When you’re driving through rain and encounter a puddle, your vehicle can lose traction. Roadways are engineered to use gravity to direct rainwater into trenches, but wear and tear from heavy traffic can disrupt the natural flow. 

The same design principles apply to roofs. The steep slope of residential roofs essentially eliminates the possibility of water retention, but it’s a serious concern for flat roofs atop commercial buildings. 

“Flat” roofs are never truly flat. Building codes require that flat roofs have a minimum 2% slope, or ¼ of an inch for every foot. That ever-so-slight slope uses gravity to channel water off the roof. Over time, though, roofing materials can begin to break down or the roofing deck can begin to sag under the enormous weight of a roof. 

Small puddles can form after a rainstorm. Sometimes, they’ll dry up once the sun returns. Other times, they’ll stay for hours or days, or during Florida’s rainy season, puddles could last for weeks and become as much as a few inches deep. The National Roofing Contractors Association advises that roofs should be designed “to ensure drainage of a roof area within 48 hours following rainfall under conditions conducive to drying.” 

Across Southwest Florida, property owners must recognize the potential consequences for not addressing ponding issues. Ponding may: 

  • Deteriorate roofing materials 
  • Permit roof leaks 
  • Loosen adhesives 
  • Foster mold and algae growth 
  • Create breeding ground for mosquitoes and insects 

A 1-square-foot section of a roof holding just 1 inch of water creates a pressure equivalent to 5.2 pounds. Across a large roof, the immense weight of standing water can cause a roof structure to sag or buckle. 

There are numerous causes for ponding on a flat roof, including the age and condition of roofing materials, poor installation and design, and debris blocking drains or gutters.  

Target Roofing’s certified inspectors have earned the highest level of industry credentials, and we offer free inspections so commercial property owners can better understand the condition of their roof.  

The best way to detect ponding before your roof starts leaking is to have an annual maintenance plan. By being proactive, you can rest easy knowing our team has you covered. 

Call us today for your FREE estimate! 


Flat roofs in Florida require precision, special attention 

Ever wonder why flat roofs are white and others are not? 

What is TPO roofing, and why is it so popular?