Ponding is an event in which water sits on your low-slope or flat roof for more than 48 hours. It is most often caused by damaged insulation beneath the roof’s uppermost layer. Fixing ponding water is a priority because water left sitting on your roof can become water leaking into your commercial property.
Ponding usually occurs when the insulation beneath your roof’s exposed surface is compressed. This happens when heavy items are stored on the roof or when constant foot traffic flattens the insulation. However, compression is not the only cause of ponding water. Other causes include:
- Improper installation with an incorrect pitch
- Drainage problems
- Recently installed rooftop items, such as HVAC curbs and units
- HVAC equipment installed without sufficient roof deck reinforcement
The most obvious problem with ponding water is water infiltration. While alarming, it is not the only consequence of ponding water. The water’s weight sets up a vicious cycle of worsening conditions as the water presses down and increases the ponding area.
The water also fosters plant growth, from tiny algae to actual saplings and grasses. Ponding also encourages insects and other pests to set up housekeeping. With extensive ponding water areas, odors from decaying organic debris can become noticeable to both customers and employees.
The cure for ponding water is to enlist the help of your local, reliable commercial roofer. The expert’s eye can determine whether the ponding is from depressed insulation, structural problems with the roof deck, or some other cause.
Once the cause is known, the cure is straightforward:
- Depressed insulation is repaired by peeling back the roof’s top layer to reveal and remove the faulty insulation; fresh, correctly sloped insulation is installed
- Roof deck deficiencies are repaired by replacing bent or broken wooden or steel structural elements
- Clogged internal drains or parapet scuppers are repaired by removing the organic debris, inspecting and replacing strainers (or entire drains if needed), and carefully sloping the roof to meet the drains
All cures for ponding water start with a thorough inspection by a trained roofing professional. The remedies are usually not within the scope of your building’s facilities crew, and any attempt to perform amateur repairs can void your roof’s warranty. If your commercial building is in the Southeastern United States, contact us at Rackley Roofing today to get the highly skilled roofers you need to cure any ponding problem.