Is Ponding Normal on a Flat Roof?

Noticed water sitting on your flat roof? After a few searches online, you’ll no doubt come across the term ‘ponding’ or ‘pooling’. The next question is whether it’s completely normal or something you should worry about. Read on as we take a closer look.

Why ponding is ‘normal’

In some ways, ponding is ‘normal’ on flat roofs, in the sense that it’s quite common. While well-kept pitched roofs can last anywhere between 40-100 years, flat roofs have a lifespan closer to 20 years. In that time, various problems can develop that lead to ponding.

A build-up of debris on the roof can catch water, eventually causing materials to wear away in particular spots and make the ponding worse. Or debris could build up in your gutters, blocking the route for water to run off.

Alternatively, you might have particularly low spots on your roof where the covering or substrate has worn away. That could lead to a vicious cycle where ponding water makes the low spots even worse.

And why it isn’t…

On the other hand, ponding isn’t ‘normal’ to a degree that you should just accept it. For one, because it could be easily repaired. Debris can be cleared from your roof and gutters to stop water ponding. You can also eliminate low spots or use roof crickets around protrusions like skylights to get rid of ponding.

If the problem is spotted early enough, these fixes can eliminate ponding before any permanent damage is done. However, if you accept it as ‘normal’, the ponding will only get worse, which puts extra pressure on the materials.

On top of all that, ponding could be a sign that your roof has come to the end of its lifespan. Instead of dismissing it as a normality for flat roofs, you could be proactive in arranging a replacement. That would mean sidestepping all the hassle and internal damage from water leaking into your property.

Ponding vs normal runoff

Finally, it’s worth noting that not all water on your flat roof is classed as ponding. Despite the name, flat roofs have a very low slope of around 1-10 degrees, which allows water to make its way slowly but surely into your gutters and drainpipes.

Compared to the 25- to 45-degree slope on pitched roofs, this means water is much slower to make its way off your flat roof. However, if rainwater forms a small puddle, and it’s still there after 48 hours, then it’s probably time to call a roofer.

Eliminate ponding on your flat roof

Want to stop water ponding on your flat roof? With a wealth of experience installing and repairing flat roofs around Barnsley, DPR Roofing can identify the root cause of ponding water and eliminate it for good.

Whether it’s a small fix or a complete replacement, we’ll always recommend the best solution for your property. To get the ball rolling, contact our team on 01226 670 008 or email [email protected], and we’ll arrange an inspection at a time and date that suits you.