How to Repair a Broken Roof Truss

Lead Image
What You'll Need
3 4ft. wooden boards or 3 4ft. steel plates
Wood screws
Screw gun

Although one of the strongest roofing methods to date uses trusses, a broken roof truss can cause great damage to a building and could result in a collapsed roof. This is why regular truss maintenance and repair is pertinent to the health of your roof. Roof trusses are triangular timber frames which are nailed, pegged or bolted together in order to create a supporting structure for your actual roof, and although they are generally bought pre-fabricated you can still easily fix them once they are installed.

Step 1 - Get Ready

The first thing you need to do is to assess the damage. If the roof truss has a small crack you will be using the two wooden boards to patch it up, but if the crack is much more severe you should use the steel plates because they offer much stronger support to the damaged truss. Once you have assessed the damage you will be using either the wooden boards or the steel plates accordingly to envelope the broken truss.

Step 2 - Repair the Damage

truss during construction

At this point you are ready to start repairing the wooden truss roof. Get on a ladder and ask someone to support it for you. Make sure that you place yourself level to the truss and not beneath it to avoid extra strain on yourself. Now take a wooden board or steel plate and place it at the side of the truss in such a way that the crack is exactly at the middle of the new plate. Use the wood screws and screw gun to securely attach the new piece to the truss itself. Make sure that you use construction wood screws and not 16-penny nails because the latter ones will cause greater damage due to the jolts caused when hammering the nails. Place the second board or plate to the other side of the truss and fix it in the same way. At this point you should use the third plate or board to support the lower side of the truss so that the support is better distributed on three sides instead of two. To attach the lower side support you might want to get a little bit lower on the ladder but make sure not to go exactly beneath the truss to avoid dust getting into your eyes. You should, however, preventatively wear goggles during this process.

Step 3 - Finish Up

Once you have safely secured the supports you should check out their resistance. To do this, you should apply some pressure onto the truss to see if it holds and resists the pressure. This is especially important if the truss was severely damaged. You have now finished the repair job and can get off the ladder and clean any dust which may have fallen on the floor.

This may not be everyone's piece of cake but it may come in handy when next time a roof truss needs repairing. However, if the damage is too severe you should seriously consider replacing the damaged area with a new piece of lumber and then support it by using the method mentioned above.