Category Archives: Roofing Insurance Claims

Flat Roof Ponding

Is It Acceptable to Have Ponding On My Flat Roof?

By Allen Sensel

Moderate Water Ponding


There is a lot of speculation with older building designs and how their flat roofs have a tendency to collect pools of standing water referred to as ponding. The purpose of this report is to provide clarity for a commonly misunderstood notion that a flat roof, whether it’s asphaltic built-up, modified bitumen, or any kind of single-ply membrane, should not bear any kind of collection of rain water. I will provide brief examples from the IBC, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Factory Mutual, all of whom mandate construction and renovation standards to comply with regional climates,weather patterns, and safety.


Ponding water, as described by the IBC and recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is water that remains on a roof surface longer than 48 hours after the termination of the most recent rain event.

Standing Water

This explanation from the IBC can also point out that directly following persistent rainfall, water is not considered standing until after 48 hours of dry weather, after which, can evaporate efficiently at temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Only when the same volume of water exists after this period can there be a concern for potential leaks, providing that the roof system was properly installed.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development elaborates on how building inspectors approach ponding after an installation:

“48 hours before conducting a physical inspection, check the local weather forecast to see if precipitation is expected. If there has been precipitation within 48 hours prior to your inspection, use your judgement in deciding if observable ponding is due to the recent precipitation or because of an ongoing problem. Keep in mind that some flat roofs are designed to allow ponding.”

Concurrent with the size of the roof, Factory Mutual Global explains rain load on a dead flat roof:

“ Roofs should be designed with positive drainage: however, dead-flat roofs consistent with this guideline are acceptable.”

An older building will lack modern specifications for framing slopes a minimum of  1/4” rise per 12” run. The solution to controlling water flow on a dead flat roof, if ponding is still a noticeable concern after following the aforementioned provisions, is designing a framed slope for positive drainage to scuppers and/or bowl drains.


“Definitions Supplement.” U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development Real Estate Assessment, October, 2001: 3

“Roof Loads for New Construction.” FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets, September 2006: 3-5

International Code Council. 2009 International Building Code. 2009



When Your Washington Roof is Damaged, Know Your Insurance Claims

Greetings from sunny Colorado, Washington home owners and roof shoppers! I’ve come to the excellent Chase Construction blog today to help you deal with the sometimes confusing process of roof insurance claims. If you experience roof damage, you should know a bit about the claims process for Washington roof damage.

There are many myths and inaccuracies about roof damage and insurance claims. The first thing you should do if you believe your roof has damage is schedule a roof inspection. Your roof can be damaged by wind, storms, hail, tree branches, and more. Even if you don’t see any missing shingles, a local roof contractor can tell you if you have a possible claim.


TLeak repair for Tacoma Washingtonhe biggest myth about roof insurance claims is that your insurance company will raise your rates if you file one. This is simply not true! Insurance companies are used to dealing with roof claims and, especially if your area suffered from a recent storm, your neighbors are likely making similar claims.

Your roofer will work with your insurance agent to determine several key factors for your roof claim:

RCV (Replacement Cost Value): This is the estimated cost for repairs, determined by your insurance company.


If your roof condition has deteriorated, it will result in Depreciation. Depreciation means your roof is worth less than it used to be due to wear and tear over time. Your insurance agent will deduct the Depreciation from the RCV to create the Actual Cash Value (ACV). This is how much your roof is currently worth.


Deductible: The deductible is simply the amount of the claim that you, the homeowner, are responsible for. Your deductible should be predetermined in your homeowner’s insurance policy.


To figure out your final claim, your insurance agent will subtract your deductible and any depreciation from the Replacement Cost Value. They then add the Base Service Charges, which are extra costs reimbursed to your construction company for travel time and setup.

In the end, you only have to worry about paying your deductible. You will sign over your insurance checks to the contractor to pay for the total cost of your new roof.

Protect Your Tacoma Roof

You should also check your policy for exclusions and other roof related items. Your insurance might exclude certain coverage toavoid taking on extra expenses. Common roof exclusions are:

Complete replacement. You can almost always get your roof repairs covered, but sometimes full replacement is refused. Usually damage from neglect or poor maintenance leads to denied coverage, but storm damage or other damage from external elements, like trees, will be OK.

Material restrictions. Some insurance companies will deny claims for new wood shake, slate, stone and/or tile roofs. Wood shake is denied most often because it isn’t as durable and can be pricey. New  and “green” roofing materials can be denied because insurance companies don’t know what to expect from them in the future. Your best bet for a roof claim is to replace your roof with asphalt shingles or metal roofing.

Roof age. The older your roof is, the less likely it is to be covered by insurance. Old age makes it hard to tell where damage came from. If you buy a new home, you should make sure there aren’t shingle layers stacked on top of each other. Sometimes roofers install shingles on top of the old ones. This saves on labor but is likely to result in denied insurance claims down the road.

It can seem like a big pain when your roof is damaged, especially in the case of severe damage. But with this knowledge under your belt, you’ll be better prepared to deal with your insurance claim process!

This guest post was written by Metro Construction, a Denver roofer and general contractor that serves Colorado and Wyoming. Metro offers roofing, insulation, siding, gutters, windows and painting. One of only 120 Platinum Preferred contractors with Owens Corning in the United States, Metro is dedicated to top of the line service and customer satisfaction.