How to drain ponding water on a flat industrial roof

Commercial and industrial roofs are often flat and tend to suffer from problems related to ponding water as a result.

‘Ponding water’ is water that sits on your roof in a puddle for an extended period of time. It occurs because flat roofs do not drain water as easily as their pitched counterparts.

Whilst not an immediate threat to your commercial building, if ponding water is allowed to persist, the water can begin to wear down the membrane of your roof. Over time, this can lead to leaks, and can ultimately cause serious problems for the rest of your building.

If your industrial premises fall victim to ponding water, there are thankfully several tactics that you can employ to resolve the issue swiftly. In this blog, we’ll discuss what these methods are and how they could help to fix the problem of standing water on your roof, avoiding the potential for leaks.

Flush industrial roof drainage system to prevent ponding water

In the same way as household drains, industrial and commercial roof drains can become clogged with debris over time. When these blockages become severe, rainwater has no exit route, causing water to pond on your flat industrial roof.

To prevent your commercial roof drains from becoming blocked, you should regularly remove sticks, leaves, and rubbish from your roof’s drainage system. Maintaining your drains in this way will not only allow water to flow away from your premises, but could actually prolong the life of your drains.

If your commercial roof is difficult to access, the best way to keep your drains clear is to hire an industrial roofing contractor such as NWIR to perform the necessary maintenance a couple of times per year.

Whilst this preventative maintenance will cost you money, it’s nothing compared to the money you’ll save on expensive repairs in the long run.

Hire an industrial roofing contractor to fix low spots on your roof

Whilst your commercial or industrial roof may look flat, this is not always entirely the case. Due to very slight slopes that can occur during the installation process, there can be areas of your roof that are lower than others, often leading to a build-up of debris and ponding water.

Experienced industrial roofing contractors can gently slope a flat roof for drainage purposes. This will carry rainwater away from your roof and direct it to the appropriate drains and sewers.

Add additional drains to industrial roof

If your current drainage system is struggling to effectively remove water from your flat industrial roof, additional drains could be a consideration.

As expert industrial roofing contractors, NWIR can install extra drains on flat commercial roofs, or even widen your existing drains to properly direct excess water away.

Whilst this is one of the more expensive options to resolve the problem of ponding water on flat roofs, it is by far one of the most effective.

Roof crickets for flat industrial roof

If water is ponding on specific areas of your flat industrial roof, such as around roofing obstructions (e.g. large vents or chimneys), then roof crickets could be the answer.

Roof crickets are ridged constructions that divert water away from areas around roofing obstructions where water can pool due to their positioning or design.

Hire industrial roofing contractor to re-pitch flat commercial roof

One reason that your flat commercial roof could be suffering from ponding water is if the roof was not properly designed or installed in the first place. All roofs need at least a slight slope, even ‘flat roofs’.

Whilst re-pitching the roof could be costly, if your roof has been built incorrectly, it could be the only way to solve the issue of persistent standing water.

How does compressed insulation cause ponding water on flat roofs?

Compressed insulation is another leading cause of ponding water on flat industrial roofs. This is caused by heavy equipment resting on the insulation during the installation of the roof, or repeatedly standing on the same area of the roof. Indentations in your roof caused by these activities can lead to standing water on your roof, which could affect the roof membrane and lead to bigger issues down the line.

Contact NWIR for advice

If you’re suffering with ponding water on your flat commercial roof, give us a call today. We can conduct a thorough commercial roof survey to discover the cause of the standing water and discuss your options for putting it right. Speak to a member of our friendly team by calling 0800 046 1500 or send us a message today and we’ll get back to you shortly.