After two years in our present home, I finally made it all the way to
the far end of the attic.
There I found that, in order to get clearance for the pulley of the
whole-house fan, someone had cut a piece out of the underside of the top
chord of one of the roof trusses. There is about a 6" section with only
half the material left.
On that same truss, the upper end of one of the diagonal braces has
obviously been moved: I can see where the metal plate (do I recall
correctly that they are called "gang nails"?) *used to be*, but it is
now perhaps an inch away from that position -- farther down toward the
Is this dangerous? How would I remedy it?
On 10/13/05 10:29 pm RicodJour tossed the following ingredients into the
ever-growing pot of cybersoup:
It's a ranch-style house, so this is just one of many identical 26+ ft.
Fink ("W") trusses. The piece that was cut out is between the first
diagonal brace and the eaves.
If they had turned the whole fan unit through 180 degrees, the motor
pulley would have been toward the center of the roof ad they wouldn't
have needed to cut the truss, but, in the absence of a belt guard, they
might have thought there was too much danger of someone coming into
contact with it.
And to answer the later question, we're in W. Michigan and often get
considerable amounts of snow.
Trusses are engineered to take a given load, plus a safety factor because
some homeowners are idiots and cut things they should not. The engineer
that designed the truss can tell you how bad it truly is. Moving one of the
braces an inch is probably not a major factor either, but there is a reason
it was placed where it was though. Moving it an inch is probably not a big
What you want though, is some piece of mind that 10 years from now there
will be no sagging in the roof. Why was the brace moved? Can you put
another piece along side of it? You can add a 2 x 4 to sister the brace and
it will take a much heavier load. Depending on where the pulley is, it may
be possible to add some extra bracing along side of it also. Removing some
of the thickness does make it more subject to flexing so you do want to add
some stiffeners. Use a little geometry and see if you can make an angle
brace or two that will assist in keeping the truss stiff. Not being able to
see it, I can't offer a recommendation, but if you take a photo to someone
familiar with trusses they could probably tell you the best way.
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