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Ponding On A Flat Roof

Flat roofs are getting increasingly popular among homes and commercial establishments in urban areas. Compared to gable shaped roofs, flat roofs have a unique set of characteristics and a more modernist approach to roofing. However, flat roofs are also vulnerable to ponding, which can be caused by a multitude of different reasons. In most cases, building owners will just let this be, but in the long-run, this could pose serious problems to your flat roof.

But before we get into how we can remedy the issue of ponding on our roof, we have to discuss the effects of ponding. By doing so, we will be able to root out the problem.

Long-term Effects

Sure, a little puddle of rain on your flat rooftop won’t hurt, but in the long run, you’ll be facing with problems. These are the long term effects of ponding on your roof.


One of the main causes of damages to roofs is in the form of leaks. If left unattended, leaks could become a major problem for roofs since it will create a wider corridor for water to enter in. Moreover, leaks can lead to several other problems which can also erode the foundations of your home as soon as it seeps inside your roof’s interiors.

Growing Vegetation

One of the more serious tell-tale forms of damages to your roof is growing vegetation. No, we’re not talking about green eco-friendly roofs; we’re talking about harmful fungal and organic growths. Water and moisture are the main catalysts in the growth of molds, mildews, and mosses on your roof which can accelerate the rotting process of wooden beams and other supporting structures on your roof. These organic growths can compromise the integrity of your roof, especially when left unchecked.

If you see mosses, molds, or any form of rotting on your support beams, you should contact your local roofing contractor as soon as possible.

Accumulated Weight

Home and building owners should never ignore water that’s ponding on a roof. Not only will this shorten the lifespan of your roof, but it will accumulate as additional weight. In most cases, the support for flat roofing will be able to take on around 600 – 1000 pounds; anything more than that can place stress on your roof’s supporting structures.

These roofing problems can ultimately lead to a shortened lifespan of your roof. Once the damages to your roof have reached to the point of permanent and irreparable damage, the only best course of action is to replace your roof. Replacing a roof can be an investment that will set you back time-wise and financially. Not only are you spending a week on average in installing a new roof, but you’re also going to be spending thousands of dollars on new materials. It’s best not to get to this point while your roof is still in good condition.

Fixing And Preventing Ponding

Now that we know what are the long-term effects of water damage from ponding on our flat roofs, we have to make the necessary preparations in mitigating any forms of damages. As to what we have discussed previously, prevention is better than getting to the point of permanent damage on your roofs.

Fixing The Lowest Point

Normally, water will always flow towards the lowest part of your roof. This is usually called the ‘low spot’ by most roofing contractors when they’re working on flat roofs. Water will usually pond in this certain area.

You can have a roofing contractor fill up the depression with rolled-up asphalt roofing. First, you’ll need to dry out the puddle before applying a thin sheet of roofing cement. Then, place the asphalt roofing on the center of the low spot while pressing it firmly.

If you’re not up for the task, you can always ask a roofing professional to plaster your roof for you. The roofer will have the necessary tools to fill the low spot and adhere to the slope of your roof.

Fixing Your Drainage System

Another cause of water ponding on your roof is that the drainage system or your gutter system has been clogged. You can have a roofing specialist look into your drainage system. It’s best to keep a constant eye on your drainage pipes year-round to reduce damages from leaks and ponding.

If there are trees near your roof, it’s recommended that you keep the foliage of these trees at a distance from your roof since dead leaves, branches, and other debris could clog up your drainage system.

Adjusting The Pitch

Normally, flat roofs are installed with at least a pitch of 0.5/12 or 1/12 just to make sure that the water will flow towards one direction of the roof. There are some cases that contractors don’t put this into account and would install a roof without a pitch. If this is the case, then there is a serious problem and you should contact your roofing contractor as soon as possible.  

However, there is a remedy to this problem and most contractors will offer the solution of having tapered insulation to provide a slope to your flat roof. These aren’t the cheapest solution, but this will help you save money in the long run when you won’t need to replace your roof.

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Questions To Ask Your Roofer

In almost every case, we hire professionals because we don’t necessarily have the proper skills, training, and equipment to do something that’s difficult. Although there are some parts of your roof that you can maintain and repair by yourself, fixing a roof should be left to seasoned experts and professionals. Additionally, a roofing contractor will have the right tools and safety equipment to ensure that your roof will be in good condition once it is installed and repaired.

