Roof trusses are timber frameworks which support the weight of a property's roof. In doing so, they help to prevent the roof's weight from causing structural damage to the rest of the house. Due to how important roof trusses are, it's crucial to keep them in good condition. Here are two things which can lead to the deterioration of these components.
You might think that a small leak in your roof is not something that you need to worry about. However, even a tiny amount of rainwater seeping through your roof could cause serious damage to your roof trusses over a period of time. This is because trusses are almost always made from timber, a material which, whilst relatively robust, can be destroyed by long-term moisture exposure.
If your property's trusses become saturated with rainwater, they could develop a fungus known as 'wet rot', which will cause the wood to decay. This can affect its structural integrity which, in turn, may affect its ability to support your roof's weight.
As such, it's crucial to check your roof for leaks on a regular basis and have them repaired as soon as they are identified. Additionally, it's sensible to go into your home's attic occasionally to examine the roof trusses for signs of wet rot.
Timber which has succumbed to this fungus may have a bleached appearance, and feel spongy and soft to the touch. It may also crumble quite easily when you squeeze it. If you notice any of these 'symptoms', you should have a roofer examine and, if necessary, repair the affected trusses immediately.
Termites are a type of pest which attacks and cause structural damage to all forms of wood, including timber. If a termite colony takes up residence in your attic, your timber roof trusses could end up destroyed beyond repair within a matter of months. Given this, if you live in a region where termites are found in abundance, you should periodically examine your home for signs of infestation.
Some of the most common signs are piles of pellet-shaped dirt (i.e. termite waste) on the floor of your attic space, as well as extremely narrow vertical 'tunnels' which span the length of the walls in your home.
You should also inspect all of the visually-accessible roof trusses; the ones which have been attacked may have uneven edges, where the termites have chewed away at the wood, as well as tiny holes all over them. Additionally, make sure to knock gently on the trusses; if they sound hollow, this could mean that they have been affected by a termite infestation.