Roof trusses support the roof of a house or building. In residential construction, they are most often made of wood, which is subject to damage over time. With proper maintenance, roof trusses will last as long as the house and can provide a slight edge over rafter construction in a fire. Since roof trusses work independently, even if one truss is damaged or collapses in a fire, the others will continue to support the roof, which could even save lives.
Roof Truss repair and Maintenance
Missing roof shingles or tiles and damaged or improperly installed flashing can lead to leaks in the roof and may allow insects to enter the home. Water damage to trusses can weaken them and result in damage. Many insects feed on wood and the damage they cause can literally bring the house down if the problem is not addressed promptly. Inspecting the roof and trusses at least once a year in the fall can prevent minor damage from becoming major damage.
Amateur Roof Inspection
Many homeowners are not sure what to look for when inspecting their roof. It usually is not necessary to climb onto the outside of the roof, since a visual inspection from the ground should locate loose or missing shingles. Checking attic spaces for water leaks and insects is the best way to find problems with a roof's integrity. Roof sheathing is usually constructed from plywood and water stains usually show clearly on its surface.
When to Call Professional Roof Repair Service
If there is a leak in a roof and/or leaking or water damage in a ceiling, it may be necessary to call a professional contractor. Water leaks can travel along beams, so where they appear on the interior of the house may be several feet away from the location of the actual roof leak. The contractor can quickly locate the source of the leak and provide an estimate to repair existing damages, including repairs to roof trusses if necessary.
How to Repair a Roof Truss
This is a two-person job, since one person is needed to hold the truss straight while the other puts the patch in place. Measure the width of the truss and purchase two 4' sections of board of the same width. While the helper holds the broken truss straight, place and center one board over the damaged area if possible. Use wood screws to attach the first patch board; when it is secured, repeat the process on the other side of the truss.
Maintenance is the key to avoiding potentially expensive repairs to roof trusses. If a homeowner knows the name of the company that manufactured the trusses for his home, he may be able to order a new truss to replace a damaged one. Installing a new truss may require removing and replacing a section of roof, which is inconvenient and costly. Prompt repair and yearly maintenance of roof trusses in important to the integrity of the building.