Imagine this, you are coming back from work, and on looking at your roof, you notice the roof angles are sagging. You are worried. Is a sagging roof dangerous? You wonder.
In a healthy roof, the roof angles should be as straight as arrows, so if you notice a dip, curve, or swag, you have a reason to worry.
If the dip is large and prominent, it can be dangerous as the roof can easily come down and hurt you and your loved ones, but if the dip is small, it might not mean your roof is at the risk of collapsing, but it’s a sign you need to act fast and ask a roof repair professional to inspect your roof and fix the source of the problem.
What causes a sagging roof?
All roof sags are brought about by undue pressure on the foundation structure, and this can be brought about by plenty of reasons with the most common ones being:
For shingles and other roofing material to allow water to run off, they should be in perfect shape. The metal flashing should also be installed on the valleys and roof junctions to direct water away. Damage to any part of the roof gives water a way to get in and weaken the underlying structure.
One of the reasons water will get into the house is due to damaged or poorly designed gutter system. If you don’t safely direct runoff water away using gutters, it can pool on the roof and eventually seep it. If your house is like others, chances are it has poor ventilation, which exacerbates the problem.
If the roof sag is due to water damage, your first step should be to find the source of damage and fix it. This might mean replacing the shingles, flashing, repairing the gutters, and improving the attic ventilation.
It’s always wise to let a professional handle the repair work, but if you are a dab hand at DIY projects, you can correct the sagging by installing angled braces to shore up the rafters.
You can also provide more support to the walls by installing chains attached to wall plates and linked in the middle with a turnbuckle.
Excessive weight on the roof
Like a house foundation, every roof has the maximum weight that it can support. When you place a lot of weight on the roof for extended periods, the roof can sag.
If you live in areas that experience heavy snow, it’s not uncommon for your roof to sag.
Weight induced sagging also brings about design flaws that leave the roof unable to support its weight. Common weaknesses that might come about include: insufficient sheathing, undersized rafters, and few rafter and collar ties.
In a non-truss sloped roof, these issues make the roof ridge sag in the middle, giving the house a swayback look that tends to also cause one side of the roof to sag.
If you think snow is the reason for your roof sagging, ask a roofing technician to look at it. Don’t try to clear the snow yourself as you risk damaging the roof making it more vulnerable to water damage and worsening the situation.
If your roof is sagging on one side, install rafters directly alongside the weak or damaged ones. If your roof is sagging between trusses or rafters, it’s often due to sheathing that is too thin for the area it covers. To fix the issue, replace the thin sheathing with thicker, sturdier sheathing.
Sometimes your roof will sag after placing several layers of shingles. If this is the cause for your roof’s sagging, remove all the shingles and hire roofing companies Riverside CT to install new ones.
If you have installed a single layer of shingles, but the roof is sagging due to the heavy material, you should switch to lighter material.
Poor quality materials and workmanship
Although, less common, your roof will sag if using inferior quality roofing materials. The low-quality materials are more prone to water and weather damage, and also deteriorate faster. The roof can also sag if your roofer did a shoddy installation job.