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Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

(OP)
Hi,

Do you think that visual investigation of roof trusses / frame accessed through the attic can identify all damages, twists and plate defects caused by, say, a tree impact that badly affected the roof? Do you think that such an examination in dark and restricted movement conditions, and in presence of the insulation will result in lacking findings? Don't you agree that making a mess during the investigation by removing the ceiling and examining the frame from underside that will guarantee better identification of truss and wall top plates defects is better than the examination from inside the attic, which risks keeping some defects unidentified?

What are you thoughts? How do you prefer examining roof frame when the damage is already extensive?

RE: Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

The under side inspection should be performed as the preliminary assessment, and pin point the suspicious areas/locations to perform a close up examination in the attic to complete the inspection. The inspection may require ceiling/roof removal if the attic/suspicious location is inaccessible.

RE: Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

(OP)
But if the attic is accessible, does it provide good visual examination with all the insulation that will conceal some damages?

RE: Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

Personally I'm not too partial to removing finishes that potentially don't need to unless I have a good reason.

It's likely that a review from the attic itself with a decent flashlight should get you the majority of what you need. If you have some issues accessing certain areas, or have concerns after your review from the attic space that there is damage you can't see due to access or insulation, then you can indicate as such and have them remove it.

If the finishes are coming down anyways, I request it's removed prior to our attendance to avoid having to come out twice.

Case by case basis.

That being said, regarding insulation, I've come out of some attics absolutely covered in insulation because I'm willing to move it out of the way, do my review, and replace it as necessary to get the clearest review I can the first time around. I usually leave the attic review until the very end, so that I can come out of there and just leave instead of tracking insulation throughout the rest of the building.

RE: Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

Once you know the exact location, the inspection can be carried out through local cleaning, or removing ceiling/roof panels. External inspection can't tell the exact detail/nature of the damages, but the result from the damages.

RE: Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

If there is no attic opening, think abut making a permanent one say via a closet or other less used space. That will always come in handy in the future anyhow.

RE: Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

It is hard to justify removing ceiling finishes unless they are already damaged and will have to be repaired. Close observation from the exterior and interior should let you know if it is more warranted. I get a lot of use from a telescopic paint pole with some modified painting attachments if I want to get a closer look at the eave of the attic. I have used 2 boards for kneeling on and then using the paint pole to move insulation back and forth. You are generally looking at a limited area when it is tree impact. For wind uplift, look really good at the top 5" of interior wall where it meets the ceiling. Horizontal defects in that are tend to indicate a higher possibility of rafter to plate, plate to plate or plate to stud separation.

A really good camera with a close zoom is essential once you have moved the insulation. Low pitch roofs are too hard to get to the eave so the 2 kneeling boards help a lot.

Lastly, leave instructions to be carried out if during repair, these hidden items are revealed.

RE: Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

(OP)
Thank you guys foe your answers. My question specially applies to cases where good damage can by seen from the exterior, so trusses or rafters have really been damaged. I wouldn't remove the ceiling finishes for a check purpose of I don't know that substantial repair is really required.

RE: Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

When the damage can be seen from the exterior, repair work seems to be in the order, don't you need to remove something? Or maybe the damage just a dent on the roofing, then why worry and thinking the attic? Don't make sense to me. Do you have photo on the damage taken from outside?

RE: Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

(OP)
I don't currently have a case, it's just a discussion that we had recently with some colleagues. But I think there is a misunderstanding here. I was saying that when we see damage from the exterior, then we will be doing removals for the repair even if not for the inspection. So, do we do it for the inspection anyway since we'll be doing the removals later for the repair?

RE: Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

If you are going to do it anyway, I would remove it if I felt I needed to as long as it did not leave the owner inconvenienced.

RE: Roof damage investigation: access attic vs. remove ceiling?

First... you need really good illumination and then address the trusses... one at a time, starting from one end... and take lots of pictures...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

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