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Old 07-29-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
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Sagging Valley in Victorian Toronto...sisterning HELP?


Hi Ed and thanks in advance for anyone else that can give a helping hand.
Have an 1890 balloon-framed corner lot semi, with a cracked rafter and two that is sort of leaning to the outside a bit at the top.

Want to sister at least two of these rafters, and do whatever else is required to beef up this corner; objective is NOT to level out the little bit of sag but just to prevent it from getting worse under snow loads.

This is NOT a new problem...probably many years old. I just noticed it now while doing knob and tube replacement in attic.

Basically, two rafters are a bit twisted, with the tops leaning toward the outside of the building. This is not along very much of the beam...just the foot or so near where they meet the supporting wall/header.

One header has a very old looking (completely black dust filled) crack in the bottom inch.

These are true 2x6 wood; thinking on sistering with some spare parts left over from the neighbour's dormer reno (a couple of 12 foot 2x6's) or bringing up the longest modern 2x6 (really 1.5 by 5) i can get up the attic hatch.

Any other ideas?
I am thinking of lagbolts and p40 adhesive, then drilling and screwing or drilling and nailing so it doesn't split the old wood; but I really would be most grateful for repair advice.

See attached pictures.

Feel free to respond directly if easier to sbellerby at hotmail.com

Thanks again for any and all opinions; first time home owner and very handy but don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish since I hope to die in this house (but not from roofing problems).

Gratefully,

Stephen In Toronto
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Old 07-29-2008, 11:55 AM   #2
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Sagging Valley in Victorian Toronto...sisterning HELP?


Firstly, do you have any short term plans on replacing the roof?

I noticed significant staining on the wood sheathing and plank boards and rafters and also brown spots on top of the insulation, indicating previous dripping leaks.

Also, a better photo of the roof would be helpful. It "Seems" like the soffit overhang edge in the exterior photo reveals that the soffit overhang is drooping down from the bearing wall tie-in.

The stains possibly could be indicative of excessive interior attic condensation from a lack of proper ventilation or they also may be from old previous leaks.

Your idea of the method to sister in the rafters is sound. Pre-drilling the pilot holes for lag bolts or screws will minimize the potential for additional splitting.

Another option to do first, would be to lay a solid plank, such as a 2" x 12" on the floor joists and "Gently" use a jack to slightly lift up the rafters prior to inserting the lag bolts or screws.

Prior to attaching the veneer sistered in rafters, I would also use construction bonding adhesive as a minor aide in securing their attachment to the original rafters.

TRG had some really sound advise about 4-6 months ago regarding sistering in rafters and when he shows up on the forum, maybe he can add to the recommendations.

So, what is the condition of the roof and how many layers of roofing products are currently in place?

Ed

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Old 07-30-2008, 10:35 AM   #3
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Sagging Valley in Victorian Toronto...sisterning HELP?


Hi Ed,

We don't hope to replace the roof yet, since the shingles were done about 13 years ago and are generally in good shape. Probably will have someone replace the valley part above these rafters though; would you recommend an aluminum W valley?

Sorry, it's pouring out and I can't get a good picture with this lightning!

The last 3 inches of shingle edge is sort of hanging down a bit at the soffit...the trim at the very edge supports the shingle but a few inches in, until the edge of the house (perhaps a 6 inch span) is empty space so the shingle is sagging a bit.

I guess on the next round of roofing, we need to have the soffit edge better supported (like some plywood edge or something rather than just the wooden trim forming a sort of U with the edge of the house?

Also, do you think that the spare old (dry but probably nearly the age of the house) true 2x6's already up there will be good for the sistering job (yes, drilled, glued and screwed with pilots to avoid splitting) or would new 2x6 (actual 1.5x5) wood be stronger?

Issue isn't cost it's getting it up there...I may only be able to get about 8 foot lengths up into the attic unless we go the route of cutting a hatch into the side of the attic.

But again, I want it strong; can sistering the bottom 8-9 feet of the rafter (perhaps on both sides?) and screwing/bolting to the supporting wall be a strong repair or need it be replaced along nearly all or all of the length of the rafter?

Thanks for your time and help with this.

Really appreciate it and any other comments.

Stephen
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:26 AM   #4
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Sagging Valley in Victorian Toronto...sisterning HELP?


Any last minute suggestions before it's PL'd permanently?
Thanks for any help.

Wondering if sistering BOTH SIDES for the bottom part (eg a sister on one side that's most of the length of the rafter, and a shorter one near the bottom/bending part) would make the repair even stronger?

Stephen
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:31 AM   #5
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Sagging Valley in Victorian Toronto...sisterning HELP?


It probably would, but not dramatically, but it may assist in future twisting.

I say do it since you are doing the work anyways and its not much more added time and I think you have a good grasp of what you are doing.

Proceed with confidence.

Ed
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:54 PM   #6
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Sagging Valley in Victorian Toronto...sisterning HELP?


Really REALLY appreciate your time and thoughts, Ed.
Rafter 1 is sistered. Rafter 2 beside it (not cracked but with the noticeable bend) is tomorrow's job.

The leaking you noticed is very likely from winter snow melt in that valley; we used to get some leakage about 4 feet to the side of the valley, over a south-facing bay window, when it would melt really fast (like a foot dump, then 45+) or when ice dams would form from fast successive slightly above/slightly below freezing cycles.

I want to have that valley replaced this summer or fall. How many feet on either side of it do you guess would be prudent to go, and since there is NO felt underlay now (I see shingles from the bottom, when looking through spaces on roofing boards) what would be the best thing to have put down, given that this valley takes a lot of snow melt?

I don't mind spending a couple of hundred extra for a much longer lasting job...or even a couple of thousand more, if the roofer says that the shingles on that sunny side of the house are dying and that it's only a thousand or two more to do that whole side of the roof.

What would be your decision path here? Like, how do I know when the shingles (esp these south facing ones on the largest pitch of roof) are dying or only have a few years left?

It might be pound-foolish to spend 1200 on the valley when doing it and the entire south face might be 3-4000 ish and then it's done (for 15-20 years, right?)

thanks again for your frank opinions on whether to do valley a couple of feet on either side with an aluminum w valley (valley replacement), or to to the whole south face at same time (about 30 feet by 15).

And what are your fave kinds of shingles for LONG life?

Stephen

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