How can I tell if my roof is safe?

How can I tell if my roof is safe?

A visual inspection is the first step. Go up in the attic and check the rafters. Look for any sagging. Are they on 24 inch centers or 16 inch centers? Are they 2×6, 2×8, etc? How long of a span do they have. Is it a steep roof or a flatter roof? How thick is the sheeting? These are factors to consider when inspecting your roof!

If you notice sagging additional support is needed. There are a number of ways to add support for the rafters. Collar braces are the most common. A collar brace is a framing member that runs from one rafter across to the opposite rafter. In many instances this will solve the problem. If additional support is needed a framing member can be nailed horizontally across the rafters and then vertical supports can be installed bearing on the top of a wall and nailed into the horizontal framing member. In one case 2×4’s were used for rafters with long spans. This roof really needed help! With the help of an architect I built an elaborate support system to support the roof! In most cases it is best to call a professional carpenter to inspect and repair the problem.

Chances are the roofs that recently collapsed were on 24 inch centers and did not have additional support to help carry the load. They may have had ½ sheeting instead of 5/8 sheeting. Roof building is complex and critical to the integrity of your home! When people cut corners on roof building they are setting themselves up for disaster!

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