Beware the "Remodeled" House - 3 of 3

In this last post of the "remodeled house" that proved so interesting, when I pulled up to the house I noticed that the roof was sagging in many places.  Not just sagging, but BADLY.

It is common for an older house to have a couple of roof sags here and there.  This house was 55 years old.  I can tell you that some things do in fact sag at 55.  But that is perhaps fodder for another post...

I pointed the sagging out to my buyer during the exterior inspection, promising that we would investigate further from inside the attic.

We did.  Here is what we found.  This house had 48 trusses similar to the ones you see here.  Of those 21 had been broken or cracked similar to  this photo.  This attic was used extensively to store things.  Flooring and shelving had been created, and removed when the house went on sale, to store heavy things in the attic.

This roof was "stick built."  You can see that the trusses were individually cut and put together.  But not like they do it now, pre-fabricated with metal plate connectors.  This was done with smaller 1x3 wooden connectors simply nailing each piece one to the other.

If you pile enough weight onto those angled members, they can separate.  You can see that these connectors pictured here simply broke in two.  And there was a lot of separation in this attic! 

Looking carefully you can actually see that the upper, larger rafters have sagged.

Imagine the amount of sagging that can occur with nearly 50% of the roof supports broken like this!  This was a badly sagging roof!

My recommendation:  do not use an attic for storage.  If you do, create shelving that is up on the rafters but that cannot hold much weight.  Roof supports are made to support upwards, and can do a great job of that if left alone!

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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!