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  • Writer's pictureJessica Foster

Potential Issues with Roof Structure

When it comes to any construction project, a weak roof makes the whole building vulnerable. Roofs serve as a barrier that separates the interior of a home from the outside, protecting the inside from weather and so on. As such, roofs being in top condition is critical. Understanding the warning signs of a failing roof is the first step to ensuring a roof is kept safe. The National Association of Home Builder’s has observations to look out for as well as their fixes for consumers and contractors alike.

There are multiple issues that can arise regarding the roof’s structure, one being the deflection of the roof ridge. The ridge refers to the highest point of the roof, where the two roof planes intersect. Deflection, or sag, can naturally occur due to time as well as gravity. As long as the deflection isn’t greater than 1 inch in 8 feet, repair isn’t necessary. However, if the deflection is outside of this tolerance, it is deemed excessive and needs to be repaired. In this scenario, extra weight such as another layer of shingles should be avoided. Aside from the ridge, rafter/ceiling joists may end up bowing. Like the tolerance with roof deflection, joists that bow more than 1 inch in 8 feet are considered excessive and require repair. It’s important to remember minimal deflection and bowing is natural and should only be dealt with when excessive, to avoid unnecessary repair costs.

Another part of the roof that may end up with deflection is the roof truss, which refers to the triangular structural framework of the roof. Trusses should be sized according to building codes as well as manufacturer specifications to avoid excessive deflection. Minimal deflection of the trusses should be expected, as sag occurs naturally over time due to forces like gravity, and deflection is usually accounted for when it comes to the engineering design of the roof. Deflection can also be implemented for aesthetic reasons, or to compensate for another condition in the roof. Ultimately, as long as the trusses are in line with building codes, some deflection is okay and doesn’t need repair.

One last observation that pertains to roof trusses is then being lifted from the interior wall. Truss uplift can occur due to a difference in moisture between the upper and lower chord. However, truss uplift doesn’t require repair and usually is implemented for aesthetic purposes. Truss uplift is independent from the safety requirements of trusses as well, so there aren’t any tolerances that need to be known. Truss uplift is also more common during the winter due to a higher variance in moisture and temperature.

The structure of the roof is only one component and yet there are multiple factors to look out for when it comes to ensuring it is in peak condition. At Fine Remodeling, we are your Delaware contractor experienced with performance guidelines to ensure your renovation project can proceed smoothly. Get in touch with us about your next project so you can be sure it's done right the first time.

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