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Water Ponding: All You Need to Know

If you’ve ever experienced large pools of water on your property, you’ll know how annoying and inconvenient water ponding can be, not to mention how dangerous.

So here’s everything you need to know about ponding; from how it’s caused to what you can do about it.

What is Water Ponding?

Firstly, for those who don’t know what it is, water ponding is a common problem that can occur wherever there is a flat surface such as on top of a flat roof, on large flat decks, outside a garage, on your drive, or on balconies.

Water usually accumulates after a heavy downpour leaving pools of water in inconvenient places such as entrance doors and by sliding patio windows. It can also be a problem outside garage areas, as it means you have to navigate through puddles to get to your car.

Occasionally you’ll find that it’s a problem on concrete stairs, where a reverse slope holds onto the water and stops it from draining away.

This can become a safety issue, especially if the water sits long enough to allow slimy algae to grow. The problem is worsened if the area is shaded or hidden as it will take much longer to dry out if it’s not exposed to sun and wind.

Why Does Water Ponding Occur?

Water ponding occurs after a heavy rainstorm or downpour when water is unable to drain away, especially on exterior concrete floors with inadequate draining. It’s usually caused by lack of water runoff toward the drain, although it can also result from cracks in walls that allow water to leak through onto the floor.

Sometimes ponding can be noticed close to wastewater treatment systems. These systems need to be desludged by a professional to get rid of the ponding.

However, the main problem is that it’s really difficult to get concrete surfaces completely flat, with just the right amount of slope to ensure runoff. Therefore water ponding is likely when an area is not flat enough or where there is an inadequate slope.

That said, it’s not always down to the way in which concrete floors were laid. All concrete structures start to sag over time, allowing water to pool in sunken areas.

Surprisingly, water ponding can also occur as a result of having your concrete surface repaired, especially if the repair is thicker or less flat than the original surface.

This is due to the difference in techniques and tools used to repair concrete compared to those used to lay a new surface.

How can you Prevent or Correct Water Ponding?

All horizontal building surfaces have a potential for water ponding.  Whether water is entering from above, or from cracks in the walls, it will be necessary to undertake some kind of restoration project to stop the ponding and reduce the chance of that area becoming a safety hazard.

To prevent water ponding, it’s necessary to grind down any high areas of concrete that are causing water to collect on its surface. However, care must be taken not to grind high areas down too much or this could cause new areas of water ponding to develop.

If there’s a low area on the concrete, this should be filled with appropriate material using a screed tool, taking care not to fill it any higher than the height reached by the water. When done properly, this kind of restoration work can eliminate water ponding and keep your surfaces dry and safe after a downpour.

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