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A sagging roof is not only an unpleasant sight but could also become hazardous for you and your family. Roofs are mostly designed curved or straight, and because of that, having a sagging roof could indicate that the roof's structural integrity has been compromised.
Sometimes, it could indicate that your roof is about to collapse. However, you don't have to panic if you notice a sagging roof because you can quickly fix the problem without spending so much. Also, you can either do the job yourself or hire a professional to fix the sagging roof.
If you plan to do the job yourself, ensure you have the proper assistance and preparation beforehand. In this article, you'll find everything you should know about sagging roofs and tips to help you fix the problem.
Causes of Sagging Roofs
Even with taking all the necessary measures to ensure that the structural integrity of your roof is maintained, what's certain is that the roof will age with time, which usually has adverse effects. Understanding what's causing your roof to sag is essential before you think of fixing the issue.
Sagging roofs usually occur due to many factors, and this includes the following:
One of the main reasons your roof is sagging is because excess weight may be on it. This is why it's always advisable to perform regular roof inspections to ensure that the structural integrity of your roof is maintained. If there's an issue with the structural integrity of your roof, it can cause it to droop.
Roofs are generally designed with a weight limit, and anything beyond this can cause the roofing system to sag. The presence of inadequate storm bracing, undersized rafters, or ice or snow resting on the surface of your roof can also cause the roof to sag.
Another factor that can cause a roof to sag is water damage. Even though roofs are designed to ensure water drainage, it's important to note that heavy rainstorms and flooding over time can cause damage to your roofing system.
The presence of damaged shingles or gutter systems can also alter the smooth flow of water, thereby accumulating moisture within your roofing system and ultimately damaging other parts of your building.
Other factors besides excess weight and water damage include sinking or damaged foundations, lower-quality materials, and age. If you're unsure why your roof is sagging, consider hiring a professional roofer to help you determine the cause of the problem.
Determine the Level of Damage
After you have figured out the cause of the problem, the next thing to do is to determine the level of the damage. There are different ways to assess the level of damage, but it's usually advisable to contact a professional to do it on your behalf. If you want to do it yourself, here are some things you should try to figure out the problem quickly:
- Determine the part of the roof that is sagging.
- Inspect the decking in your attic, the rafters, and the sagging area before checking the plywood and metal gusset plates.
- Check for other damages like cracks, rots, breaks, and more.
There are many other ways to determine the extent of the damage caused by sagging quickly, but this is to mention a few. The main reason you should evaluate the level of the damage before you start the repair process is because it's a factor that can determine the cost of fixing the sagging roof. Therefore, severe damages will generally cost more to fix than minor damages.
Roofing Tools List
Once you have determined the level of the damage, the next thing is to get all the materials you'll need to fix the issue. Fortunately, most of these materials are items that you might already have at home, and they include the following:
- Lumbar strapping
- Plywood gusset
- Steel L channel
- Nail gun and nails
- Measuring tape
- Bolts and washers
Note: Once these tools are ready, you can fix the issue yourself.
How to Fix a Sagging Roof
Fixing roof rafters or trusses
In most cases, fixing the roof sagging requires you to fix sagging roof rafters or trusses. Here are some steps to follow to help you handle the problem:
- Use the steel L channel to place the truss or rafter into shape.
- Drill holes on all the sides of the L.
- Use the chisel to remove broken wood scraps that could cause obstructions.
- Mount the L channel to the truss or rafter.
- Use bolts and washers in the drilled hole to fasten the channel end to the truss or rafter.
- Move the broken piece to the correct position.
- Take measurements that ensure the rafter/truss and L channel are only slightly apart.
- Tighten all the bolts appropriately to ensure everything is secure, especially the truss or rafter.
Fixing roof decking
The cause could be the roof decking, so hiring a professional is best. However, here are some things you might want to try before getting a professional:
- Take measurements of the area between the rafters or trusses and cut ½" plywood to cover the region.
- Glue styrofoam to the cut plywood and place it on the part of the roof decking that is damaged.
- Push the plywood to ensure that it's firm on the roof decking, and use lumbar strapping to keep the plywood steady until a professional arrives.
Fixing gusset plates
Finally, consider checking the gusset plates, as this could be the source of the problem. The gusset plates need to be fastened, and you can do this using rivets, bolts, welding, or all three. Here are tips to help you fix the gusset plates:
- Detach the gusset plate from the wood.
- You might not be able to replace the gusset plate, but you can always use a plywood gusset.
- You'll also need a nail gun to attach the gusset firmly.
Note: This should help you replace the original gusset plate that got damaged.
When to Call a Professional
As mentioned earlier, a sagging roof can be due to many factors, including broken rafters or trusses. Also, the extent of the damage is determined by different factors, but the most important thing is to ensure that the issue is fixed as fast as possible. You can do the job yourself, and we have provided some hands-on tips to guide you through fixing the problem.
The first thing to do is to identify the cause of the problem, after which you can determine the damage's extent. Once that is done, ensure you have all the tools and equipment before you begin the repair process. If you have tried all the tips above but still can't fix your sagging roof, you might need to hire a professional to examine and resolve the issue.
Most people usually avoid calling a professional, but it's important to note that this is cost-effective and time efficient. It also provides the added guarantee that quality materials will be used in fixing the issue, and professional roofers will do it. Your roofing system should protect you, your family, and your properties.
This protection should also be for a long time, so ensuring your roof performs optimally throughout its lifespan is always advisable. When hiring a professional to fix the issue, it's important to ensure they are qualified and provide other services, like roof repair, replacement, and installation.
Consult With Trusted Roofing Professionals
For sagging roofs and various other roofing issues, consulting with roofing professionals you can trust is undoubtedly the best choice. Their commitment to quality workmanship and trusted advice provide a reliable and satisfactory resolution to your roofing problems.
When faced with roofing issues, entrusting the expertise of trustworthy roofing professionals ensures that your sagging roof is restored to its optimal condition, providing you with a safe and structurally sound home or building.