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About Flat Roofs
Most roofing used on moderate and steep-slope roofs, such as shingles, is installed in an overlapping manner to shed water. Roofing used on low-slope and flat roof surfaces needs to be installed in a waterproof manner, as the minimal slope will result in slower water runoff, or even ponding in many cases. For this reason, roofing products used on steeper slopes are generally not suited for the lower slopes or, at least, they cannot be installed in the same manner. Fortunately, there are many products specifically designed for use on low-slope or flat roofs.
Because of the slower runoff or potential for ponding, low-slope and flat roofs are more prone to leakage than steeper roofs, and proper installation is essential. They also require more maintenance than most steep-slope roofs and must be checked on a regular basis. But since low-slope and flat roofs are often neither readily accessible nor visible to homeowners, maintenance tends to be neglected until it is too late. When leaks do occur, they are also more difficult to locate and correct.
Water ponding on any roof will increase the rate of roof wear and/or chance of leakage. Standard design criteria sometimes allows minor ponding; however, with residential construction, drainage or evaporation of any water should occur within a day of a rainstorm. Whenever possible, measures should be taken to reduce any significant ponding. In some cases, ponding may cause or be the result of roof framing settlement.
Taper systems can be installed before reinstalling your flat roof to help the water drain properly and help reduce ponding.