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  • Writer's pictureNutt Roofing & Siding

5 Reasons Ponding Water on Roof is a Problem for Business Owners

Did you know that the roof is one of the most neglected areas in commercial buildings? It’s true. Unless these spaces are being used as storage areas, they tend to go unnoticed by most business owners. Many business owners see this as an opportunity to save cash and make the roof their personal playground. But there are many reasons why you should keep your feet off that roof. In fact, ponding water on roof can be a big problem for businesses if not appropriately addressed. If you are having standing water issues, call Nutt Roofing & Siding, your Carrollton commercial roofing contractor.

Here are five reasons why you should avoid ponding water on your roof and how you can deal with it appropriately:

Puddles on the Roof = Damage to Floors and Walls

Ponding water on the roof can lead to leaks in the ceiling below and severe damage to interior walls and building materials such as drywall, flooring, electrical wiring, and more. Water can also increase the risk of mold and mildew growth in the building, which can cause additional damage. Ensure the roof’s flashing is installed and maintained to avoid this damage. Flashing is the metal or plastic sheeting installed at the edges and junctions of the roof’s components to divert water away from the structure. If puddles are forming on the roof, check for any areas where the flashing is missing or has become dislodged. If you notice any problems, schedule a roof repair as soon as possible to avoid water damage to the building.

Condensation in Duct Work and Venting

Ponding water on the roof can create condensation in the building’s ductwork and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems if the top is uninsulated and unvented. If this happens, the condensation will turn to water, leading to leaks in the duct system and other building materials such as drywall and flooring. When the roof is insulated and vented properly, the warm air inside the building will rise to the roof and be released through the ridge vent. This will allow cool, moist air to enter the building through the roof’s soffit vents. The warm air will again rise to the roof, cooling the moisture and creating condensation. To prevent this, ensure the roof is adequately insulated and vented with ridge vents. You may also want to look into installing a roof exhaust fan or roof-mounted air conditioner to help move the warm moist air out of the building.

Rot and Decay of Roof Framing

If water collects on the roof for an extended period, the wood framing of the roof deck will start to rot and decay. This can happen if the roof is unvented and uninsulated. Roof decks allow water to pass through them and drain to the soffit areas at the roof's edge. However, when there is too much water, the soffit areas can fill with water and cause water to back into the roof deck. When this happens, the wood framing will begin to rot and decay. Eventually, the roof deck will become too weak to support the weight of the roof shingles and other materials. When this happens, the roof will need to be replaced entirely.

All That Standing Water is a Great Culture Medium for Organisms that Ruin Buildings

Standing water on the roof can also be an excellent environment for organisms that cause severe damage to the building materials. Roof shingles, paint, drywall, and other building materials are susceptible to damage from organisms such as algae, fungi, and other microorganisms that thrive in water. To prevent this, you’ll want to ensure that the roof’s water is properly diverted to a proper drainage location. This can mean diverting water from the ridge to the side of the building into gutters and downspouts or a building-approved roof drainage system. You may also consider using an algae inhibitor in the roof’s standing water to prevent organisms from growing. This can be done by using ponding water on roof treatment products, such as an algae inhibitor designed to keep water reservoirs from becoming stagnant. This will stop organisms from growing in the roof’s water.

Incorporating a Roof Repair Plan in Your Commercial Renovation Plans

If you notice that your roof has issues, the best thing to do is to get it fixed quickly. A minor roof leak can quickly become a severe problem if it goes unaddressed over time. In fact, roof repair work is best done when the roof is still under warranty. After the warranty has expired, roof repair can become much more expensive. All roof types and materials eventually need to be replaced. This is a fact of life for buildings of all types and ages. As you incorporate your roof repair plan into your commercial renovation plans, it’s essential to know when to replace your roof. Most roofing contractors can estimate the expected lifespan of your roof.


The roof is one of the most neglected areas in commercial buildings partly because it is hidden from view. But the roof is vital because it protects the building’s interior and occupants. Roofs must be regularly inspected and maintained to prevent problems such as ponding water on the roof. Do you have a roofing question? Visit our website to learn more about roof inspection, repair, and maintenance.

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