Worse than unappealing, a sagging roof speaks of extensive damage to your DE roof. Roofing is not designed to look like a swayback cow or have curves in it. The lines of the roof should be straight. In other words, if you see sagging, it is something that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Otherwise, your roof could collapse. Don’t panic. One of the best things you can do right now is research how to repair a sagging DE roof so you know what to expect. Afterward, consider calling in a team of trustworthy roofers, such as RGB Construction, to get your roof repaired or replaced.
What Causes a Sagging DE Roof?
A sagging roof is a symptom of problems that tend to creep up. Unfortunately, even if you maintain your roof throughout the years and nothing catastrophic has happened to it, it may still sag.
The causes of a sagging roof are as follows:
- Age: Your roof is not impervious to damage. Over time, the internal structure will weaken, due to natural wear and tear. This may cause the roof to start sagging inward.
- Poor installation: If the roof was not constructed or the materials installed properly, the roof may not be able to support itself. As the roof begins to break down, you may see sagging.
- Lack of proper ventilation: Yes, poor ventilation can cause the roof to rot and decay, thanks to a buildup of moisture and mold.
- Excessive weight: When there is too much weight on the roof, such as roofing materials not designed for the roof, or heavy snow and ice buildup, the roof will start to sag.
- Water damage: If water gets into the roof structure, it can weaken the materials and cause them to rot or decay, leading to sagging.
- Pest damage: Insects such as termites can weaken the roof structure and cause it to sag.
- Poor maintenance: Neglecting regular roof maintenance such as cleaning gutters and downspouts, checking for leaks, and replacing damaged shingles can lead to roof damage and sagging over time.
If you notice that your roof is sagging, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible to prevent further damage and potential safety hazards. A professional roofing contractor can assess the cause of the sagging and recommend the best course of action to repair it.
What Tools Do You Need to Repair a Sagging Roof?
You will need the following tools to properly repair a sagging roof:
- Steel L channel
- Measuring tape
- Lag bolts
- Washers, bolts, and nuts
- New roofing materials, such as shingles and flashings
- Nail gun and nails
- Plywood gusset and plywood
- Lumber strapping
Depending on the issue, you may need other materials. When in doubt, discuss your options with a roofing contractor in Delaware.
How to Repair a Sagging DE Roof?
Let’s take a look at the step-by-step guide to repairing a sagging Delaware roof. Now, it is not generally recommended that homeowners do their own structural repairs to their roofs. It is far too risky to deal with on your own. Plus, the chance of making a mistake is too great. If you notice that your roof is sagging, it is best to call one of the reputable Delaware roofing companies like RGB Construction for assistance. With that in mind, here are the steps required to repair a sagging roof:
Step 1: Identify the Cause of the Sagging
Before attempting any repairs, it’s important to identify the cause of the sagging. Refer to the list mentioned above to help you diagnose the issue. Keep in mind that if there are no immediate signs, you may need a professional inspection. This will help you understand the severity of the sagging, as well as if it is widespread.
Be sure to inspect the attic, including the rafters and decking. From there, look at the plywood or metal gusset plates. You may see some breaks, cracks, or dry rot.
Step 2: Clear Any Debris
Once you’ve identified the cause of the sagging, it’s important to clear any debris or weight that may be contributing to the sagging. This could include accumulated debris such as leaves or branches, or water that has accumulated on the roof.
Be sure to use caution when clearing debris from the roof, especially if the roof is already sagging. It’s best to work from a ladder rather than directly on the roof itself and to wear appropriate safety gear such as a harness or hard hat.
Step 3: Reinforce the Roof Frame or Supports
If the sagging is due to structural damage to the roof’s framing or supports, you will need to reinforce those areas to restore the roof’s structural integrity. This may require the help of a professional roofing contractor, especially if the damage is extensive.
Reinforcing the roof’s framing or supports may involve adding additional beams or columns, or repairing existing ones. This work should only be done by a professional with experience in structural roofing repairs.
For example, if you notice that the sagging is due to the trusses or rafters, you will need a steel L channel and some bolts. Here are some steps explaining how to go about repairing sagging trusses or rafters:
- Drill four holes in the steel L channel.
- Remove sections of wood if any are broken or will get in the way of your chisel.
- Begin with the end that is more difficult to reach. Mount the steel L channel against the truss or rafter.
- Fasten the end of the L channel to the truss or rafter by putting washers and bolts into the four holes you drilled.
- Move the end into position.
- Measure the gap between the L channel and the truss or rafter. Select bolts that cover the distance. Make sure they are 1.5-2 inches longer than the gap
- Insert and tighten the bottom bolts. Next, tighten the bolt that is farthest from the break in the rafter or truss. You want the bolt head to be about 1/4” from the steel L channel when finished.
- Tighten the rear bolt further. Afterward, tighten the front bolt so that the back bolt is 1/4” from the channel.
- Keep tightening the bolts back to front until the channel is secured against the truss or rafter.
