Did you know that sitting water can be just as damaging to a roof as a leak can be – it’s true! With many commercial buildings choosing to install flat roofs, one of its biggest enemies ends up being sitting water. To some, this might be hard to believe. Water just sitting there may not seem to be too harmful but over time, it can be a sign of big costs up ahead.
Getting to Know Flat Roofs
Despite the name, flat roofs aren’t actually flat. They are merely described as such because their pitch is small. Due to the nature of their build, there may be challenges for these types of roofs to drain properly. For any water that accumulates on a flat roof and remains there for days or possibly weeks, this is when most commercial roofing owners recognize there’s a problem that needs fixing.
Meet the 7 Biggest Threats with Water on a Flat Roof
When water assembles on a flat roof, there are a number of problems it can cause. Erosion and deterioration of the surface can be accelerated quite easily. A commercial building may experience a premature roof failure. This is particularly the case when a roof has not been properly installed. The thermal resistance may see a gradual increase over time. The roof deck will most definitely end up damaged if sitting water is left unaddressed. A building’s interior becomes exposed to possible damages. It’s not uncommon to begin seeing bacteria, algae, and vegetation growth in and around sitting puddles of water on flat roofs. Lastly, there may be an accumulation of contaminants that you may want to be concerned with.
How to Prevent Water Staying on a Flat Roof
There are three ways to prevent water from accumulating and causing damage to a flat roof. Firstly, there’s ensuring that a roof has been properly installed which means trusting the contractors who you hire to do so. Secondly, the way in which the roof is designed needs to act as a guard against sitting water; in other words, designed with positive drainage in mind. Thirdly and finally, knowing how to conduct routine roof maintenance or hiring a professional roofing contractor to do so is a necessity. When you are working with a commercial roof, generally, there is much more space to cover and the associated costs are that much higher when an issue becomes present. The best thing you can do is to find a professional roofing contractor you trust and who has the knowledge to be able to help when you need it.
By choosing a flat roof, any commercial building runs the risk of ponding water. When you see this, it should be addressed immediately. There is never an excuse to let something like this eat away at your roof. Let’s say you choose to ignore it. Before long, your problem will grow into something even bigger.
There’s no way around it – you need a roofing contractor at your side to mitigate these kinds of problems. They may save you literally thousands of dollars in the long run by conducting annual inspections and repairing issues as they occur. The bottom line is when water begins to pond, address it. Trust us when we say that it’s worth a few hundred dollars today to fix, instead of spending some thousands of dollars months from now.
Note: There are several commercial flat roofing membranes that advertise positive drainage as not being required; however, a roof system design with positive drainage will prolong the life of the membrane / roof system with less maintenance throughout the life of the membrane / roof system.