When rainstorms hit your area, you can end up with ponding water on your flat roof. But what is ponding water, and how does it affect your roof? Let’s go over how water ponding occurs and what it does to your commercial flat roof.
How Does Ponding Water Occur on Flat Roofs?
Water ponds or pools on flat roof membranes because flat roofs aren’t completely flat. They have slight slopes that allow water to flow to drains, which often sit at the edges of the roofs. However, these roofs sometimes develop disruptions in those slight slopes that cause water to pond in certain sections after rainfall. Ponding water often occurs on single-ply membranes, including EPDM and TPO, but it can also happen on built-up roofs (BUR) and other flat membranes. If you don’t stop ponding water from developing on your roof, you could end up with algae growing in the pools of water. You could also have to deal with a leaky roof and structural damage in your commercial building. The best way to avoid damage from ponding water is to spot it quickly and implement roof repairs and drainage solutions with help from a professional roofing partner.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Water Ponding?
Ponding water often doesn’t create many immediate problems, other than standing water on your roof. It creates many long-term problems, however. As mentioned above, it can cause algae growth on your roof, which can hurt your roof membrane. Algae often damages the seams of single-ply roof membranes. Ponding water can also freeze in colder temperatures. Freezing causes the water to expand and exert extra pressure on the roof membrane. Along with those two effects, pools of standing water can magnify sunlight as it hits your roof, which increases the damage UV rays can do to its membrane. All these problems age your roof membrane prematurely and shorten its overall lifespan.
How Can You Prevent Ponding Water on Your Flat Roof?
You can take several different steps to stop ponding water from forming and causing roof water damage. These steps include:
- Clean existing drains: Check all the drains on your roof to ensure they’re clear of dirt and debris like sticks and leaves. Cleaning and clearing the drains allows them to drain rainfall and snowmelt off your roof and prevent ponding water.
- Add new drain lines: If clearing and cleaning existing drains doesn’t work, you may need to install additional drains or a new type of drainage system. A roofing contractor can help you determine whether your roof would benefit from new drain lines.
- Fix low spots on the roof surface: Though flat roofs have extremely low slopes, spots on their membranes can become lower than the rest of the roof. Talk to your roofing contractor and have them fix the low spots on the roof surface. Once your contractor fixes the low spots, your roof should drain water more easily than it did before the repairs.
- Install roof crickets on the surface: This step can work alongside fixing low spots to improve flat roof drainage. A roof cricket is a rigid structure that you can install around areas that are prone to ponding water. The crickets help push water away from those trouble spots and prevent pools of ponding water from forming.
- Check your roof’s pitch and installation: Sometimes, ponding water occurs because your roof was improperly installed, so it’s pitched incorrectly. Your contractor can assess your roof’s pitch and correct it if necessary. Then your roof can drain water properly.
Can Kirberg Company Prevent Ponding Water on Your Commercial Flat Roof?
Yes, we can. We perform commercial roof repairs that include stopping and preventing water ponding on roof membranes. We can also restore or replace your flat roof when necessary. How do we stop ponding water from damaging your roof? We use our century of experience to assess your roof’s problems and its needs. If you want to stop ponding water from damaging your roof, reach out to us today. We’ll help you find the right solutions to keep your roof dry and properly drained.