I'm buying a home and had a building inspection yesterday. The only major defect the inspector found was two split/broken rafters inside the roof. Can anyone tell me if these are a major conern?


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  • Define "major". I'd consider that a negotiation point and make the repairs myself for almost no cost. That is, of course, if the cause was merely unexpectedly heavy snow load and not some other more serious (foundation) issue.
    – isherwood
    Jan 8 '19 at 4:03
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    As it is, the question is mostly a matter of opinion, and therefore off-topic. If you like, revise to ask something more specific, such as how repairs would be made. That's where we shine.
    – isherwood
    Jan 8 '19 at 4:05
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    What type of fan is that in the picture? If it's a bath fan then it shouldn't be vented in the attic. Jan 8 '19 at 15:04

I see two issues here, and I'd have some significant concerns.

1. Fixing What You See

Repairing these rafters is no big deal, but it looks like there's no access to the space to get to the broken rafters. You'd likely have to remove and replace the ceiling drywall to repair the rafters, and if that's the case, that's kind of a big deal. It's easy enough to remove some drywall, but replacing what you remove and repainting it - that's a lot of work.

2. Fixing What You Don't See (Yet)

The greater concern is that there is a structural deficiency, that the roof was not designed properly in the first place. There could be additional issues not visible to the home inspector. It looks like that vertical 1x3 might have been added to prop up a sagging roof, then the rafter broke around the propping.

Resolving this could be a lot of work, worst case you'd have to remove the metal corrugated roof, replace / add / upsize rafters and purlins, and put back the metal.

If sagging pulled the roof apart in any spot, it could have caused water damage, which could have caused mold ... big can of worms.

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    I don't see any need to do sheetrock repair. Or a need to pull the tin. but do agree that vent no matter what it is should not be vented in the attic. This would be an easy fix in both cases jacking and sistering would be all that is needed.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 8 '19 at 15:51

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