.
Scuppers can be placed through a side wall or parapet wall or could be on a low area on the edge of a roof. All joints of the scupper should be soldered, and it should be wide enough to handle excess water drainage.
The edge of the copper fascia and gravel stop at the scupper should also be soldered. If using an overflow scupper, it should be carefully positioned to prevent overflow from damaging other parts of the building.
Scupper Types and Uses
Scuppers are openings in the side walls of a vessel or an open-air structure, which allow water to drain instead of pooling within the bulwark or gunwales of a vessel, or within the curbing or walls of a building.
There are two main types of scuppers: open scuppers (also known as channel-type scuppers) and through-wall scuppers.
Open scuppers are 3-sided and open at the top, while through-wall scuppers are holes in the wall that are usually rectangular.
Scuppers can be used in place of internal roof drains for various reasons. They can also be used to divert water from one roof section to another where roof sections on the same building are separated by walls.
Scupper holes should be even with the surface of the roof and they should extend past the exterior surface of the building to avoid wetting it. The minimum recommended weight for construction is 16 oz. copper.
On boats, scuppers can be made completely out of plastic or plastic composites, or they may be combined with another material such as rubber flaps or disks.
Self-bailing boats use scuppers that allow any water that accumulates on deck to drain on its own as gravity forces it out through the back of the boat.
Straightforward scuppers use rubber flaps to seal the valve and block any water from outside the boat from entering.
Cupper Maintenance Tips
To maintain scuppers, one should replace leader headers with new ones, install a rubber membrane gasket around the scuppers facing the leader headers, seal the flashing, and install a rubber.
To clean scupper drain lines in boats, one can poke a short thin wire through the screen/grate or spray pressurized water through it.
In swimming pools, cleaning scuppers regularly is important to prevent the accumulation of bacteria and algae.
For scupper bowls, Fireside Expressions recommends cleaning them regularly and using a cover to protect them from debris.
Yacht Survey Online suggests keeping scuppers clear of debris to prevent water from entering the boat.