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September 2, 2022 Kathi Markan

August HUD-REAC Newsletter: Roofs – Ponding (Building Exterior)

Roofs – Ponding

(Building Exterior)

In this August 2022 issue of our HUD-REAC Monthly Newsletter, I am going to discuss the deficiency: Roofs: Ponding because it is an extremely high-scoring deficiency.

Ponding is recorded under Site-Grounds and Parking Lots as well – and must meet certain parameters to be recorded in each area but Exterior-Roof-Ponding is unique in that it can be recorded even when no water is currently present.


*Our next HUD-REAC/UPCS Webinar Training Series starts September 29th!*

Register here: Getting REAC Ready Webinar Series



Roofs – Ponding – Federal Register

Many people don’t think of this deficiency as it is not discussed in the Compilation Bulletin, however it is in the Federal Register and one that is frequently recorded against properties.



You see EVIDENCE of areas of standing water, such as a roof depression, mold ring, or efflorescence* water ring.

NOTE: If there has been rain 1/10” or more in the last 2 days – consider the impact on any actual ponding. Determine ponding has occurred only when there is clear evidence of a persistent or long-standing problem.

Level 1: N/A

Level 2: N/A

Level 3: You see evidence of standing water on the roof, causing potential or visible damage to roof surface or underlying materials.


What is considered “Evidence?”

  1. Staining


  1. Roof depression – indicative of rotted roof sheathing


  1. Efflorescence* – this one can be a bit complicated and lengthy to explain. Simply put, efflorescence is the white chalky mineral deposits left when water evaporates.  It completely depends on the type of roofing material you have as to when efflorescence is indicative of a problem or just superficial and temporary surface discoloration.  Sometimes, it’s an indicator that your roof lifespan is nearing its end. Bottom line – find out the cause.  Is the swamp cooler leaking onto the roof? Do you have cementitious products in the roof material? Is it the result of an algae?




  1. Moss growth on flat roofs

If it takes more than 2 days for your roof ponding to evaporate/drain, this is a major issue.  For instance, in the picture below water has been standing a while.  As the sun beats on the water, the water acts as a magnifying glass, scorching the membrane underneath!


*The Federal Register has a major typo indicating ‘effervescence’ as evidence of ponding instead of the correct word, ‘efflorescence.’