what you need to know about replacing your roof

what you need to know about replacing your roof

How To Fix A Cracked Wooden Roof Truss

by Vanessa Lord

If you have a cracked roof truss on your residential roof, it should be fixed immediately to avoid a collapsing roof. Roof trusses are triangular wooden boards that provide support to the main roof beams. Roof trusses can be fixed by a beginning DIY person and the right tools. Here are some tips to fix cracked roof trusses.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • safety goggles
  • ladder
  • tape measure
  • construction nails
  • nail gun
  • wood glue
  • 4-inch lag bolts
  • ratchet set
  • drill and metal drill bit
  • table saw
  • plywood
  • 24-inch long by 1 and 1/2 inch by 1 and 1/2 inch wide steel L-channel

​Examine the damage to the roof. If the truss has small cracks, it can be fixed with two by fours. Trusses that have large cracks should be repaired with steel L-channels.

Set a ladder on flat ground, and get someone to hold it for you. Use the saw to remove broken pieces of wood from the truss.

Repair Large Cracks

Drill four half-inch holes on each side of the L-channel; ensuring they are evenly spaced. Center the L-channel on the crack, and drill the pilot holes. Drive four bolts in the L-channel with the ratchet set.

The truss must be restored to its original shape. Measure the space on the underside of the truss and the L-channel at the bottom edge. Drive two lag bolts two inches longer than this measurement into the L-channel bottom using the ratchet set.

Alternatively, tighten each bolt several turns until the wood and the channel come together. Make two more pilot holes on the other side of the channel, drive in the bolts, and add an extra L-channel to the other side of the truss for support.

Fix Small Truss Cracks

Measure the width of the roof truss, and mark the measurement on the plywood. Cut three pieces of plywood based on this measurement. Trim two more boards to six feet.

Dab some wood glue on both sides of the six-feet boards at the top and bottom. Place a board on one side of the truss. Use the nail gun to drive in a nail every four inches, then nail the second board to the other side of the truss.

Dab wood glue on each side of the three boards. Place a board on the crack, and nail it down with the nail gun. Nail the other two boards on the ends of the six-feet boards.

Press on the truss to test stability. If the truss resists the pressure, it is stable. If the truss is seriously damaged, or you don't trust your skill, hire a roofer.

For more information, contact Rainy Day Exteriors or a similar company.


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