Fort Worth Roofing: Article About Ponding Water Risks

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Flat roofs that have standing water for longer than 48 hours are considered to have a ponding problem. While some property owners may not realize the risks involved, this ponding effect on the roof can lead to greater problems for the durability of the surface overall. Before water possesses a serious threat to the structure, property owners will often contact a Fort Worth roofing professional to assess what can be done to prevent the roof from holding stagnant water.

One of the major reasons why ponding is dangerous to the roof's surface is because of the speed in which materials begin to deteriorate. Most roofing components should not be submerged for extended periods. Eventually, ponding leads to the erosion of surface materials, which can compromise the surface. This can then lead to decreasing the thermal resistance of the roof as well as cause serious damage to insulation and other components within the building's interior.

Stagnant water can act as a magnifying glass for ultraviolet rays from the sun. This can reduce the surface material's lifespan significantly, as UV radiation begins to break down components. It's as if speeding up the clock for the roof's lifespan, causing repairs to be needed much sooner.

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Depending on what the surface is made of, it can begin to crack and split from this radiation leading to other problems. For instance, ice can accumulate within those cracks making the problem worse with each freeze as the water expands within the crevice.

One inch of ponding water can weigh more than five pounds per square foot. Depending on the size of the pool of standing water, it may be adding a great deal of strain to supports. This can pose a problem if the substructure has been compromised. Although some commercial buildings with flat roofs have metal supports, homes may use wooden rafters, which may not have the same resistance against the continuous added weight.

Ponding can lead to trapping debris and airborne contaminants within the water. This can pose a serious health risk as well as deterioration of the roofing material. With each gust of wind, more can be added to the pool. If the standing water doesn't evaporate after 48 hours, this debris can attribute to the development of algae and other vegetation. A green slime can begin to culminate within the pool, which could lead to obstruction of any nearby drainage systems.

Warping of roofing materials can also be possible from prolonged standing water. A bubbling effect can damage the roof while stretching the material. This can lead to splits and tears within the surface allowing water to seep into the building.

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