Roof Kick-Out

Have you ever been told a roof is “self-supporting” as if it somehow defies gravity? We have walked in many old homes and have been amazed how the roof can still stand despite the lack of braces as is now required by today’s Codes. Well in most cases if you put a string line on any part of those old roofs, you will see a good amount of sag. When roofs are not braced, they project a horizontal force on the walls that support them.

If there is enough tensile strength in the ceiling members and their connections to the walls to restrain this horizontal force, then the roof can for the most part behave like a three dimensional plate structure that can hold itself up with the help of the ceiling framing acting as its tension tie. The photo below depicts a failure in the ceiling from being able to resist this horizontal force of the rafters and as a result the wall rotated and bent out of plumb about 3″ at the top. More roof braces and or a better rafter tie connection would have prevented this from happening.

We are considering some renovations to our home in Matthews, NC and needed a structural review of the existing construction. IDE handled it with ease and at a very reasonable cost. From the initial phone call to the completed report, IDE was a pleasure to work with. The engineer crawled below and above, spent time listening to our plans, answered all questions, then delivered a highly detailed assessment and informative report within a couple of days. He also had some suggestions of firms to conduct the work. I highly recommend these folks!

Bruce Woods Home Owner Matthews NC

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