Since you’re looking for a roofing company that can offer its services, the first rational thing to do is to ask questions. If you’re new to the roofing industry, you’ll need to first paint a picture of how much each material will be, how these contractors will operate, and the average cost for each service.

Most homeowners will jump to the first deal that’s offered to them, but this can easily backfire if they are not aware of the quotes and skills of the contractors. What are some questions that we have to ask our roofers? First, we have to look at the key skills that we have to look at in a roofing contractor.

Hiring The Right Contractor

If you’re new to the roofing industry, you’ll be surprised at how stressful and time-consuming installing a roof can be. Logically, if you don’t have any base knowledge in a certain industry, we have to ask questions first. In the same analogy, when we are interviewing someone for a job, we have to ask the right questions. Numerous homeowners will hire the first contractor that offers their services without doing any background research and investigation first. In reality, we have to always make sure that the person working on our roof is licensed and qualified.

It doesn’t hurt to contact some previous clients of the contractor first so see the product of their projects. If a contractor has long-term clients and workers, this is a good sign that they have been regularly working with clients for years.

Questions That You Should Ask

These are the questions that you should be asking your contractor. It might seem like a lot of questions, but you have to remember that they will be working on your home.

How Long Have You Been Working As A Roofer?

If a roofing company has been around for more than 10 years, then it’s a good sign that they have clients that have been commissioning their services for decades. Likewise, this will also mean that the roofers for that company have the necessary skills and experience that they have accumulated for years.

Will I Be Insured?

Even though a roofer might have decades of experience in the industry, this does not guarantee that they will not make any mistakes. It’s paramount that you will be ensured that any man-made errors and future damages to your roof that might be caused by a botched-up installation will be covered by insurance. One thing that you can do is to contact the insurance firm that’s connected with the company and what this will cover

Do You Have A Portfolio?

Aside from contacting the previous clients of the roofer, you’ll also need to look at their previous works. This will give you a good understanding of what they specialize in and what type of materials they usually work with.

What Are The Tools That You Use?

A professional roofer should be equipped with a complete set of tools that are needed for your roof. They should have the following tools for the job:

  1. Caulking Tool
  2. Measuring Tape
  3. Roofing Nail Gun
  4. Air Compressor
  5. Tin Snips
  6. Roofing Hammer
  7. Extending Ladder
  8. Broom
  9. Truck
  10. Roofing boots and shoes
  11. Other tools

Additionally, a roofer must have the necessary safety equipment to make sure that they are safe from any potential hazards on the roof. The last thing that you want is an injured worker on your roof.

Work Ethic And Professionalism

It might be true that the project that a roofer will finish will speak for itself, but you will also have to look into the attitude of the roofer when they are operating. Are they punctual and on time? Are they following your instructions? In almost every profession in any industry, integrity and professionalism are needed in building rapport with the client. It’s only professional that they will respect your time and effort. Installing and replacing a roof can be a huge investment and it’s only appropriate that you also have a qualified roofer that is also committed.

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The Right Roofing Contract Terms and Conditions

Finding a contractor with a good reputation is easy: ask a few friends and a name is sure to pop up right away. While it is only fair not to discredit these recommendations, it is just as important to get to know who you are working with and what contract you enter in. This is very important as it protects you and the other parties involved should anything goes wrong with the project and with its output.

Looking For A Good Contractor?


Any legal document can be daunting for most of us but when it comes to roofing installation or maintenance, the materials to be used should be highly considered as it determines not just the cost but its durability as well. Make sure that every material is jotted down in the contract as this also allows you to look into complementary renovations in the future.

Project Timeline

Once the materials are ready, it is now the appropriate time to look into the timeline of the project’s duration. This ensures that the crew is bound to follow a specific schedule which includes the number of hours the crew should render in a day (their logged time in and out) and other concerns such as working beyond a certain time. In addition, this also ensures that a special consideration shall be laid out in case of a delay to prevent unnecessary misunderstanding between the parties.

Cost and Payment Plans

If there is one thing that is sure to fuel a transactional fire, it’s one thing – added expenses. These costs can be due to events that are beyond anyone’s control such as an emergency, an accident or simply a miscalculation of the costs. This can be frustrating as it begs the question of whose shoulder should be held liable. Fortunately, most homeowners and other clients can save themselves the dilemma by clearly stipulating it in the contract. These serve as a guide on the next step should a crisis arise during the project.

