While commercial buildings’ roofs appear to be flat, they actually have a slope, typically a 1:12 or 2:12 pitch. A roof cannot be completely flat because it needs to be able to shed water following a rainstorm. This is why your commercial roof’s drainage system is so important for keeping your building watertight.
What is ponding water?
Following a rainstorm, water should properly drain off your roof within one to two days. If, after a couple of days, there are pools of water (also called ponding water) on the roof, you could be in for some trouble. Areas on your roof that hold water can lead to growth of mold and mildew, ultimately leading to the weakening and degradation of the roofing system.
The other problem that standing water brings with it is weight. Water is heavy and can overload your roof’s weight capacity and potentially cause it to collapse.
Roof drains for commercial roofs
There are several types of drains that could be installed on your roof. There are typical roof drains that are installed at low points on your roof and if your roof has parapet walls, you may even have some thru-wall scuppers that guide water into a downspout and away from the building.
Because drains are installed at the low points on your roof, leaves and other debris can be carried along in the water as it tries to leave the roof. Most drains have a cover to prevent debris from clogging but if not regularly cleared, the debris will build up around the drains, blocking the water’s exit and creating a ponding water problem.
Keeping the drains clog free
It’s a good idea to inspect your roof drains in the fall and the spring to clear away leaves, branches and other debris that may cause water to pond on your roof. In fact, many manufacturers require regular maintenance and inspections to keep your warranty intact. Lack of maintenance is one of the main reasons for failure on a commercial roof.
While rain and water is necessary for the health of the planet and ourselves, it can be detrimental to your commercial building if not properly managed and drained. If you suspect that water isn’t properly draining from your roof, contact the commercial roofing experts at Texas Traditions Roofing for an inspection and recommendation.