A competent homeowner can usually repair a damaged roofing rafter. If the rafter does not suffer from a completely separated break, it can be fixed, preventing the need for a very costly alternative repair. With a few tools, some determination, and the right instructions, you’ll soon have a fully functional rafter.
Before tackling the project, make sure you have the right tools on hand.
If you don’t, borrow them from a friend or neighbor, or pick them up at a local hardware store.
- Tape measure
- Power drill
- 3/8-inch drill bit
- Socket set
- Open end wrenches
- Large C-clamp
- 6-foot piece of 2-inch x 2-inch angle iron
- Ten 3 ½-inch long, 3/8-inch diameter bolts with accompanying washers, locks, and nuts
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Follow these steps to repair the rafter
1. Start by measuring the angle iron. Mark three inches in from one end of the 6-foot piece. Use the drill to make a 3/8-inch hole at the spot, about an inch from the edge. Continue to measure, mark, and drill spots every six inches from the first hole until you reach the end of the iron.
2. Place the angle iron against the bottom edge of the compromised rafter with about half of it on each side of the crack. The undrilled section of the iron should now be against the bottom of the rafter. Half of the angle iron should be flush up against the cracked rafter, while the other half should be leaning away from it.
3. Using a pencil, mark each spot through the holes on the angle iron that are flush against the rafter. Set the iron on the floor and drill holes through each of these marks. Reposition the angle iron and put the bolts through each hole, followed by a flat washer. Lock the washer against the rafter and bolt using a washer nut. Use the socket set to securely tighten the nuts and bolts into place.
4. Secure the large C-clamp around the angle iron and the rafter. Tighten the clamp so that it pinches the iron and rafter together until the rafter is straight.
5. After the clamp is tightened, check the bolts and nuts once more. Chances are the clamp will have squeezed the materials together and they will need to be tightened further. Once you're satisfied that the angle iron is secured to the rafter and it’s holding straight and proper, remove the C-clamp.
Don't force a repair when a replacement is necessary
Repairing a damaged rafter may be within your knowledge and capabilities, but if the rafter is suffering from a completely separated break, you'll need professional help to solve the problem.
Buying a new house? Keep reading to find out what to do if the roof isn't up to snuff.