Plan B – Changes

Sometimes, a perfectly laid out plan can seem like a nightmare once a simple thing that needs to be changed leads to a domino effect which in turn can lead to a maze of confusion.  Unforeseen damage to the roof may require a different level of care, materials or may ultimately change the time frame that it needs for the roof to be up and functioning. These cases can definitely make us fret but change is not a bad thing either as long as clients are fully aware of the necessary deviations from the original plan with the least impact on the projected timeline.


Though professionals work with the utmost care, a few debris here and there may inevitably fall to the ground from time to time and affect the beauty of your garden or the clean cuts of your lawn. The property damage does not ever compensate for the sturdiness of your roof and this is precisely why a good warranty should be found in the contract as there are always steps on how to deal with these damages.

Home Access

It is quite understandable that most homeowners do not feel comfortable with letting anyone inside their homes for security measures. However, the crew should be allowed access with entry limitations. It is then relevant to keep the crew oriented on the areas where they are allowed to pass to avoid trespassing.


What use is a highly detailed contract if the contractor he or she is unlicensed? It is true that a piece of ID does not equate to one’s skills but it is always better to be working with someone that is highly credible in their field of work as it ensures a quality outcome. Furthermore, each state has its own legal guidelines so it is highly recommended to check it out to see whether or not the contractor is in compliance with the said regulatory principles.

The inconvenience of going through a contract with its seemingly endless definitions of legal terms and conditions may be overwhelming for a lot of clients who have no experience in it but this is quite significant as it saves and prevents you from the long-term nuisance that may be more difficult to handle. It is always suggested to go through the contract twice or more to ensure that each term is well understood and as with any other documents – don’t forget to read the fine print before signing.

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What To Do When Roof Shingles Flapping in Wind

Shingles are one of the most prevalent roofing materials that you can find in the market. Not only are these materials easy to install, but they can hold their own against high winds and heavy rain. However, this is not always the case as the wrong way of installing your shingles inadvertently lead to more damage to your roof.

Sometimes, high winds and storms can be hard to predict and could damage roof shingles if they are not installed or maintained correctly. What could be the reason why shingles flap in the wind? Is there any way that I can remedy this?

But before we get into anything else, we have to first discuss why shingles flap when exposed to high winds.

Why Do My Shingles Flap?

There are two ways that roof shingles resist winds, first is through the nailing pattern. When shingles are being riveted in place, it’s going to be hard for wind to uproot it. The second way is through roof sealants. Both are great at making sure that water does not seep towards the gaps of shingles, but most are still susceptible to deterioration from age.

Check Nailing Patterns

Normally, nails don’t degrade when exposed to rain or high winds, but it can become dislodged and out of place. In most cases, this is due to an error in the installation process or erosion around your shingles. Nails that are used to rivet in place flashings, shingles, and other structures in your roof might last years to decades, but it can still deteriorate when faced with the constant flow of water and fluctuations in temperature.

It’s best to have a local contractor look at your roof for any nails that are out of place. This can be one of the major contributions to why shingles will flap when exposed to wind.

Check Your Sealings

One of the reasons why shingles flap uncontrollably is when they’re installed during colder seasons. Usually, sealants that are exposed to lower temperatures will take several weeks before they settle and become good adhesives.

Aside from the improper way of installing sealants, the deterioration of sealants based on the age of the adhesive can also be a factor. As the sealants and the shingles age, the bonding matrix of the adhesive becomes less potent and will weaken over time. The fluctuation of temperatures could also lead to the weakening of sealants since most roofing materials expand and recede in warm and cold temperatures.

The best time to seal your shingles is during warmer seasons when your sealants can activate in a shorter span of time. UV rays and the heat of the sun can also help your shingles expand which can give you a clear and accurate measurement of how your shingles will look when expanded. Sealants that are installed during colder temperatures might have bonds that will become weak when exposed to higher temperatures.

If you’re not up for the task of resealing your shingles, you can always contact a professional roofing specialist to do it for you. Most of them offer different varieties of sealants and sealing services.

Prolonged Storage

Since most shingles are susceptible to cold weather and low temperatures, contractors and homeowners tend to store them for a long amount of time. For homeowners that are planning on installing during colder seasons, Warehouses that store shingles need to have the right temperature and humidity to make sure that the roofing materials do not become brittle. Too much moisture could also lead to shingles forming molds and mildews.

Will Roof Shingles Lift?

But don’t worry, moderate to strong winds will not lift your shingles if your roofing system is sound and secure. If high winds will not be able to penetrate your roof’s interiors and inside your home, there’s little chance that shingles will be propelled.

