I've attached a picture (not the best), but you can see the board I'm referring to peeking out of the insulation. The joists run left to right in relation to the point of view of this picture and this board is attached to the top of the joists and runs perpendicular.

Is that board peeking through structural? I'm asking because it runs over top of my attic opening and I wondered if I could just cut it off between the two joists.

There's also a barely visible board that goes up at an angle in front of the attic vent (you can kind of see the shadow of it in front of the attic vent. What is that one and is it structural?


  • 2
    It has many names strongback rat run catwalk but yes it is structural and is providing lateral support for the ceilingjoists
    – Kris
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 20:57
  • Can’t see enough to tell.
    – Lee Sam
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 23:42
  • Thanks Kris, that sounds like what it is. This article seems to think you can cut strongbacks no problem and says they aren't structural. Do you agree? openjoisttriforce.com/can-cut-strongbacks-yes-here-is-how
    – mang
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 13:00
  • 2
    If I have to cut through a strongback I add a run nearby covering at least three consecutive joist . It is not structural as in load bearing but it is good to have all joists tied together.
    – Kris
    Commented May 9, 2018 at 15:54

1 Answer 1


Kris had it right above. Rat run.

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