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How To Deal With Ponding Water On Your Commercial Roof

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Ponding water is when water remains on rooftops for more than 48 hours. But knowing what it is and what to do about it are totally different things. If you are experiencing ponding water on your business, take a look at the problems it can cause and what you can do to prevent major catastrophes.

Problem #1: Exterior Damage

The first problem with ponding water is that it damages other roofing materials. If ponding water isn't removed quickly, you'll face major expenses in roof repairs. Some of the damages you will notice include the following:

  • Weakened Flashing: The flashing along the perimeter of your roof will weaken due to the added pressure of standing water on the roof. While flashing is designed to keep water from penetrating your business, it can't keep out water that has pooled on your roof for an extended period.
  • Loosened Adhesive: Construction adhesives are used to bond roofing materials together. While they are weather resistant to a degree, they can't withstand constant exposure to water, and the adhesive will start to deteriorate. When adhesive has become loose, you'll notice that sections of your roof start to pucker and lift away from the building.
  • Rotted Materials: Wood is most prone to rotting from water damage. However, other forms of decay are noticeable when ponding water is an issue on your building. Pipes and vents may start to rust, as well. Any signs of rotting or rusting are signs of weakening, and you'll have to replace these materials.

Problem #2: Interior Damage

Once your roof's exterior has been damaged, the barriers protecting your interior are obsolete. Types of damage done to your building include the following:

  • Leaks: If you notice a leak, you want to get your roof checked out immediately. Water has to go through a lot of layers before interior leaks are noticeable, so identify the leak's source and any other damage immediately before it spreads.
  • Water Damage: You'll notice water spots along the roof where water is seeping through but isn't necessarily leaking. These spots weaken your ceiling and are also prime spots for mold growth.
  • Damaged Merchandise: No matter what type of business you own – office, retail, etc. – you don't want your property damaged by leaks. To prevent ponding water from cutting into your profits, take care of the problem as soon as you notice it.

Problem #3: Structural Damage

Water is heavy. Even 1 inch of water can be a threat to your building, because it adds over 5 pounds of weight to it. The deeper your water problem, the more weight your building will have to support. Don't ignore ponding water or you risk roof collapse when the weight exceeds the structure's capacity.

Solutions for Ponding Water

The solution for ponding water is simple – remove it! However, the process can be difficult. Here are some possible solutions to consider to maintain the integrity of your commercial building:

  • Install Drains: A few strategically placed drains can eliminate ponding water. Maintenance is fairly simple, as well. Just keep your drains clear of debris such as leaves and dirt and your problem should be solved.
  • Create a Tapered Roof: Flat roofs are more prone to ponding water than sloped roofs. Tapered roof insulation is an option that doesn't require major renovations but adds the slope necessary for water to run off your roof easily.
  • Double Check Flashing: Flashing can be damaged after a heavy rain or snowfall. It is used around vents and the perimeter of your roof to help direct water off the roof. While flashing can be damaged from ponding water, it is also likely that a storm is the cause of damaged flashing. Repairing or replacing flashing could solve your problem.

There are a lot of problems with ponding water on commercial businesses. However, there are also basic solutions that prevent water from adding to your expenses. By addressing this problem quickly, you will prevent major interior and structural damage from occurring. For more information, see http://www.vandoornroofing.com.


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