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Is Standing Water On A Flat Roof A Problem?

By December 13, 2019 December 16th, 2019 No Comments

The flat rooftop design has been getting increasingly prevalent in commercial buildings and skyscrapers. Most building owners would not bother in giving their rooftops a pitch of at least 0.5/12 that can help redirect water towards the necessary drainage systems. Pitch refers to the inclination and slope of the roof for every 12 inches that’s traversed. This means that a pitch of 9/12 is quite steep and water can easily flow downwards while pitches of 0.5/12 to 1/12 have a lower angle which means water will flow slower.

is standing water on a flat roof a problem

While having a flat rooftop can have its own advantages, it is still susceptible to water accumulating at the top which can lead to damages. Moreover, water can accumulate which can add weight to your roof. If the supporting structures of your roof cannot withstand the weight, then this can compromise the integrity of your home.

We’ll be discussing in detail how water that’s accumulating on the top of flat rooftops can have long-term effects and damages to your roof.

What is ponding/standing water?

Standing water or ‘pooling’ as it’s known in some areas is when water accumulates that has not drained. In most cases, this happens during heavy storms and rainfall were water collects on a certain area for 48 hours or more. If left unchecked, this can be disastrous as the accumulating water can translate to more weight being added to the roof which the supporting structures were not originally intended to handle.

Most building owners would put the blame on the weather, but in reality, there are several man-made factors that contribute to this phenomenon.

The roof has no pitch

Professional roofers and contractors are aware that flat roof designs will always have a pitch of 0.5/12 and 1/12 so that water can flow towards one side and into drainage systems that are set up.

Poorly designed roof with clogged gutter systems

Most homeowners think that roofs have a more aesthetic nature which can lead to them neglecting the functional design of roofs. Another reason why water is accumulating on rooftops is that the gutter has already been clogged by debris and muck. It’s best to contact a roofing specialist to clean out your gutters so that water can easily flow downwards.

Excess materials on the edge of roofs

Smart owners and contractors would know that roofs are specifically designed on disposing of water and snow as fast as possible and away from the vital parts of the house’s structure. That said, putting excess materials on the edges of your roof can inadvertently trap water on the roof which is counter-intuitive to the main function of rooftops. It’s best to keep this in mind when planning the design of your roof with a contractor.

Long-term effects of ponding on your roof

Sagging roof

Ponding can often lead to your roof sagging which is a tell-tale sign that your roof is about to cave in on the pressure. If ever you see signs that your roof is sagging, contact your local contractor immediately since it’s only a matter of time before your roof collapses.

Leaks are more frequent

Of course, roofs are not meant to retain water. If ever water will settle on your roof, then it can eventually find its way to holes and passageways inside your house.

Organic growth on your roof

Ponding can lead to moisture penetrating the roof towards the house’s interiors which can then produce molds, mildews, and mosses. These organic growths can slowly chip away at the integrity of your home’s foundations.

Roofing materials will deteriorate faster

If you’re using materials such as wood or natural slate tiles, then having water seeping into these material structures can accelerate decomposition in wood while also eroding the slate tiles. It’s best to keep an eye out for granules on your gutters as this is a clear sign that erosion is taking place.

Measures to stop ponding

If ever your roof has poor pitching, then there are alternative ways of getting water away from your roof.

  • Widen your drainage system so that water can pass freely through a more open space.
  • Add more passageways for water to pass through.
  • Sloping and pitching materials can help redirect the flow of water to the appropriate drainage areas.

Standing water on a flat rooftop is a problem since rooftops are designed to quickly drain out any water as soon as possible so it does not leak into cracks and passageways. It’s best to have a pitch of 0.5/12 or 1/12 that can help drain water towards the appropriate gutter systems.

If you do not have any prior knowledge in installing a good gutter system or removing water that’s accumulated on your rooftop, then it’s best to hire the services of a professional roofing specialist that has a team that specializes in the maintaining your roofing Denver CO, removing standing water, repairing damages, and roofing material replacement.

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