Homes with a flat roof are impossible to ignore. They’re beautiful and distinctive, turning the heads of passersby every day. Unfortunately, flat roofs also have unique challenges, especially if they’re older. One of the most common problems is water ponding on the roof. What should you do if water is sitting on your roof?

Is Water Ponding Really a Problem?

Your roof should be able to handle a little water, right? Yes and no. Roofing materials are designed to repel moisture and prevent water from entering the home, but leaving a pond of water on the roof is asking for trouble.

For one thing, it can cause leaks that damage your home’s underlying structure. Even if these only start out as tiny drips, the fact that water is sitting there gradually makes the tears larger until your home has a big problem. In fact, water sitting for too long can actually break down the roof membrane early, making it so your roof that was supposed to last 20–30 years only lasts half that.

Another problem is growth of mold, bacteria and fungi. This gives the roof an unpleasant appearance and smell. It can make home maintenance more difficult and add to yearly preventative maintenance costs for the roof. If any of this mold or fungi gets below the surface and into your home, the results (and costs) can be disastrous.

Is There Anything You Can Do To Stop Water Ponding?

Homeowners can be aware of heavy rain, especially if your flat roof is designed for foot traffic. You may be able to get rid of standing water with a gentle broom or squeegee. This is only a temporary fix, however.

The real solution is to contact a roofing professional to correct the reason ponding is happening. This usually means improving the leveling and drainage of the roof. A correctly installed flat roof shouldn’t have water ponds in the first place. Also, there are special coatings that reinforce the moisture protection of your roof.

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