What To Do When Ponding Attacks Your Flat Roof

A quality flat roof installed and maintained by experienced, knowledgable professionals should last your Tampa-area home for many years. But like any roofing, it’s susceptible to specific issues – such as ponding – because of storms and heavy rain. In turn, ponding can damage and shorten the lifespan of the roof.

What is Ponding?

Ponding occurs when water from storms and heavy rain collects in pools on a flat roof. In most cases, water runs off quickly, but if the ponding occurs for more than 48 hours, it can lead to roof damage. While roof membranes consist of water-resistant materials, frequently-occurring ponding can damage the roof and make it deteriorate more quickly than usual. 

What Causes Ponding?

There are a few reasons why your home’s flat roof experiences ponding, including heavy rains and storms. Other reasons include:

  • Structural problems in which water doesn’t run off as designed.
  • Improperly installed drains in which something obstructs the water flow and causes water to pool quickly.
  • Roof protrusions such as air conditioning units, vents, or skylights which may stop or impede water flow. The protrusions may create additional points of vulnerability in which water pools or leaks into the roof and the interior of your home.
  • Frequent foot traffic on a flat roof can compact the insulation and cause indentations in which water pools. In some cases, insulation is removed to help water move freely toward drains.

Resolving Ponding Issues

There are several solutions for fixing water ponding problems on your flat roof, including fixing the drainage, fixing a low spot, and repairing the slope of your roof.

  • Fixing the drainage – The drainage is typically the first place to look when seeking the cause of pooling water. The good news is that drainage issues are often easy to fix and may be caused by a clogged drain. Improper drainage may also come from your roof’s gutters and draining channels. In some cases, you may need your professional roofing contractor to create a new drainage channel.

  • Repairing a low spot – Water naturally flows to the lowest place, including to a spot on the roof that’s lower than the surrounding area. While every flat roof has a slight pitch – which causes excess water to flow to the drain or gutters – there may be areas in which it is indented or has a low spot. A professional roofer can fix a low spot in a variety of ways and give it a slope to match the existing pitch of the roof.

  • Fixing the slope – In some cases, a flat roof wasn’t built with the right pitch and may have more than a single low spot or indentation. There are various solutions for fixing a roof’s slope, including new technology which fixes the slope and adds to your home’s energy efficiency. Fixing the slope can be expensive, but also the best solution for repairing flat roofs in which frequent water ponding occurs.

  • Frequent maintenance – Consistent maintenance provided by a trustworthy roofing professional is a healthy dose of preventive medicine to help keep water from pooling on your roof’s surface, or alleviate the problem before damage and deterioration occur.


Regular maintenance may keep a roof warranty valid. Water ponding on a roof which isn’t maintained may lead to damage that a warranty doesn’t cover.

What Sort of Problems Can Water Ponding Cause?

You never want to ignore water ponding on your home’s roof, especially if it occurs frequently in the same areas. If it lasts more than several days, it may lead to issues such as leaking in which the pooled water drains through cracks and openings in your roof.

Additionally, water that pools in one place for an extended period can cause structural damage to the roof, leading to cracks, holes – and leaks.

Water ponding may also lead to damage caused by intense ultraviolet rays from the sun, which often occurs in warm-weather states such as Florida. The standing water acts as a magnifying glass and makes the sun’s rays more intense, which can lead to deterioration of the roof’s surface.

Pools of water may also collect dirt from your roof’s surface and leave behind piles of mud and dirt when they evaporate. The soil, if left untreated, may grow vegetation which slowly deteriorates your roof while leading to more significant damage.

Water ponding may attract mold and insects, while leakage can easily damage the interior of your home. It may also lead to a sagging roof which is no longer safe.

Whether your home’s flat roof is susceptible to ponding, needs replacing, or is due for maintenance, you should rely on the professionals at Imperial Roofing Contractor. They deliver maximum service at an affordable price.