How To Address Ponding Issues On A Flat Roof

Flat roofs are subject to a number of unique complications and problems. One of the most commonly experienced such problems is water puddles--or "ponds"—gathering on the surface of the roof. If you own a property with a flat roof that has been experiencing ponding, read on. This article will introduce you to some of the basic ways to address and eliminate unwanted ponding.

Attend To Any Leaks Or Blockages

If you're lucky, you can solve your ponding problem by attending to some simple issues. First of all, head up to your roof to determine whether there are any water leaks being caused by air conditioners or drain lines. Even if you don't notice a puddle of water around such items, look closely to see whether there is residual dampness. After all, water escaping from such leaks can easily migrate to a different part of the roof and there form a pond.

Likewise, check all of your roof drains for signs of blockage. Leafs, twigs, and dead animals may cause a drain to become blocked, thus exacerbating your ponding problem. Often resolving such blockages is all it will take to help that excess water drain from your roof.

Apply Puddle Plaster

If your ponding issue still continues to be a problem, consider applying so-called puddle plaster in order to eliminate the declivity that's causing the pond to form. This thick, water-resistant paste consists of a variety of ingredients, including asphalt emulsion, fiberglass, and structural filler. It can be used to raise the depth of ponding areas by one to two inches; ponds deeper than this will require more serious structural repair.

Puddle plaster can be successfully used on a variety of flat roof styles, including built-up, modified bitumen, and metal roofs. In order to reach the required depth, be prepared to apply two or more layers of puddle plaster. Be sure that the area is completely dry before applying the plaster. Once it has fully cured, it can safely be exposed to water without re-emulsifying.

Hire A Contractor To Repitch The Roof

The most serious types of ponding may require a yet more involved solution: repitching your roof. Due to its complexity, and the large amount of labor involved, this task is often best left to a qualified roofing professional. The first phase of a repitching job involves removing the existing covering so as to expose the wood sheathing below it. Then, panels of rigid foam are installed. The thickness and taper of this foam will vary, depending on how steep of an angle is required for your particular roof.

Finally, the foam is attached by means of either mechanical or adhesive fasteners, a vapor barrier is installed, and a new roof covering put on. At this point, your roof should be able to withstand even the heaviest of rainstorms without developing unwanted ponds.