Ponding is among the common problems faced by flat roof owners. While flat roofs aren't technically entirely flat, these low-slope designs still tend to retain water. This condition is known as ponding, and while it is common, it's always a sign of an underlying problem. Even worse, ponding can often lead to more serious roofing damage, leaks, and other structural issues.
Of course, every instance of ponding isn't a sign that your structure's roof is about to collapse. If you notice ponding on your roof, you may want to ask these three questions to help determine the severity of the problem and whether you need to contact a roofer immediately.
1. Did Your Roof Recently Endure Severe Weather?
Building designers and roofing contractors build roofs that should be able to deal with the local climate. For example, structures in areas that see heavy rain or snow need better drainage systems than those in relatively dry areas. Still, there's a limit to the drainage capacity of almost any roof, and unusually severe or prolonged rain or snowmelt can challenge even well-maintained roofing systems.
If your area recently experienced a severe storm that dumped an unusually large amount of water on your roof, there's a chance it overwhelmed your building's drainage system. In these cases, the standing water will likely drain away as your roof dries. Still, ponding indicates an underlying issue, so you'll want to have a roofer investigate and address the problem eventually.
2. Does the Area Near the Ponding Water Feel Soft or Spongy?
While standing water on any roof is a problem, ponding water shouldn't seep below the upper membrane layers or affect the underlying insulation or decking. If you notice ponds repeatedly forming on the same location on your roof, check the area under the water to ensure the roof still feels firm and solid.
If you notice soft or spongy spots in ponding areas, that's a good indication that water is infiltrating below the roofing membrane. In severe cases, it may be a sign that the ponding is due to an existing leak causing the decking to sag and bend downwards. Whatever the case, it's important to have a professional perform an inspection any time you notice soft spots on your roof.
3. Are There Leaks Below the Ponding Area?
Spotting roofing leaks isn't always easy, especially if you don't frequently use the upper levels of your building. If you spot ponding on your roof, note the locations of the standing water and check them from below. Look for subtle signs of leaks, including minor discolorations or moldy smells. If possible, feel along the ceiling for dampness or soft spots.
Any indication of a leak means that your ponding problem is more than just a minor cosmetic issue. Once water can enter your building, it also means that it can seep under the roofing membrane and affect the roof's structural elements. The sooner you address the issue, the more likely you'll be able to avoid serious damage to your building.
For more information, contact a local company, like Berwald Roofing Inc.Share