What To Do About Flat Roof Ponding

Posted on: 1 September 2016

Ponding is a common problem that involves the formation of puddles on the surface of a flat roof. While it may seem relatively harmless, over time ponding can lead to serious forms of water damage. If your business or commercial property has a flat roof, and you would like to learn how to minimize the ill effects of ponding, read on. This article will discuss three methods of eliminating the problem.

Check For Blocked Drains

By far, the most common source of ponding are blocked drains. Fortunately, this issue can be resolved within minutes, simply by inspecting each of the drains for any unwanted materials—whether they be twigs, leaves, or animal carcasses. By promoting proper drainage, removing such blockages may eliminate the problem entirely.

While you're up on the roof, it's also a good idea to take a look for any nagging leaks. Air conditioners are a common cause of ponding. Here the problem is usually a condensate drain line that has become detached or developed holes. Be alert for any damp spots around such appliances. Even if the leak isn't producing water at the moment, such dampness can clue to you to potential problem areas.

Use Puddle Plaster To Eliminate Low Spots

As a flat roof ages, it is natural for its structural elements to develop subtle declivities. Unfortunately, these low-lying areas act to naturally accumulate rainwater and other forms of precipitation. Fortunately, once you've identified any such low spots on your roof, you can eliminate them through the application of puddle plaster, which is essentially used to level out the unwanted declivity.

Puddle plaster comes in the form of a thick paste. It is composed of such ingredients as asphalt, fiberglass, and some sort of structural filler to help give it body. This mixture can be used to address declivities on all of the common flat roofing materials, whether modified bitumen, built up roofing, or metal. It is capable of elevating the problem area by up to two inches. Deeper declivities will need to be addressed through repair to the underlying structural elements.

Have Your Roof Re-pitched

Sometimes ponding is not the result of isolated problem areas, but rather a roof that was not correctly installed in the first place. In order to allow for the proper flow of water, flat roof must be constructed with a pitch of at least 1 degree. Re-pitching a roof involves removing the covering, installing angled foam panels beneath it, and then re-sheathing it once more. If you suspect that your roof is not properly pitched, contact an experienced roofer in your area to help make a more thorough diagnosis. 

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Time for a New Roof?

Hi, my name is Mitch. Before retiring a few years ago, I worked in the roofing industry. Over the years, I worked in nearly every capacity, ranging from apprentice to general manager of the company. I know that purchasing a new roof for your home can be expensive and a bit intimidating. My goal is to provide useful advice to help you make informed decisions when it comes to your new roof. I'm going to share information about different roofing materials and why you may want to consider one over another. I'll also share where you can cut costs, and how to choose a reputable roofing company. I hope you find this information valuable.

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