How to Fix Leaking Roof Rafters

What You'll Need
3/4-inch plywood
Table saw
Measuring tape

If you find that your rafters are causing leaks within your home, you may want to consider having someone fix the issue for you. However, the process of fixing a roof rafter is actually simple enough to do on your own. Rather than paying someone else to take on the work, think about taking on this project yourself. Check out the guide below.

Step 1 - Have the Roof Inspected

If you think it's just the rafters causing the problem, you could be very wrong. A lot of times those issues are indications of bigger problems in the structure of the roof as a whole. Before you spend the time to fix the issue, make sure that it's the only one you are dealing with. Call an inspector out to assess the damages. Move on based on their recommendation.

Step 2 - Cut the Sister Rafter

To fix the rafter, you are basically just cutting out another rafter to put right next to it, otherwise noted as the "sister" rafter. Cut your plywood to match the length of the existing rafter. If part of the old rafter is split in half, try to remove it and then accommodate for the length subtracted with the new wood. Use a tape measure for measurements and a pencil to mark where to cut. Then use a table saw to finish the job.

Step 3 - Nail in the Sister Rafter

Once you have the sister rafter cut out, you will need to nail it in. Start by nailing it to the existing rafter. Then nail it up to the top plate and ridge board. Make sure that everything is secured. If the old rafter just falls apart when you mess with it, it is likely rotted away. Once you have the new one secured, try pulling out the old one and perhaps installing another rafter.

Working Considerations

When you're dealing with your roof, there are a few things to consider before you get to work. Weather conditions are highly important, so don't do this project if it is raining or very windy outside. Precipitation is the main concern though, so watch out for a good day of weather before proceeding.

Always wear a protective mask and protective goggles when working in the attic. The insulation up there can fall down very easily and irritate your skin, breathing and sight. If you can, wear long sleeves as well, along with work boots to ward off the nails you might step on along the way. Never ever go into an attic barefoot. Thick jeans or pants would also be ideal to wear.

You should have no reason to go on the roof itself. If the integrity of it is compromised, you could be setting yourself up for disaster by going up there unnecessarily. You can assess all of the issues with the rafters right from your attic.