Yutzy Roofing Service LLC

The Harmful Effects of Pooling Water on Commercial Roofs

The roofing is an important part of any building. Without it, water and other adverse elements would have a field day penetrating the structure. Perhaps that\’s why roof replacements contribute to 90% of the value in the roofing industry.

Pooling water is one of the leading causes of roof damage. Failure to nip the problem in the bud can prove costly in the long run. If you let the problem escalate, you may have to perform costly repairs or replace the entire roof.

To understand the seriousness of water pooling on the roof, you must look at some of its harmful effects in-depth. Here are some common ones.

Fostering Plant Growth

In an ideal world, people wouldn’t have problems with plants growing wherever they can thrive. After all, our efforts are geared toward green solutions. Permitting plants to grow on rooftops doesn\’t sound like a smart idea in the real world.

Plant roots tend to destroy roofing materials by burrowing into them. Burrowing roots into the roof\’s insulation and substrate creates paths for moisture to enter the building. Accumulation of moisture beyond certain levels has devastating effects on a roof.

Ponding water on a flat roof encourages the growth of plants such as algae and moss, among other species. Plants will turn your roof into their ecosystem if you let the water pool long enough. Species like mildew and mold on roofs pose a health hazard to the commercial building occupants in question.

Destruction of the Roofing Materials

Pooling water has primary and secondary destructive effects on your roofing material. The primary effect deals with the magnification of the sun’s rays. Think of the water’s surface as a magnifying glass that amplifies the ultra-violet rays from the sun reaching your roof.

The amplification increases the intensity of the sun\’s radiation beyond what builders anticipated while designing and constructing your roof. The excess heat reaching your rooftop hastens the breakdown of the roofing materials.

This process may force you to look for a flat roof repair service earlier than expected.

The secondary destructive effect of pooling water on roofing material results from vegetation growth caused by pooling water. Pooling water traps dirt particles present in the air. Accumulation of dirt particles plus moisture creates the perfect breeding ground for vegetation.

Pooling Water Can Lead to the Collapse of a Roof

The areas beneath pooling water on a roof begin to deteriorate as the pooling persists. Note that a majority of the roofing materials aren\’t 100% impervious. They\’ll start to break down slowly in the absence of effective flat roof water drainage channels to get rid of the pooling water.

Soon, the water saturation level of your roofing increases beyond the acceptable limit. This action induces an extra weight that the structure must support, and it will, for a while. Remember that pooling water encourages vegetation growth, which burdens the structure to bear.

As time goes by, roofing material begins to rot and deteriorate due to moisture from pooling water. Rotting and deterioration of the various roofing materials weaken the roof\’s ability to support its weight. The chances of the roof caving in are high at this point, and you won\’t see it coming.

In some cases, you might get lucky as the roof may fail to cave in. But even then, the roof will begin to sag, which isn\’t good for the reputation of any commercial building. Take this as a sign to start looking for ways to stop water pooling on a flat roof.


The ponding water on a flat roof rarely remains in one spot for a long time. The water seeps into cracks and crevices present on the roof before finding its way into the interior roofing components. As more water finds its way into the interior parts of the roof, the scale of destruction intensifies.

It won\’t take long before the commercial building occupants begin noticing that their ceilings and walls are frequently damp. Mold grows well on damp interior walls and ceilings of buildings. Anyone who lives with molds in the same building exposes themselves to health risks.

You should be concerned when there are leaks in the building due to pooling water. It\’s an indicator of extensive damage on the roofing that may need a complete roof replacement. A repair will only provide a temporary solution.

Habitat for Pests and Insects

Mosquitoes, flies, bugs, and other insects love warm and still waters. Such an environment provides the best spot for them to live and multiply. You\’ll have to deal with many problems when these animals find such habitats on your roof.

For starters, the insects will be a nuisance to the immediate occupants of your building. Your tenants will start exploring other options if you fail to solve the problem within an acceptable period.

The insects will also find their way into the neighboring buildings if you fail to control them. This is risky to the entire community as these insects harbor diseases. Failure to deal with them will get you into trouble with the local authorities.

Ice Damage

Differential temperatures during winter force water to freeze and melt on your rooftop. This freeze-thaw cycle has visible adverse effects on the structural integrity of roofs. Contraction and expansion of water create and widen cracks on the roof.

The effects of the freeze-thaw cycle on roofs are insidious. It may be too late for you when you spot the cracks as they would have progressed deep into the structure. If you have a pooling water problem, rectify it before winter to be on the safe side.

Yutzy Has a Solution

Dealing with a collapsing roof is the worst-case scenario for any business owner. Sadly, pooling water can make this a reality in the most unexpected times.

Suppose you are lucky to escape a caving roof; you\’ll still have to deal with a myriad of problems resulting from pooling water on commercial roofs. Let Yutzy Roofing Service help you avert these crises on time. Contact us today for your free roof restoration estimate.

Scroll to Top