Structural damage to your roof goes beyond a simple leak or damaged shingles. Major damage can lead to a roof collapse or extensive damage to the interior of your home, so it's important to know the signs.
1. Bowed Roof Line
A major sign of structural damage is often found in the main ridge lines of your roof, which are also called the roof peak. You can check for damage without going up on the roof. If the ridge looks like it dips downward anywhere along its length, then you have a structural issue with the support truss that holds the roofing up. Rot, failed hardware, or warping from moisture could all be the cause. A prompt repair is necessary to prevent collapse.
2. Sagging Eaves
Much like the ridge line, the eaves can also suffer rot or warp damage that causes them to sag. If your eaves are rotting and sagging, then there is an increased chance for moisture damage in your attic. Further, bowing eaves can cause the roof decking to warp and bow, leading to even more structural damage.
3. Sunken Spots
Your roof consists of trusses that then have decking laid over them. This decking is typically made from 1/2-inch plywood, so it is not immune to punctures, water damage, and warping. If part of the roof appears to sink inward or tends to hold standing water after rain, then you have structural damage to the decking and it will need to be replaced.
4. Interior Cracking
Sometimes structural roof damage isn't visible from outside your home, but you can see the damage inside. Cracks that form on the walls near ceiling corners or cracks that come from the corners of doors and windows can both indicate uneven weight distribution from the roof. In some cases, windows or doors may stick due to the damages. You may also see some cracking in masonry work, both on indoor walls and fireplace surrounds, as well as on exterior masonry walls.
5. Rafter Damage
A check of the attic can reveal structural damage to the rafters. Rafters don't just form the base for your home's ceiling; they also provide structural support and weight distribution for the trusses and roof decking. If the rafters are warped, bowed, broken, or otherwise damage, then the weight of your roof is not being held securely. Rafter replacement or bracing may be required.
Contact a roof repair company immediately if you suspect structural damage on your roof.