I discovered two broken roof struts in my attic, adjacent to each other on the same strut. See the pictures. For perspective, you can see a yellow-gloved hand in the first picture. It's resting on the broken strut shown in the second picture.

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All of the other struts and trusses look just fine to me. Clearly one of these has been hastily patched at some point, so at least one of these is not a recent break. I have owned the home for a little more than three years.

My plan is to slap a 24" 2x4 on both sides and screw in every 6 inches (I'll just do this on one side for the one that was already patched). Similar to the advice in this thread (OP there was not me).

Does this seem like a reasonable plan? I'm not too concerned by this, but should I be?

  • 1
    Replacing the struts might be no more work than repairing them and a lot stronger. When you sell the house a home inspection may require this anyway.
    – HoneyDo
    May 10 '20 at 19:09
  • If you replace them you should purchase replacements for the top and bottom connections as well. Don't reuse them.
    – represton
    May 10 '20 at 19:34
  • Given that these ones have, for some reason, failed, I would either replace, or use 2x4's somewhat longer than the originals (i.e. not 24" long) so that they can be connected to both the top and bottom chords of the truss without depending on the web members that have previously failed. Something odd is going on there to break two webs...
    – Ecnerwal
    May 11 '20 at 0:02
  • Check if big equipment (water tank?) has been moved past there - and if more things are broken on the way May 11 '20 at 7:18

I finally got a licensed engineer out to take a look at this.

The working theory is that the truss was damaged when the home was built, some 30+ years and 2+ owners ago. The rest of the truss system looks like it's in good shape. Sounds like I'm either the first person to notice this or the first person to care.

The solution they drew up was to put a 30" 2x4 on either side of each damaged truss member and secure it with six 3" structural screws on each side of the break (so 24 screws total per damaged truss member). Took about an hour to do this myself, and aside from some sore legs and a serious amount of sweat it wasn't too difficult.

The lesson here is to call around. The first person I talked to was a builder who suggested taking off part of the roof and replacing the truss. Later it was suggested to me to consult with a licensed structural engineer who came up with this solution.

  • 2
    Thanks for coming back to post your solution! Yeah, I'd agree that tearing up the roof does sound a bit overkill - I'm betting the builder was looking to make a boat payment and needed a bit of extra income. ;)
    – FreeMan
    Apr 5 at 13:09

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