Never modify, alter, or remove a roof truss without consulting a licensed professional engineer.
Because roof trusses are engineered components, any damage or alteration can affect the structural integrity of the overall roofing system. Damage to one or two may not necessarily result in overall structural failure. However, it may still cause the roof or ceiling to sag. Issues on roof trusses are one of the most common discoveries during a home inspection. In this article, I will discuss what a roof truss is, its importance in the overall structural integrity of your home, and the dangers a damaged roof truss can have.
I recently conducted a home inspection in Phoenix, Arizona. The air conditioning unit has been replaced in the last three to four years and they installed a 2015 air handler. One side of the truss was going up and connected to the metal plate. However, the other side was removed and the brackets are all damaged, allowing a gap in the trimming. So, now there’s an air conditioning that’s been replaced but also a structural problem because they removed the truss and did not replace it. It has to be certified by an engineer that it’s okay, but not likely for sure. Although at the moment there’s no sagging or anything yet, it doesn’t mean there won’t be in the long run. Schedule your Home Inspection Phoenix AZ today!
What are Roof Trusses?
In structural engineering, the word “truss” means triangular design. It is a joint framed structure that sustains inclined, vertical, or horizontal loads. A truss consists of angles, channels, plates, and eye bars while a framework typically consists of rafters, posts, and struts. Overall, they support the roof structure of your home. Other than the home, you can also find roof truss supporting all other structures such as auditoriums, cinema, railways, stadiums, buildings, stations, airports, and many others.
Trusses, again, are engineered components in which the roofing system is specifically designed for. Typical building codes stipulate that repairs or alterations must be designed by a registered design professional such as a Licensed Professional Engineer.
Wood roof trusses consist of chords and webs which are connected together with metal plates. Small teeth protrude from the plates. These plates are then pressed into the wood members using a large amount of force for each joint. Looking at the plates, one might assume that ordinary nails can do the same job. Unfortunately, it won’t as it would take many nails to equal the capacity of a connector plate. This is again, one of the reasons why DIY projects for your roof without consulting an engineer is a big NO.
Why are Roof Trusses so Important?
Roof trusses stood the test of time in construction. Here’s why: it provides a number of structural benefits to homes and buildings.
The roof is one of the most important parts of your house. Any building without a roof is exposed to all untoward elements which make a building completely useless. That being said, the roof truss is also the most important component in a building. The roof truss serves a critical function on various factors in a building’s engineering system.
Roof trusses can be manufactured to specifically fit all building types. Whether it be within a residential building or an industrial setting, the same exact benefit applies to all. A roof is also built to help a building last. This means, there should be careful planning of the structural design and what materials to use. The roof must be able to support any load for a long time while still allowing room for an airy and spacious building.
There are good reasons why the use of roof truss stood the test of time. It offers flexibility in terms of the layout of the buildings. It can also be used to create an open space that is highly popular and desirable for residential units. A roof truss’ complexity and well-planned designs offer unbeatable sturdiness and support. The metal plate fasteners around the truss help strengthen the structure further.
The installation of roof truss is not only cost-effective but time-efficient as well. The roof truss is already manufactured before delivering it to the site. Plus, it can be installed within a day’s work which basically is an added time-saving benefit.
What Will Happen if There are Damages?
On the recent home inspection I conducted in Phoenix, AZ, the truss was removed but not replaced. This is just one of the many problems commonly found during a home inspection. Other issues that cause a roof truss to fail are:
– penetrating damp or water leaks
– rot and insect attack
– joint failure
Again, any amount of damage can be a big problem. It can sag the ceiling, the roof, add load stress on other areas or even transfer the cause of damage to other materials. Schedule your Home Inspection Phoenix AZ today!
There are many ways to approach these issues. However, it is highly advised that you always seek professional help from a qualified expert or licensed structural engineer before attempting any fixes or repairs.