Ponding Water: Bad News for Your Flat Roof

Ponding Water: Bad News for Your Flat Roof

San Francisco is home to many low slope or flat roofs. These roofs require specialized maintenance to ensure they remain water tight. 

If you have a flat roof, ponding water is serious bummer. Blisters, dry rot and leaks can be costly to repair, but can be avoided with the proper care and maintenance.  ezgif.com resize 5 5

What is Ponding?
Water that has been standing without draining for more than 48 hours is considered ponding water.  

Why is it Dangerous?
When water sits on a roof a “capillary effect” can be created, which is basically moisture being forced into the roofing system. The water becomes trapped beneath the membrane creating bubbles or pockets,  leading to ezgif.com resize 24 5blisters and eventual leaks. When left untended, ponding water will break down the underlying membrane protecting your home, causing premature deterioration. Once water has breached this protective membrane you’re looking at serious issues, like decking and insulation damage, for a start. The worst case scenario of not addressing ponding water issues, is the structural damage that can occur due to the weight the excess water adds. Leaving water to pond can cause a roof to collapse, leading to interior destruction and huge remediation costs. 

What Can Cause the Ponding?
Ponding can be created by failing drainage systems or poor roof structure. Low slope roofs must be equip with a proper structural system to maintain their ability to shed water ezgif.com resize 10 5efficiently. When the roof is sloped correctly, it can shed water into the drainage system and whisk water away into drains efficiently. You cannot have one, and not the other. Theses two factors must be in working order to protect your roof. 

Other Complications
Aside from the leaks water creates, other issues can arise due to roof water ponding. Animals, like birds, insects and critters will be drawn to the water to hydrate and bathe, Algae and vegetation loves to grow in it, and over time it becomes home to some pretty nasty contaminants. ezgif.com resize 11

What Can Be Done To Fix The Ponding?
If your roof is suffering ponding issues, don’t be disillusioned, it can be fixed! Yearly general maintenance will help catch issues before they can cause serious damage. Drains can be cleaned or added to ensure drainage is efficient, low spots can be filled to ensure runoff leads to the drains, or complete re-pitching can be done to get your roof in prime working condition.ezgif.com resize 17

The best way to address ponding water issues is through proactive maintenance. Annual roof inspections and hurried reaction to seeing the ponding water is your best bet, and we can help you there. Here at C & J Roofing, we are serious about Flat roofing solutions. With over 35 years of roofing experience in the Bay Area, we know flat roofs. If you’re in need of a knowledgeable roofing professional, give us a call at (650) 583-5998 or request a quote above and one of our expert Estimators will come to your home and get you back to water-tight perfection.