Have you noticed water on your roof after heavy rain? Water will usually drain away or evaporate if your roof is structurally sound. However, significant problems arise when water doesn’t drain properly. Standing water can lead to structural damage and leaks inside your home. If you have water that pools for more than two days (also called “ponding”), it’s time to call a qualified roofing contractor. Standing water is a sign of structural or drainage issues you should resolve to protect your roof and interior.
What Causes Standing Water on My Roof?
Standing water has several potential causes:
- Inadequate or blocked drainage systems. When functioning correctly, drainage systems collect water and move it away from your roof. However, damaged or blocked drainage mechanisms can cause standing water. Make sure your drainage systems are clear and working correctly. In residential construction, your gutter system is your most crucial drainage tool. Your gutters are metal or vinyl channels installed along the edge of your roof. They channel water to your downspouts, moving it away from your roof and exterior walls. If gutters are broken or blocked, it can cause standing water. Roof drains and scuppers can help move water on flat commercial roofs toward downspouts.
- Poor roofing design. Roofing design plays a significant role in preventing standing water. For most home roofing projects, a sloped roof helps move water. Different roofing materials have minimum pitch requirements to function correctly. A professional contractor considers slope and drainage in design and installation. That’s why hiring a qualified team is essential when you repair or replace your roof.
- Aging roof and foundation. As your home ages and your foundation settles, it can cause your roof to sag, creating the potential for standing water.
- Compressed or crushed insulation. Your insulation can become degraded over time or compressed by roofing materials, snow on the roof, or other factors. Crushed insulation can cause your roof to sag, creating opportunities for pooling water. Standing water can further compress your insulation, leading to a negative cycle of damage.
What Problems Are Associated With Standing Water on the Roof?
Standing water can damage your roof, exterior and interior in several ways:
- Water leaks can damage your ceilings, interior walls, and insulation.
- Standing water can affect your roofing membrane and asphalt shingles, reducing your roof’s lifespan with extra wear and tear.
- The weight of standing water can cause structural damage to your home. Standing water puts pressure on your roof deck, trusses, and joists and can cause problems, including a sagging roof deck or roof collapse.
How Can I Prevent Standing Water on My Roof?
- Start with high-quality professional design and installation to prevent standing water on your roof. Most homes are designed with pitched roofs instead of flat roofs to allow water to flow downward toward drains and gutter systems.
- Regular roof maintenance is another essential step. Ensure shingles and membrane are intact and gutters are firmly attached and clear of debris. Put additional drainage features in place as needed to keep water flowing away from your roof, exterior walls, and foundation.
- Check your insulation and replace it when necessary to prevent sagging and pooling.
- Choose a qualified professional roofing contractor for your roof replacement and repairs.
If you have standing water on your roof–or want to take proactive steps to prevent water damage– contact a trusted roofing contractor for an inspection. DryHome Roofing and Siding’s team of experts can detect damage and potential problem spots, recommend steps to prevent and repair damage and help you choose the best design and materials for your home. We also specialize in gutter replacements, with professional installation and top-quality materials from trusted suppliers. Rain is a fact of life, but water damage doesn’t have to be.