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Long-Term Effects of Ponding Water on a Flat Roof

Long-Term Effects of Ponding Water on a Flat Roof
Long-Term Effects of Ponding Water on a Flat Roof

If your commercial building has a flat roof, sometimes there is a problem with ponding water. This is because the flat roof can hinder drainage from rainwater, which results in standing water on the roof. This is especially prevalent after a lot of rainstorms. So you need to know what to do to ensure that you take care of the problem early before it becomes a bigger issue.

Ponding water on a flat roof may cause long-term negative effects. So here is what to know to protect your roof, and your investment, in the care of your building.

What is Ponding?

Ponding or standing water is where the water collects on the roof and has not drained within a couple of days. If the water does not drain within a 48 hour period, it is highly likely that it will stay even longer, and there will be a larger amount of water standing. This may cause long-term issues wherein a worst-case scenario, the roof has to be replaced. And even if it doesn’t, it may need costly repairs.

A few reasons why the water may not be draining are:

  • The drains or gutters are blocked with debris
  • The pitching of the roof was not done correctly (weak membranes, caulking issues, etc)
  • There is too much roofing material on the edge of the roof
  • The flashing was not installed correctly
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Ponding Water?

It may seem as if a little water on the roof isn’t a big deal but there are a few effects that affect the longevity and value of your roof such as:

  • There are more leaks
  • A roof that sags
  • There is deterioration in the roofing matters that are in the ponding water
  • Moss, algae, and plant growth may be inevitable
  • There is damage or weakening of the roof membrane
What Do You Need to Do?

The most obvious answer is to make sure you have preventative maintenance in place so that you catch any standing water issues early before it can cause damage to your roof. The best time to check the roof is after rainfall or a storm so that if there is ponding, you can catch it early. This is also the ideal time to clean out the gutters and downspouts, making sure that you remove any debris like sticks or leaves that are clogging them and not allowing the water to drain.

If you do see standing water on your roof, the first thing you will want to do is to find out what the location is and why it is not draining. For instance, if the gutters are clogged, a simple cleaning may be all that is necessary to start the water draining again. Make sure you look at the gutters and see if there is any kind of blockage that is keeping the water from draining off.

If the issue is due to poor pitching, there are still solutions that can rectify the problem with standing water.

  • Take the drains you already have and widen them
  • Add more drains to what you already have
  • Use a sloping material to take the standing water and redirect it towards the drain in the back corner

Here at Pli-Dek, we have just the product to help with your ponding water issues. This material fills in the spots that are low on the roof, giving the slope your roof needs. If you want to learn more or find out how we can help you, simply contact us and we will be more than happy to help.

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