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Grand Rapids Roofing: Article About Ice Dams and Standing Water

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Most homeowners would probably not name water as the biggest potential danger to their roof, but it is one of the most frequent causes of damage to a roof and a home. Although a fire or a falling tree may do more immediate damage to a roof, water damage can cause just as much harm, though it is a slow process. Additionally, there are situations where Grand Rapids roofing can collapse due to the weight of water.

Standing water can add a large burden to a roof and become a source of leaks. Standing water in warmer months normally develops due to a depression in a roof or as a result of overflowing gutters, which may also create a drop in the roof's surface.

Water that has been on a roof for more than 48 hours is standing water. When water collects in a particular area on the roof, due to a dip in the roof or because gutters are overflowing, the weight of the water will frequently cause the roof to sag. When this occurs, the amount of water on a roof will keep increasing, as more weight will make the depression larger.

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Even a shallow pool of water can be difficult for the rooftop's surface to support. A one inch deep pool of water over a 10 foot square area is the equivalent of 500 pounds of weight. Once the weight of water goes over the load bearing capacity of the roof, a collapse may occur.

Even if the roof doesn't collapse, leaks are more likely to form when water cannot flow off of the roof properly. Asphalt shingles have pinpoint imperfections in them, and, when water stays in the same place, it will have time to start working its way into these holes and to the roof deck. Once it infiltrates the roof deck, a number of leaks can form in the home's interior.

Ice dams that occur during winter can also be a source of standing water. When a roof is radiating heat, snow on top of it may melt. Melted snow will flow down a roof until it meets freezing air again and ice dams will form at the edge of a roof. In addition to creating icicles, this creates a wall of ice that additional melted snow cannot get past.

Large amounts of standing water may be trapped on a roof behind an ice dam, leading to leaks and creating depressions where the water is trapped.

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