Installing a sprinkler system on the roof: good idea?

To combat the heat of summer and prevent damage to your house or garden, many homeowners install a sprinkler system on the roof. These systems are typically controlled by an irrigation timer or computer and consist of a water source (such as a bucket), tubing that is installed through eave vents and onto the roof, and rooftop nozzles or sprinklers. Such an installation also requires some common sense from the homeowner. Here are five things you should know before getting started…

1. Check your roof

The first step in installing a roof sprinkler system is to determine if your roof is compatible. While there are many types of materials used for roofing, some aren’t suitable for a sprinkler system. Specifically, you’ll want to avoid installing a sprinkler system over a roof made of clay or concrete tiles.

If water drips on your roof for a long period of time, it can cause stains and other damage. This is why it is important that you install the sprinkler properly.

You also have to find a way to attach the sprinkler to your roof. Water pressure can push the sprinkler around if it is not properly installed. It is easier to install this on a flat roof than on a slated roof.

2. Know the rules and laws

There are many rules and regulations surrounding water sprinkler systems for a roof. 

Ensure that your roof doesn’t fall within the protected area near power lines. Although it may seem silly, you’ll want to ensure that your system doesn’t cause any form of electrical hazard. You’ll also want to check your local municipal and county building codes. Many areas have specific codes in place that dictate the type of sprinkler system you can install on your roof and its location on the roof.

Some areas also have rules about water usage during the summer. This avoids problems with the water supply during hot days.

Disadvantages of a water sprinkler on the roof

There are some things that you have to take into consideration before you install a sprinkler on your roof.

Harder to Access – One of the biggest disadvantages of installing a water sprinkler system on your roof is that it is harder to access. When the system malfunctions, you can reach it easily. You have to worry about climbing a ladder to reach a sprinkler head. Roofs can be quite slippery and you will need adequate protection.

– Chances of leaks inside your home. Water leaks can cause a lot of damage and it can take a while before you can see them. Water can easily seep into a small hole. This can require costly repairs. Sprinklers tend to drip around the fitting. You can use Teflon tape to make sure that the connection is tight.

Water pressure problems are also an issue. Roofs can be quite high and if your water pressure is low, not a lot of water might come out of the sprinkler. This is especially true if your system uses rainwater or runoff from the roof to operate. You’ll want to make sure you have the correct water pressure at each faucet in the house to avoid dealing with low water pressure.

-It is hard to hide this type of system. You have to place the water supply line somewhere and also find a spot for the sprinkler itself. This installation also doesn’t look that nice.

-It can be dangerous. The sprinkler head can fall of the roof and cause damage to a car.

Advantages of a water sprinkler on the roof

While we have already discussed some disadvantages of this approach, there are also some great advantages:

– You can reach a wide area with a smaller system. This can make it cheaper to install a sprinkler system for your garden. It can also help you to save water.

– You don’t have to bury sprinklers. This can damage your grass or other parts of your garden.

-It can help to protect your home from forest fires. While this won’t stop fires, it can help to slow them down.

-It can help you to cool your house down. This can save on your AC. While there are other ways to keep a house cool (such as painting it white or making sure that you can ventilate it), this approach can work as well.

Types of sprinkler systems

There are two main types of sprinkler systems you can install on your roof. 

-The first type is a rotary sprinkler, which has one or more circular sprinkler heads that rotate to cover a large area. 

-The second type is an oscillating sprinkler, which has lateral jets that spray water in an up and down motion to cover a small rectangular area.  These sprinklers can be buried so that they are less visible.

A sprinkler system can also have different components, from a computer that regulates everything to a water hammer arrestor. You can make this system as easy or complex as you like. 


A water sprinkler on the roof can be a great way to reduce the need for lawn irrigation, save on water bills, and protect your home from heat damage during the summer months. 

Before installing a water sprinkler system, make sure your roof is compatible and check the rules and laws to ensure you don’t violate any building codes. You’ll also want to make sure you have quality parts and that the system doesn’t reduce water pressure throughout the house.