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. 

Leaks

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.