To make the long story short; the reason why shingles flap when exposed to strong winds is that it’s not installed correctly. It might be because your local roofing contractor overlooked certain parts of the installation process, you did the installation yourself without proper professional supervision, or they simply don’t know what they’re doing. To make sure that your roof shingles are installed the right way, it’s best to look for a professional roofing contractor. Moreover, it’s best to do your research first on the track record of your contractors first before commissioning them into service.

Additionally, you can always consult your roofing material manufacturer if the warrant for your shingles remains valid after man-made errors. In most cases, warranties will cover damages caused by man-made errors during the installation process.

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Learn How To Add Slope To A Flat Roof

When it comes to roof design, flat roofs are getting increasingly prevalent on commercial and industrial buildings since it has several benefits. In reality, there’s no such thing as a truly ‘flat’ roof and most flat roof designs actually have a slope of 1/12 or 0.5/12 so that water can easily flow towards one side of the roof and redirect towards the appropriate drainage systems. A slope is an inclination or steepness of your roof. If a slope is 1/12, then it means that for every 12 inches that’s traversed, there is a 1-inch difference.

When installing flat roofs, skilled roofing contractors will never make roofs truly flat and will always have a pitch of 0.5/12 to 1/12. But before we move in on how to add a slope to your flat roof, we have to first look into what are the long-term effects of having a truly flat roof and what are the advantages that we can get from having a flat rooftop.

Advantages of Flat Roofs

More space

A flat roof means that there is more space to install HVAC equipment and can also be a potential space for garden roofs, penthouses, and solar panels.

Easier to Install

Flat roofs are the preferred designs for commercial buildings since it’s easier to install and will only take days to install rather than a week.

Relatively Cheaper Materials

Compared to conventional gabled roof designs, flat rooftops use cheaper building materials and are cheaper to maintain. Moreover, roofing specialists won’t have a problem with dangerous slopes or heights since the pitches or slopes of these roofs can be easily walked on.

Long-term Effects

Some areas and communities have building codes and regulations where flat roof designs should have slopes of at least 1/12 of 0.5/12. The main purpose of a roof is to dispose of water far from your house’s foundations as fast as possible. Truly flat rooftops or rooftops that have too much material at the edge of their flat roofs tend to trap water on their roof’s area which can lead to several problems.

  • Ponding can occur
  • Rotting can take place
  • Fungal growth
  • Compromised foundation

Advantages of Slopes

Stylish Roof

When you add a pitch to your flat roof, you’re adding more aesthetic value and there adding more monetary value to your home. However, you have to keep in mind that this should be for low-story commercial buildings and traditional shops and not for high-rise buildings and skyscrapers.

Stops Water from Ponding

The main reason why you need to add a slope to your roof is to make sure that your house’s interiors are dry and away from moisture. Moreover, water damage can lead to many problems if left unchecked.

Less Energy Consumption

HVAC equipment can lower your energy costs, but having a good roof that can naturally retain heat and cool off your house during hotter seasons can minimize your energy bills.

Adding Slope

For obvious reasons, you shouldn’t be working on your flat roof by yourself. Having professional craftsmanship and proper planning can ensure that your roof’s lifespan will be lengthened. You can use this information when evaluating your roof with your roofing contractor.

Determine the Pitch and Span of your Roof

The first thing that roofing contractors have to do is to measure and determine the span and pitch of your roof so that they can extensively create a roofing plan for your roof. Prices and estimates are determined in this process.

Remove the Old Materials and Apply a New Roof Sheathing

For the next step, roofing contractors will have to remove every single existing structure and material for your roof since they will add new trusses while having to put in mind the different attachments that they have to place in. If the roof sheathing is in bad condition, then it has to be obviously removed. If you’re having some doubts on a roof sheathing even if it looks good, then you can always have it replaced.

Install the New Materials

The last part will be your contractor installing your preferred roofing material. Make sure that you already have chosen the right roofing material so that there won’t be any miscommunication.

You can do your own research on the unique characteristics of each roofing material before making any final decisions. Overall, adding a new slope is basically replacing your older roof with a newer one and you have to make the necessary commitments to get things done. Adding a new slope to your flat roof can land you several advantages that will also ensure a longer lifespan for your roof. If you don’t have the equipment to do this, you can always ask a professional roofing specialist to do the heavy lifting for you. It is actually advisable to have a proper team work on your roofing Alexandria VA.

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