Many businesses use flat roofs because they're affordable to build, and they also have plenty of space to install equipment out of the way, such as the building's air conditioner. Unfortunately, one problem that flat roofs can have is pooling water. If ignored, this problem could cause damage to your low-slope roof. Here is what you need to know about it.
Why Pooling Water Can Be a Problem
While pooling water is known to create surface damage on the roof, the potential problems it can create goes further than that. For instance, one problem is how water adds additional weight to a roof, which could cause it to fail. A 400-square-foot roof with a single inch of pooling water could create one ton of additional weight on the surface. Your roof's inability to support the water that has collected could be enough to cause it to collapse.
The winter will also cause damage when water pools on the roof. That is because frozen water will damage the material underneath. The extreme temperature fluctuations can cause your existing roof to become damaged due to the freezing water. If the protective membrane layer of the roofing material has a crack in it, you will get water inside your building.
In addition, check the warranty on your roofing material to see if issues with pooling water cause the warranty to be void. There are telltale signs that you have pooling water, so you will not be able to hide the damage if you make a warranty claim down the road.
How to Prevent Pooling Water
It's best to have a local roofing contractor handle problems with pooling water. While you can easily identify the problem, the fix may be way too complicated for the average property owner who does not have experience in roofing repairs.
Part of the repair will be a thorough roof inspection to find out what has been damaged. This includes looking at the membrane of the roofing material and the roof deck itself. These issues must be repaired first before you move on to fixing the issue with pooling water.
Once a roofing contractor has ruled out structural damage as the main cause of pooling water, he/she can get to work on fixing the problem. It may involve creating more of a slope on the roofing, using a pump to remove pooling water in problem areas, and installing flashing to form inclines around places where water seems to pool most often.