Here Are Reasons Why Your Low Slope Roof Isn’t Draining

One of the problems with low slope roofs is their tendency to gather water. Low slope roofs serve as a platform for collecting rainwater, which is an issue due to the potential for leaks. Ponding water on your roof can lead to problems, including cracks and significant leaks, creating an environment for algae growth.


The main culprits behind low slope roof drainage issues are often shingles that have not been installed adequately and ice dams. Shingles must be laid entirely flat to prevent water from pooling up, and when ice dams form, they block water from draining away from the roof. Your roofing company should provide the following reasons why your roof isn’t working correctly:


Gutter Debris


Gutter debris can create a significant disruption to the effectiveness of your gutters. When the gutters are clogged, dirt and other elements pile up in front of them. This accumulation isn’t just because the drains are left uncleaned, but it can also be caused by roof edge materials that don’t allow rainwater to pass through.


Roof edge gutters depend on proper wood blocking to help funnel water away from the building. In addition, the insulation must be higher than the wood blocking so that rainwater can drain properly.


Two-Way Sloped Roofing


Sometimes a roofing company will create a structure that slopes two ways. Ideally, the roof drains would be located at the low point; however, a steel beam is situated there in many circumstances, forcing the gutters to be relocated up-slope from their low points.


Water does not flow uphill, so this design will often fail. Reworking designs with this particular flaw is necessary to fix the problem.


Four-Way Sloped Roofing


A sloped structure offered by a roofing company can be a positive design for drainage, but it will only work if the drain is in the lowest spot. With a four-way slope, the drain is most often not located at the lowest point. Sometimes gutters are installed close to the low end, but it’s still high, and ponding will occur. Fixing this involves shifting the low point towards the drain and creating an artificial low point; this can be accomplished with a sump.


Roof Decks with Insulation


Decks have a slight angle. They are never set at a level angle to maximize their drainage capabilities. This means garden hoses tend to fall when placed on the ground. To prevent this from happening, level boards provided by your roofing company should slope downwards. One solution is to increase the width of the panels as you go further from the house to increase the slope. Boards can be made more prominent in size by using a ½-inch-per-foot slope toward the roofline once you pass the house.


The Lack of Crickets


No, we’re not talking about the noisy insects. Crickets are a secondary application of tapered insulation used to divert water from the peaks and valleys on rooftops, typically placed near low points. The cricket generally is diamond- or triangle-shaped, sloping upward to the drainage location, such as a drain or scupper. 


While many people think of crickets only in terms of their use in two-way tapered roofing systems, they can also be effective when used with roofing systems that are not tapered. Homeowners can use single-sloped still-air decks to direct water around rooftop mechanical units.


Work with a Competent Roofing Company


A professional roofing company will either ensure these concerns are addressed before installation, eliminate them from the equation altogether, or both. Go for those who focus on quality, meaning they don’t mind charging a reasonable fee while getting the job done right. Don’t be fooled by the more affordable competitor. They could be setting you up for more maintenance services down the line.


Get in touch with Three Mountain Roofing today to solve or eliminate these pesky drainage problems! We’re a roofing company specializing in residential and commercial areas throughout Vermont. Call us for your free inspection today!

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