Fix a Creaking Roof
LESLIE: David from Michigan, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
DAVID: What we’ve got is a ranch house and a walkout basement and the house has quite a tall ceiling. And that all faces to the north, the walkout exit. So what happens is when there’s a good, strong, north wind in the winter we get a nice, creaking sound over our heads when we sleep against that north wall.
DAVID: So, what I – the only information I could get in regard to that, online and through people that might have dealt with it, was that perhaps what I wanted to do was go up into the attic and take some 2x4s and support the trusses; connect them kind of together, I guess you could say; connect them crossways. And it did have an effect but, unfortunately, what it did is it took the creaking noise from the edge of our bedroom to directly over our heads. (Tom and Leslie laugh)
LESLIE: So it went from bad to worse.
DAVID: So my wife wasn’t as impressed as I had hoped she be. (Leslie laughs)
TOM: Yeah, right? (David chuckles) Well, how old is your house?
DAVID: It’s a 1987.
TOM: OK. It is important to reinforce trussed roofs and the truss manufacturers actually specify exactly how you’re supposed to do that.
TOM: Now, if the house was built correctly, all of this reinforcing would be actually in place. The fact that it’s not there is a bit of a concern. I can’t tell you how to go from point A to point B except to say that you are on the right track in terms of adding some cross members to that. And I would also want to make sure that none of the trusses were cut improperly because you can’t really cut a truss and sometimes you find that contractors do that. That’s why the framing inspection is usually after the mechanical inspection, because sometimes the plumber or the heating contractor will take an extra cut out of a structural member.
DAVID: OK, right.
TOM: So the first thing I’d like to make sure is that the trusses are in good structural condition. The second thing I would look at is the reinforcement. And the truss manufacturer or the architect will actually specify that. Is there any chance you can get your hands on a copy of the plans for your house?
DAVID: Only some rough ones but I do know the builder, as it turns out; so I could probably get a hold of him again.
TOM: I would do that and ask the builder if maybe you could buy him a cup of coffee (David chuckles) or a drink or something and have him come over and take a look at that. Let him know you’re not concerned structurally speaking but it is kind of annoyance and he would help save your marriage (Leslie and David chuckle) if he could just stop by and take a look. Because I suspect that the bracing may have become loose or for some reason it’s not doing its job and maybe you could improve upon that and silence that roof structure. Because noise in the roof structure is not good.