The Top 3 Causes Of Ponding For Commercial Roofs

The Top 3 Causes Of Ponding For Commercial Roofs

Companies that are part of the roofing industry are always getting more work, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reason for that is simple. Whether it’s on a commercial or residential property, no one wants a roof that doesn’t provide protection because it makes living and working safely difficult or even impossible.

For commercial roofs, it’s essential to make sure everything is in order because a leak can affect expensive equipment below, and it will cost a lot of time, money, and effort to fix. Ponding—that is, when water accumulates on a flat roof instead of moving away—is another common concern among property owners, but how does it happen? Here are the top three reasons your flat commercial roof may experience ponding.

Faulty Drainage

With a traditional sloped roof for smaller, residential houses, drainage is possible due to the slope of the roof, allowing water to flow down and go into the gutter. The gutter then carries the water to a drainage pipe that will enable it to flow a safe distance away from the foundation.

Flat, commercial roofs can’t use gravity in this way to get rid of excess water, so they rely on drains that are built into various locations on the roof. If ponding occurs, blocked or broken drainage pipes are a common cause, and those should be checked out first.

Compressed Or Degraded Insulation

While there is a top coating on your roof to protect it against water, there is also often a layer underneath for environmental efficiency. Insulation is added to a roof to help keep the building warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, requiring less work from HVAC systems to maintain the preferred temperature.

However, insulation is soft, and it is not waterproof. If you decide to install heavy equipment on your roofs, such as HVAC hardware or solar panels, to take advantage of the space, the weight may end up compressing the insulation. If any breaks that occur in the roof expose the insulation, they may also cause it to act as a sponge, accumulating water that can then pond.

Structural Sagging

Ponding is unavoidable if your commercial roof isn’t flat but has dips or sags somewhere. A sagging roof can be the result of improper handling during the installation of equipment on the roof. Or it can be due to structural defects within the roof itself that have caused some reinforcements and struts to weaken and bend.

If that happens, water will naturally accumulate in those areas, and if left undiscovered and unaddressed, it will eventually damage the roof, shortening its lifespan, reduce its protective usefulness, and require substantial repairs. Ponding is a classic example of a problem that seems small at first, but if you ignore it, it can grow into an expensive crisis that will require more resources to address than it if had been dealt with earlier.

If you’re worried about ponding on your commercial roof, we can help. Contact Gulf-Tex Roofing & Services, and we’ll inspect your roof and handle any issues we detect.