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Thread: rafter shims

  1. #1
    wes owens's Avatar
    wes owens Guest

    Default rafter shims

    Anybody ever see shims between the rafters and the roof sheathing?

    If so, what do you put in your reports?

    The inspection I did yesterday was a re-roof with several areas that had shims wedged between the rafters and roof sheathing.

    I don't have a good picture to show but the shims were narrow strips of wood that barely covered the rafters, and most were near the roof edge.

    Any thoughts?

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  2. #2
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: rafter shims

    First thing that comes to mind is that someone did this to attempt to take out some of the 'wavy' effect of the roof covering, as viewed from the exterior.

    Rich


  3. #3
    wes owens's Avatar
    wes owens Guest

    Default Re: rafter shims

    I called for repairs.

    Just wanted to make sure it was not something that many people see, for obvious reasons.

    The guy who owns the house did the repairs himself.


  4. #4
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: rafter shims

    Just out of curosity....how old was the house? Also was the roof stick-built or trusses?


  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: rafter shims

    Sounds like repairs were needed.

    They 'probably' used the same nails to nail those areas down with (nail the roof sheathing down) as the rest of the roof, meaning that those nails are not as far into the rafters/trusses as the others.

    Being at the end of the roof, that's where the high pressure is, and *not* where you want short nails to be.

    Were the shims continuous strips of short strips with gaps? Short strips with gaps would make it even worse.

    Besides, those shims would also have to be independently fastened to the rafter to the same extent as the roof sheathing, meaning twice as many nails would have had to have been used. We all know that most likely never happened.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    wes owens's Avatar
    wes owens Guest

    Default Re: rafter shims

    37 years old.
    Stick built.
    Short pieces of shim. Some were double stacked.


  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: rafter shims

    Quote Originally Posted by wes owens View Post
    37 years old.
    Stick built.
    Short pieces of shim. Some were double stacked.
    With an almost 40 year old house, that is not showing any problems from the shims, I doubt I would say much. If I wanted to CMA, I might say something along the lines of "I found some unconventional framing (Shims) in the attic. They do not look like they have caused any problems. But you need to be aware that unconventional items tend to perform in unconventional ways, so I can not predict what might happen down the road."

    But this is me. You might not be comfortable with this approach.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  8. #8
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: rafter shims

    I would imagine that this house also had braces added from the roof rafters to the ceiling joist...hopfully to the top of a load bearing walls. If there is no serious cracks in the ceiling or walls I just mention the additional bracing. If there are shims installed to level the roof sheathing then at most I would recommend adding a 2X4 along the side of the rafter for more support. A 37 year old house is not going to be perfect.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Corpus Christi, TX
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    Default Re: rafter shims

    With a house that age and assuming what you were looking at didn't appear to be a recent change, I would repoprt along the lines of Scott's suggestion.

    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  10. #10
    wes owens's Avatar
    wes owens Guest

    Default Re: rafter shims

    The roof and some sheathing was replaced a couple of years ago.
    Shingles were in great shape, except for the raised areas under the shingles in a few spots as viewed from the exterior.

    I think while doing the repairs, they noticed some areas that were not level and tried to fill in the gaps to level out some wavy areas with the shim.

    But thats just a guess.


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