Flat roofs date to prehistoric times, making them one of the earliest architectural styles of roofs. In earlier times, flat roofs provided additional living space or a secure place to quarter valuable animals. Although you are not likely to find animals on a modern flat roof, they are still commonly used on homes to provide a space for outdoor recreational activities and on commercial buildings to house HVAC systems or even a helipad. Despite the many advantages of flat roofs, ponding can occur, especially during the summer months. Flat Roof & Summer Ponding issues should be handled promptly to avoid structural damage as well as damage to the contents of your home or building.
Flat Roof & Summer Ponding – What Is Ponding?
Ponding is the term used by roofing professionals to describe areas on a flat roof where water forms puddles instead of draining away. Normally, water should not remain on a flat roof for more than 48 hours after it arrives. Typically, rain is the culprit responsible for ponding, but it can also occur from overflowing pans under HVAC equipment or from leaking pipes or lines.
Why Is Ponding a Problem?
There are many reasons that ponding needs to be eliminated.
• Mosquitoes love to find pools of standing water so that they can lay their eggs. Even a small pool can provide a breeding ground for swarms of these pesky insects. Since mosquitoes are known vectors for a variety of diseases, keeping them away from your home or business helps you protect yourself and everyone around you.
• The humidity levels in Central Texas are often extremely high. Algae and moss grow well in humid conditions. Some of this vegetation can damage your roof, but almost all of it can leave unsightly stains. Furthermore, once it dries, it can be a fire hazard.
• Ponding can nullify the manufacturer’s warranty on your roofing materials. Manufacturers know that ponding often shortens the life of the roof, so most of them have taken steps to protect themselves.
• When water pools on your roof, it has extra time to damage the roofing membrane and allow leaks to develop. The decking and other supporting structural components can be damaged, leading to additional repairs. Once the leak reaches the interior, it can damage your home’s furnishings or your company’s equipment, inventory and furnishings.
Signs of Ponding
The most obvious sign is to find puddles of water remaining on your roof more than 48 hours after a rain. If the ponding is due to leaks or other causes, however, you could find puddles at any time. If you find dirty circles on your flat roof, this is a sign of previous ponding. You might also notice moss, algae or other vegetation growing on your roof.
What to Do About Suspected Ponding Issues
If you suspect that ponding is occurring on your flat roof, you should immediately contact a reputable roofing contractor with experience in the installation and repair of flat roofs. He will inspect your roof to evaluate its slope and drainage as well as the severity of your ponding issue. The best time to handle a ponding problem is during the summer. Dead leaves can complicate matters if you wait until autumn, and during the winter, there is a risk that water might freeze, which makes it more difficult to eliminate the water.
Alpha Roofing is a commercial roofing company and has the experience, training, skills and equipment to inspect, repair and install flat roofs. We are an award-winning roof contractor serving customers in Austin, TX and most locations in the Texas Hill Country. In addition to flat roofs, we also repair and install metal roofs and asphalt shingles. Our other services include moss removal, skylight installation, siding installation, chimney repairs. Our work is exceptional, but our rates are competitive. If you have more questions about Flat Roof & Summer Ponding or would like to request a free quote, fill out our online form or call us at (512) 777-1086.
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