Flat asphalt roofs are notoriously prone to leaks and moisture damage. That’s because they’re not designed to handle water for a long time, and water tends to pool on low-slope surfaces. Here are some tips on how to prevent pooling water below.
The Problem With Flat Roofs
First off, we need to clear a few misconceptions. The term flat roof is a bit of a misnomer because it’s slightly elevated – the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association recommends a minimum of ¼ inch per foot – to allow water to flow down to the drains. However, if the drains are clogged, or their capacity isn’t enough to handle the amount of rain, water can accumulate on the roof surface.
As a rule of thumb, standing water shouldn’t be left unattended on your roof for more than 48 hours. The added weight load from pooling water can eventually cause some parts of your roof to collapse. Algae and vegetation can also form on your roof if standing water is left unattended for too long.
How to Deal With Moisture Issues
Routine roof maintenance is the best way to prevent moisture damage to your flat roof. That way, drains are kept free of debris, and potential issues are addressed before they can affect other parts of your home. Aside from following a maintenance routine, it’d be a good idea to have a roofer inspect your roof to identify structural weak points. We’ve listed below some of the modifications a roofer can make to prevent recurring issues:
Install secondary or emergency drains to reduce the risk of ponding water stemming from clogged drains
Raise the slope of problem areas on your roof
Install additional components to improve drainage
Don’t forget to vet contractors before hiring them: installation errors can worsen preexisting flat roof issues.
Tedrick’s Roofing, a proud member of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), offers a wide range of professional roofing services. To get a free estimate, call us at (206) 824-3440, or fill out our form here. We serve homeowners in Tacoma, WA, as well as the surrounding communities.