Four Effective Tips to Resolve Ponding on a Commercial Flat EPDM Roof

EPDM rubber is a synthetic rubber that is widely used in the construction of commercial flat roof systems. The material is ideal for commercial roofing due to its excellent waterproof properties. However, this doesn't prevent water from ponding on the roof. Water ponding is a common problem on flat roofs. Unfortunately, over time, moisture can degrade the roofing material, increasing the risk of leaks. Therefore, if water is stagnating on your flat EPDM roof, check out these four solutions.

Install a thicker membrane

EPDM rubber is impervious to water. However, if water ponds on the surface, it can gradually degrade the surface and cause roof leaks. This is especially true in areas with inclement weather, such as severe solar heat and hailstorms. You can prevent roof leaks by installing a thicker roofing membrane in the sections prone to ponding. Thicker materials are less likely to degrade quickly due to moisture and inclement weather. This solution is suitable where it's impossible to prevent water from stagnating in certain areas of the roof, such as around the penetrations.

Opt for seamless roof penetrations

Flat roofs provide installation space for flues, chimneys, heating and cooling equipment and much more. When installing these penetrations, you have to puncture the roof and apply sealant around the new installation to prevent moisture from infiltrating the structure. Unfortunately, seamed penetrations allow water to collect around them and above the seams. The moisture gradually degrades the materials and causes the roof to leak. You can prevent ponding by opting for seamless penetrations. Also, use quality sealant around the penetrations and re-apply it regularly to prevent leaks.

Coat the roof with closed-cell spray foam

Closed-cell spray foam is an insulation material that forms an air seal where it is installed. When applied on flat rubber roofs, spray foam coats the surface and creates an airtight and waterproof seal. Therefore, moisture cannot degrade the roofing material. Spray foam also creates a smooth layer that allows water to flow easily. Besides solving your ponding problems, spray foam insulation blocks UV radiation and improves the roof's energy efficiency.

Switch to a dark roof colour

If coating the roof with spray foam isn't suitable, opt for a darker roof colour. Light colours reflect heat, thereby preventing moisture from evaporating from the roof's surface. Conversely, darker colours absorb heat, which enables water to evaporate quicker. Note that you don't have to paint your roof black. Colours such as dark grey and bronze can also absorb enough heat to evaporate moisture on the roof surface.

Apply these solutions to prevent water ponding and extend the lifespan of your roof. For commercial roofing services, consult a commercial roofer near you.