How To Stabilize A Sagging, Rotting Roof Until You Can Replace It

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Keeping Your Roof In Decent Shape

After listening to a few friends of mine complain about the cost of replacing their roof, I realized that I should make sure that my own roof was in decent shape. I climbed up on a ladder to see if I could see the shingles, and things weren't looking very pretty. Some patches of shingles were missing entirely, while others looked badly damaged. Fortunately, I caught the damage early enough that experts could patch up the issues. However, since roofing damage isn't always obvious, I decided to put up this website so that others can spot trouble of their own.

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How To Stabilize A Sagging, Rotting Roof Until You Can Replace It

27 January 2017
 Categories: , Blog


Some old houses can stand the test of time. Unfortunately their roofs do not. It does not matter what type of material was used to construct the roof on your house, it will eventually give out. When it does, you need to repair or replace it by hiring a roofing contractor. Until then, there are a few things you can do to stabilize a sagging and/or rotting roof.

From the Inside

If you have attic access, you can stabilize and support the roof from inside the house. You will need to construct braces to help push up and support the sagging areas. To do this, enter your attic carefully. Measure the roof overhead to the floor on any one side or area where the roof is still stable. This is the length (or height) of the brace you need to make. Then purchase thick, solid square posts, similar to the ones used to keep a fence erect. You can even have them cut to fit the measurements you collected, and then the store clerk can also cut one end on each post at a forty-five-degree angle.

  1. With post(s) in hand, reenter your attic.
  2. Take the angled end of this post and prop it up under the saggiest part of the roof.
  3. Gently push the post into a vertical position, as far as it will go. Be sure to do this very slowly so that the damaged area does not suddenly collapse completely.
  4. When you can no longer push the post, use a rubber-headed mallet to slowly and carefully hammer the post into a perfectly straight and perfectly vertical position.
  5. Repeat for any and all other areas of the roof where there is a problem, taking care to brace the bottom of each post against a floor board or floor beam and not the insulation or drywall in between.

These inside supports should hold for about a month to a few months, depending on the weather and how much wind and rain you get.

From the Outside

Stabilizing a sagging or rotting roof from the outside is a little trickier, mostly because you need to get onto the roof without crashing through it. A series of wood planks have to be constructed to resemble a hashtag (or pound symbol), and the opening in the middle should surround the damaged area of your roof. Each end of the planks in this grid-like structure has to be secured to a solid beam in your roof because the structure acts as both your means to maneuver around the roof AND secure the damaged areas of the roof.

Once this structure is secured to the roof, nail or bolt the solid parts of the roof to this grid-like structure. This should keep it from collapsing further, but it will only buy you just enough time to find and hire a roofing contractor. If you use this method in conjunction with the "inside" method above, it could buy you a little more time.

For more information, contact local professionals like Encore Roofing, LLC.