- Insert bolts into the remaining holes, tightening them the same way.
- You may wish to add extra support elsewhere.
Step 4: Repair Damaged Decking or Sheathing
Does the sagging appear to be caused by the roof’s decking or sheathing? You will need to repair or replace those sections to restore the roof’s integrity. Damaged decking or sheathing can occur due to water damage, pests, or age-related wear and tear.
To repair damaged decking or sheathing, you will need to remove the damaged section and replace it with a new piece of decking or sheathing. Be sure to use the same type of material as the existing roof to maintain consistency and avoid future issues.
Again, it is highly recommended that you call in a roofing contractor in Delaware to assist. The professionals at RGB Construction will have the tools and skills needed to repair damaged decking or sheathing in no time. However, if you wish to create a temporary solution, here is what you need to do:
- Measure the damaged area between the trusses or rafters. Cut a piece of 1/2” plywood large enough to cover the entire area.
- Glue rigid Styrofoam onto the plywood. The Styrofoam should be around 1” thick. Do not drive nails into the plywood or Styrofoam.
- Place the plywood with the Styrofoam side up to the damaged section of the roof decking. Push the plywood into place so that the Styrofoam is flush against the decking.
- Secure the plywood with some lumber strapping until you can bring in an expert.
After doing this, do not wait to get a professional in to look at the damage to your roof. This is a complex task that will require knowledge and experience to correct.
Step 5: Install Additional Support
If the sagging is due to weight from accumulated debris or water, you may need to install additional support to reinforce the roof’s structure. This could include adding new beams or columns to support the weight or installing additional joists to distribute the weight more evenly. Additional support may also mean installing or reinforcing the gusset plates.
Gusset plates are a key component in the roof structure, as they help support the weight of the roof and distribute the load evenly across the roof framing. If you notice that a gusset plate is damaged or weakened, it’s important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the safety of your roof.
Here is how to repair, replace, or reinforce a gusset plate:
- Inspect the damage: The first step in repairing a damaged gusset plate is to inspect the extent of the damage. You or the roofer have to check to see if the gusset plate is cracked, bent, or missing any fasteners or bolts.
- Reinforce the gusset plate: If the gusset plate is cracked or bent, the roofer may reinforce it with additional metal plates or braces. They may also replace any missing bolts or fasteners.
- Replace the gusset plate: If the gusset plate is severely damaged, it may need to be replaced entirely. Carefully remove the damaged gusset plate and replace it with a new one that is properly sized and fitted to the roof structure.
- Check for other damage: During the repair process, you or the roofer must also inspect other areas of the roof to ensure that there are no other issues that need to be addressed. This may include checking for water damage or rot in the roof structure.
- Perform a structural inspection: After the repair is complete, the roofer will perform a structural inspection to ensure that the roof is stable and able to support the weight of the roof structure.
Keep in mind that adding additional support should only be done by a professional roofing contractor, especially if the sagging is severe or widespread.
Step 6: Install a New Roof
Once you’ve reinforced the roof’s structure and repaired any damage, it’s time to apply a new roof. This will not only restore the roof’s appearance but also protect it from future damage.
When applying a new roof, be sure to choose high-quality materials that are appropriate for your climate and roof type. It’s also important to ensure that the roof is installed properly, with appropriate ventilation and flashing to prevent future issues.
Do keep in mind that this step may be optional, especially if there is little to no damage aside from the initial sagging.
Step 7: Perform Routine Maintenance
After you’ve repaired any sagging areas on your roof, it’s important to schedule regular roof maintenance to prevent future sagging and other damage. You should inspect your roof at least once a year, preferably in the spring or fall, and after any severe weather events such as heavy rain or snow.
During your inspection, look for signs of sagging, cracks, leaks, or other damage. Check the flashing around chimneys, skylights, and vents to make sure it’s securely in place. Clear any debris from your gutters and downspouts to prevent water from pooling on your roof.
If you notice any problems during your inspection, address them immediately. Catching and repairing small issues early can prevent them from turning into larger, more expensive problems later on. If you’re not comfortable inspecting your roof yourself, or if you notice any signs of significant damage, contact a professional roofing contractor to perform an inspection.
Have Roofing Contractors in Delaware Repair Your Sagging Roof
A sagging roof can be a serious issue that requires immediate attention. Whether the cause is a damaged gusset plate, damaged decking or sheathing, or general age-related wear and tear, it’s important to address the problem as soon as possible to prevent further damage and potential safety hazards. While some homeowners may be able to tackle small repairs themselves, larger repairs and those involving structural elements of the roof should be left to professional roofing contractors.
When you are searching for a reputable roofing contractor in DE, call RGB Construction. We have been serving the region for many years. Our team is made of experienced roofers and friendly customer service representatives who can get you the solutions you seek. Give us a call today at 856-264-9093 or fill out the contact form to schedule your roofing inspection. Let’s get your sagging roof repaired.