Getting Your Home Repaired

Flat Roofing And Ponding

Many businesses have a flat roof instead of the traditional sloped, shingle roof. This is because a flat roof is safer for maintenance to access while also providing a surface to mount appliances like the HVAC system. The main issue with a flat roof is that it can collect water, a problem known as ponding. The following guide can help you understand the causes and risks of ponding, as well as what you can do to prevent it.

What causes ponding?

Ponding occurs when the roof can't drain properly. This can be due to debris blocking gutters and drains, or it can occur on an aging roof because low spots have developed. On some roofs, a central drain can become blocked, causing ponding to cover most of the roof's surface. On others, there can be multiple low spots, so you may have a problem with multiple small ponds forming on the roof.

Are there consequences of ponding?

The consequences of water collecting on the roof can be devastating. Most alarming is that the roof may not be able to support the weight of the collected water, which can lead to a collapse of the roof and injury to those inside. More common is for leaks to form where the water collects. If the problem goes unaddressed, major damage to the roofing structure can occur. This includes warping of supports and roof cladding, along with irreparable damage to the roof membrane itself. The only option will be to replace the roof. You may also need to repair or replace some of the supporting structure beneath the old membrane.

How is ponding fixed?

There are several methods to fix ponding on the roof. The one chosen depends on exactly what is occurring along with its severity. The following are a few of these options:

  1. Drain repair. Clogged or poorly functioning drains are often the culprit. Your roofer can clean these out and install devices to help keep them from getting blocked in the future.
  2. Leveling patches. These are small patches made of roofing plaster that are applied only on low spots. This method works best for small areas.
  3. Drainage installation. Sometimes drains are not installed where they should be. A roofer can remedy this problem.
  4. Pitch adjustments. For extensive ponding issues, the pitch of the roof may need adjusted. No flat roof is truly flat -- they all slope to a drainage point. If yours doesn't, your roofer will have to fix it.

For more help, contact a flat roofing service company, such as JCB Roofing, in your area.