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Reasons Why Your Roof May Be Holding Water

By Allen Foster

Some researchers believe that a love for water is something that is encoded in our DNA. Streams, babbling brooks, lakes, and ponds can all offer a moment of recharging serenity... Unless that pool of water is on your roof! Puddles that remain for two or more days after a storm do not offer peace of mind, they create unrest.

Lingering water can compromise the integrity of your structure and damage ceilings, walls, flooring, furniture, and everything else that lies beneath. Additionally, water that pools on your flat roof can accelerate ultraviolet damage and photo-oxidation while degrading insulation to cause sagging.

Ponding can occur due to a variety of conditions. In order to solve the problem, you need to first identify why it is happening. Here are the three reasons why your roof is holding water.

A Problem With The Drainage

On a pitched roof, it is easy to see water racing down the incline, gathering in the gutters and surging out the downspout. A flat roof utilizes the same strategy: water is routed to strategic low points so it can be discharged in an efficient manner. If your roof's drainage system is inadequate, has suffered damage, or is simply clogged, when the water gets to a low point, its flow will be impeded or blocked, which causes ponding.

A Problem With The Materials

Many different materials — each with a very specific purpose — are used to construct a flat roof. A water problem can arise due to anything from inferior product choice to poor workmanship. However, one of the most common reasons for ponding water on your flat roof stems from insulation that has either become depressed or is degrading from saturation. Because the pitch of a flat roof is nearly imperceptible, even the smallest depression provides water an opportunity to pool. As that water sits there, it gradually causes more and more damage to the underlying insulation, creating larger and larger pools of standing water. The process feeds upon itself creating a vicious circle of ever-accelerating deterioration.

A Problem With The Design And/Or Construction

There is a tendency to think of construction work in terms of brutish heavy-handed labor that lacks finesse. For instance, if you need to pound a nail into a wooden beam, delicacy is obviously not what gets the job done. Having said that, it is vital to understand that modern roofing does require an incredible degree of precision. Seemingly insignificant miscalculations in measurement, design and/or construction can result in a roof that is plagued with problems such as pooling water. Over time, these issues only worsen.

When you find yourself in any sort of worrisome roofing situation, it is essential to get help from a knowledgeable, experienced roofing contractor who offers dependability and quality workmanship. If you have any questions or concerns about your business' roof, visit SMRCA Southeastern Michigan Roofing Contractors Association (SMRCA). It is their job to make sure that the roof over your head stays there.

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