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Thread: Smoked Framing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Iowa City, IA

    Default Smoked Framing

    As I climbed into the attic I started to think there may be some ventilation issues, that is before I fully lifted my head to take a look around. The majority of the trusses and sheathing board were a charred black color (you may have read a little bit about this in my gas fireplace post)... The 4 most northern trusses had some sister type bracing installed, most of which did not extend completely down to the top of the stud wall. I think this was a first for me (bank repo and no disclosure of course)! Some of the sheathing board at the far north end (closest to where the chimney would have been) had been replaced. The truss chords and webbing did'nt look like there damaged TOO badly (not burnt through anyway) . I think there was probably more smoke than flames. The sister bracing had plywood gusset type plates and looked some what make shift... What do you guys think?

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  2. #2
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Smoked Framing

    We have a Truss guy on the board he should be along soon.

    1. One problem with fire damage/smoke damage is the buyer getting insurance for the home. and this can be a back saber for inspector.

    2. the repairs don't look like something that was engineered. I Would make notes indicating evidence of past fire/smoke and repairs. just what you see and that they should check on permits and info from the seller.

    Good call Dude



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Ormond Beach, Florida

    Default Re: Smoked Framing

    Mike (the truss guy) should have some good input.

    One of my concerns would be the heating up of the metal truss plates and their effect on the wood they are grabbing into. If the metal got hot enough it seems as though it might affect (degrade,char, etc.) the interior of the wood.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( )

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI

    Default Re: Smoked Framing

    Looks like there might be some carbonization of the wood on some of those photos [Esp. top chord near the eave on the bottom left of 2nd & third photos and the underside of the top chords and decking in the distance on the first photograph (right)].

    Carbonization takes place at much lower temps than combustion.

    Carbonized wood can combust at significantly lower temperatures.

    The strength and integrity of carbonized wood framing members would be rightfully questionable. Even an apparent "slight" compromise to a wood truss componant could be expodentially critical.

    Engineer's inspection and report or minimally a review of a prior inspection and report, looks to be warranted. Legitimate evidence envoking the questionability as to the sufficiency, integrity and worthiness of a code compliant remediation exists.

    Whether or not the patchwork replacement of the decking is acceptable and lack of other permanent truss bracing is of issue could also be determined by the engineer who provides this inpection, review, analysis and report.

    Curious about the insulation/ventillation situation for this attic space.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 03-01-2009 at 01:49 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Erwin, TN

    Default Re: Smoked Framing

    I have inspected some of this same damage in my 4 years of inspecting. The 4 that I've inspected in my past experience have had much more damage than what I see in these photos. In some fire damage cases the Fire Marshall will come out and inspect the damage and require the owners to spray them with white or silver paint, this might be a good ideal because they may continue to smell the charred 2x4 framing if not sprayed. TN Sam


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