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How Ponding Water Can Affect Your Commercial Roof

Flat roofs will naturally collect some water when it rains. However, if your roof is properly designed, it should have enough slope to drain water shortly after a heavy downpour. As the hours pass, evaporation will also help to dry the roof. If there’s still water on your commercial roof 48 hours after it rained, you have a problem with ponding water. This is a problem and it needs to be addressed promptly.

Ponding water is usually due to poor drainage. The roof may have been designed incorrectly or installed incorrectly. However, windstorms and hail can damage a good roof over time, and this can also affect drainage. When ponding water isn’t addressed, it will eventually weaken your roofing system and make it less effective. Given the cost of a commercial roof, you can’t afford to let water shorten its lifespan. Let’s look at exactly what standing water can do to your roof if you’re not careful.

It Breaks Down the Roof Coating and Damages the Membrane Seams

The longer water sits on a roof, the more it will affect the stability of the coating. When the sun heats the water, it can cause even more damage. In addition, ponding water can cause the seams in the roof membrane to deteriorate. As the water pools and heats up the same area repeatedly, leaks can result. This can threaten the comfort and safety of the building’s occupants and damage its contents.

It Adds Weight to the Roof

Not only does standing water cause the roof to deteriorate, but the added weight can cause a depression. The depression in the structure will cause larger amounts of water to pool. This adds more weight and over time, the depression gets even bigger. If there’s prolonged heavy rain, this cycle can present a serious problem.

It Supports the Growth of Vegetation

Standing water can provide the ideal conditions for weeds, algae, and other organisms to thrive. These and other types of debris can clog your drains and lead to a range of problems. Bacteria can also compromise your roofing materials.

It Attracts Insects and Birds

Water can attract bugs, especially mosquitos. These insects don’t typically stay on the roof. Instead, they move inside the building and not only are they a bother, but they can spread disease. Getting rid of them can be costly. Meanwhile, when birds begin to nest, you may find yourself dealing with debris, noise, and droppings.

It Can Lead to Ice Damage

Ice often forms in water that pools on a roof in cold temperatures. As the ice forms and melts when the temperature fluctuates, the expansion and contraction can damage the roof. The constant movement of ice in the water can also cause the outermost layer of the roofing material to deteriorate.

How to Correct Problems with Ponding Water

If you’ve recently discovered that water is collecting on your commercial roof, you have a number of options. It’s best to contact an experienced roofing contractor in Greenville, SC for a professional opinion. One option is to get a tapered roof that directs water to gutters or an internal drainage system. Another option is to get a new drain assembly to improve your existing drainage system. Both of these options will be costly. A more affordable alternative may be to replace your roof membrane with a PVC variety designed to resist standing water.

Many issues with ponding can be prevented by proper roof maintenance. Adding drains and keeping gutters clear can go a long way. In addition, getting semi-annual inspections from a roofing professional can ensure problems are identified early. The roofer will make recommendations on how you can fix issues before they become too complex and costly.

 Contact Greenville Roofing Today to Discuss Your Commercial Roofing Challenges

After you’ve invested so much in your commercial building, you need to be on the lookout for problems like ponding water. While your roof will deteriorate over time, pooling will shorten its life even faster. Eventually, the water will penetrate the roofing materials and impact both energy efficiency and insulation. 

Whether you’ve noticed signs of damage or you haven’t had your roof inspected in some time, the experts at Greenville Roofing can help. Our team of roofers in Greenville offers a wide range of commercial roofing services including installation, repair, and maintenance. We can help you address ponding water and several other roofing problems. Call us today to schedule an inspection and get a free estimate. 

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