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Old 01-30-2011, 09:58 AM  
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Splitting rafter!

Hey folks,

Hoping to get a professional opinion. While up in my attic yesterday morning I noticed a split in one of the rafters. It has not completely split...yet, but I would like to know if this will cause serious damage and needs to be fixed immediately. Second question, what can I do to repair it and prevent it from splitting any further. If anyone has any idea what would cause the split to begin with, I'd like to hear it. I live out in the South Shore of Boston and we have had allot of snow, but I have a pitched roof and don't think it was caused by the weight of snow.

Thanks - Ed

Here are some pics:

Splitting roof beam!-vcm_s_kf_repr_640x480.jpg

Splitting roof beam!-vcm_s_kf_repr_360x480.jpg

Last edited by BostonEd; 01-30-2011 at 08:08 PM. Reason: correction
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:02 AM  
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Wow, that sure needs to be fixed, either sister another 2x on there (glued and screwed) or cut a strip of 3/4 plywood for either side and screw them on.

As far as what caused it, snow weight I agree would be hard to believe, I would think that it was split when it was put in, and the weight of recent snow has caused it to split further.

When its all said and done there is usually more said than done
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:36 AM  
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Split boards are very common. If the board is not dry when it is placed (very common), it shrinks as the moisture content goes down, and sometimes the boards split. You can replace the board with a new one (put in a kiln dry board), you can sister a new one on as described by a previous post, or you can attempt to fix the existing board by injecting epoxy into the crack and driving structural screws upwards. I don't recommend trying to fix it, too easy to get a poor job. Best bet is probably to sister a new one on. With all the snow we are getting, best to get at it before the roof gets overloaded and the board fails completely.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:35 PM  
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I would run some long screw through it to pull the split back together. Then sister another 2x to it for added support.
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:30 PM  
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Get a 2x10 or whatever size the rafters are. Long enough to extend 12-15 inches below where the crack ends and upwards to 12-15 inches above where the crack jsut begins. Fasten it in place a little, screwing the crack together from below to get things to coincide exactly. Then put in the sideways screws to complete the sistering, including some at the very ends of the new piece and some in the falling tongue that cracked off to keep it from falling again.

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-30-2011 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:57 PM  
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use screws to put the rafter (not roof beam!) back to it's original size. then cut a long 2x whatever the rafter is and cut one end at the same angle as the existing seat cut (horizontal angle where it sits on the wall). Then use construction adhesive and screws (predrill or it could split like the first one) to sister it to the original rafter. Do it right and you won't need one on each side
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:14 PM  
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Originally Posted by mrgins View Post
rafter (not roof beam!)
Thanks for the correction! Good to know the correct term.
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