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What Is A Roof Truss?

By June 28, 2021Roof
What Is A Roof Truss - Roof Trusses

A roof truss is a structural framing member, typically made out of wood, that supports the roof of a building. Roof trusses are engineered together to make triangular structures that provide space above rooms, also known as the attic. The resulting structure creates a secure webbing that supports roofing material.

What Is A Roof Truss?

Roof trusses are comprised of a top chord, bottom chord, and web bracing. Each individual roof truss is tied together using gusset plates.

Gusset plates are metal plates with “teeth” that can hold wood in place. Older homes may not have gusset plates and instead use a combination of nails and wood.

In most cases, trusses and gussets are connected in a manufacturing facility before being shipped out to a property. On occasion, builder’s may provide alterations under engineering specifications on the job site.

Roof Trusses Recently Shipped to A Home Laying on the ground

Importance of Trusses

Roof trusses have many duties. Not only do they support the roofing material, they also create the slope for the roofing material. This helps shed water and snow.

Moreover, roof trusses provide space between the house and the roof. This gives room for ductwork, insulation, storage space, or even some appliances like a heater or air handler.

Trusses can also be used between stories of a home. This helps support second stories, provide space for plumbing, ductwork, and insulation.

Issues With Roof Trusses

During home inspections, we can find issues with trusses. Some of the issues we find are damage, alterations, termite damage, mold, wood rot, and staining.

mold on trusses
Mold on Trusses Can Occur. In the image above, these trusses grew mold from being left on the bare ground for too long. Wood trusses should never make contact with the bare ground.
cut trusses
These trusses have been altered by the homeowner. Some of the web bracing has been cut. This lessens the integrity of the roof system.

Since roof trusses are structural, it’s important all trusses are engineered and professionally repaired. Therefore, cutting trusses to make room for personal belongings is not recommended.

Final Thoughts

Every home has roof trusses and they are important members of any building’s structure. They help support the roof.

In addition, roof trusses create the angle at which the roof will slope.

However, roof trusses are often damaged or altered. For that reason, we often report on them in our home inspections in Tampa Bay, FL.

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