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Broken trusses


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I found this interesting. Home was built in 1975. In the attic, along the ridge, the large majority of the metal connectors on the trusses were coming off or lying in the insulation. My only guess was roofers droping bundles on shingles on the ridge, but I found no cracked lumber. So I don't think that was it.

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This can often be associated with excessive heat and/or moisture. Conditions in the attic and home today may not reflect those of many years ago. I also tend to wonder if the plates were applied when the moisture content in the lumber was too high - I can see the plates loosing their grip as the wood dried and shank. I've also see plate failure due to fire treated wood but that usually results in severe plate corrosion. In any event we'd be guessing at this stage.

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If you have ever seen crews installing trusses "by hand", that is, tipping them end over end and hauling them up one by one, you could imagine a short-handed crew mis-handling the units as they hauled and wracked them up into place, maybe springing apart those joints in the process.

Are those 2x4 or 2x6. Those plates look like they might have been knocked on after installing, with mixed results.

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If you have ever seen crews installing trusses "by hand", that is, tipping them end over end and hauling them up one by one, you could imagine a short-handed crew mis-handling the units as they hauled and wracked them up into place, maybe springing apart those joints in the process.

Are those 2x4 or 2x6. Those plates look like they might have been knocked on after installing, with mixed results.

2x4s. Maybe, but being 40 years old I'd guess I was not the first guy to inspect the attic, but maybe - it still had the orginal furnace.

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  • 3 weeks later...

If you don't mind sharing, what did you say about this issue in your report?

They decided not to buy the house, due to the roof in addition to other expensive repairs.

"Major Concern: The structural portion of the roof is made of trusses which consist of lumber and metal connectors. In the attic the majority of the metal connectors along the ridge have come off or are loose. This is a very serious concern that under certain conditions (heavy snow load, high winds) could result in the trusses failing. A written repair detail (instructions) needs to be obtained from a structural engineer or truss manufacturer. Employ a qualified carpenter to make the repairs exactly as described in the repair detail. Every truss in both attics needs to be checked by the carpenter to determine which ones need repaired. Maintain the repair detail as proof the repairs were properly designed because it may be asked for by future inspectors or owners."

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