Having your attic trusses properly braced is very important for both the structural integrity of the home and the safety of the individual living in the home. Bracing attic trusses improperly could lead to sagging spots on the roof of the home and if areas are not braced at all, it could cause the roof of the home to collapse because the trusses will have no support.
It does not matter which style of roof is on your home as bracing attic trusses properly is important to the strength of all types of roofs.
Bracing attic trusses will typically be required in many different directions, including laterally, vertically, horizontally and diagonally. Some homeowners avoid placing bracing in certain directions because they would like to open up more room in the attic space or because some bracing may mar the clean look of the room.
What these homeowners need to remember is that the attic trusses are only as strong as the bracing supporting them and each bracing point that is eliminated makes the entire structure that much weaker. Building codes should be followed when bracing attic trusses to ensure that everything is as strong and secure as it should be.
There are two main reasons why a homeowner may choose bracing attic trusses as a home improvement project. The first is to install additional bracing to make the attic trusses stronger so that they will hold up better under storm conditions. The second reason is to repair or replace damaged bracing that may not be as structurally sound as when they were first installed, often many years ago in the past.
It is very important that the homeowner is dressed properly when inspecting or repairing the braces for their attic trusses to prevent common accidents from occurring. The person should were clothing that covers all areas of the body from the shoulders down along with gloves, socks, and sturdy shoes.
A hat should be worn to protect the head and safety glasses will be needed to protect the eyes. There are may hazards that can occur when working in the confined area of most attics and wearing the proper clothing and protective gear will reduce the risk that the homeowner will be injured while bracing attic trusses.
Replacing The Bracing
The common materials used for bracing attic trusses are 2”x4” wooden beams that run the entire length of the attic. The beams should be placed going across the base of the attic trusses, across the center, and across a point about 18 inches from the ridge of the roof.
The ends of each wooden beam should overlap across two separate trusses to ensure that the entire area is secure and no areas are missed because the homeowner assumes that they are secure.
Some people choose to secure the bracing to the attic trusses using nails, but the confined space present in many attic areas may make it difficult to swing a hammer accurately and repeatedly to drive the nails into the wood.
For this reason, long screws and a motorized drill are recommended for securing the bracing to the attic trusses, as this will take less time and the homeowner will be able to maneuver better to get into tight places. Two sturdy screws of 3 inches or longer should be placed where the wooden beam meets each truss, securing the truss to the bracing.