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Issues with Standing Water on a Flat Roof

Standing water on flat roof

Standing water on your roof can cause a variety of issues for your commercial property. If you are dealing with a standing water problem on your flat roof, likely water tension issues are occurring that must be resolved.

To help resolve the issue, you need to understand the frequent causes of water retention, solutions to the issue, and the problems that prolonged water retention issues can lead to.

How to Identify Water Ponding

Water ponding is when water builds up on the roof surface and remains there for longer than 48 hours. This is typically caused by inadequate drainage, roof design flaws, or issue with the building infrastructure.

With these issues, high volumes of water are unable to evaporate and unable to drain will pond on the roof surface. Keep in mind that it can be normal for your roof to have standing water for 12-36 hours after a rainstorm. If the ponding water persists for more than two days, it should be inspected by a commercial roofing expert. Standing water issues on flat roofs are most commonly caused by poor roof design.

What Causes Standing Water on Flat Roofs?

There are a variety of reasons you may be experiencing water issues on your flat roof; some of the common reasons include:

Roof Design Issues

In most cases, if you are having water ponding problems on your flat roof, it can be related to poor roof design. If the roof plans do not meet the needs of the building layout and the shape of the roof, there will be issues throughout the lifespan of the roof.

It is crucial to work with an experienced roofer who has experience with flat roofs. Some people believe that flat roofs are easy to build, replace, and repair, but it is actually a complicated process, which is why working with experienced roofers is crucial for the best results.

Crushed Insulation Due to High Foot Traffic/Snow Piling

A flat rubber roof typically has insulation underneath it to help keep your commercial property warm during the colder months while also helping keep the cool air in the building during the warmer months. These thick layers of insulation are critical to saving on your energy bills, but they can lead to issues.

Insulation is a flexible material and, in some cases, can be crushed by foot traffic from maintenance workers or by the elements such as snow piles left on the roof. When it becomes crushed, it creates uneven slopes and surfaces where water can accumulate.

Rubber Roofing with Several Layers

Flat roofs often have multiple layers, with the first layer typically being tar and gravel. The following layers often use a rubber material. The issue occurs when the rubber is laid over the top of the initial gravel and tar layer. This method can make it difficult to layer the roof evenly and increase issues that already exist due to slopes.

Inadequate Drainage/Improperly Installed Drains

Any flat roof or roof with a low slope requires proper drainage to ensure it can dry out after a rainstorm. Lack of proper drainage is another main reason that flat roofs experience water ponding and roof damage. If there are not enough drains or if they are not installed where the water can drain, they will not be effective at preventing water ponding.

What Issues Does Standing Water Cause?

Roof Leaks

Water ponding can lead to a leaky roof because it causes the roof materials to deteriorate. When you begin to see a roof leak on the inside of your commercial building, you can expect to have a much greater issue than one leak. If you have noticed a leaking roof with a water ponding issue, be sure to contact a roofer experienced in commercial roofing to assess the issue and repair the damage.

Increased Potential for Collapse

A roof collapse would be extremely detrimental to your commercial property causing damage to your equipment, merchandise, etc., while also putting your employees’ lives at risk. A mentioned above, as water pools on the roof, it causes the materials underneath to breakdown, since the roofing materials are not completely waterproof.

As the water saturates that material, it adds weight to the roof; as the material rots and the weight increases, it increases the risk of collapse.

Advantage Systems Roofing System to Solve Your Flat Roof Problems

ACR1 has the roofing technology you need to repair or replace your flat roof with our Advantage Systems Roofing System. This roofing system offers superior thickness and durability to protect against items that fall onto or are thrown onto the roof and also offers protection from maintenance damage that screws or metal casings may cause.

Our seamless Advantage Systems Roofing System also offers flexibility to the roofing structure’s movement, which also helps prevent damage. This superior flexibility comes from the self-flashing feature that allows our roofing materials to form around 90-degree angles and circular items without cutting or gluing, avoiding weak points. We also offer maintenance coating options that can be applied to help lower heating and cooling costs due to their highly reflective properties, and we can also add insulation.

This roofing system is very easy to repair, and any repairs to our existing roofing system will blend in with the Advantage Systems roof, avoiding reverse laps and increasing the lifespan of the roof.

Contact us today to repair or replace your flat roof!

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