What Can We Tell from This Photograph? (Case Study 3)

Posted by in Simple Forensic Methods | September 29, 2014


This is an exercise to develop the abilities of observation.

What can one know from examining this photograph?

The wood trusses are showing distress. Specifically, the members are buckling and the trusses are leaning as evidenced by the members not aligning in a plane.

The truss web members are inadequately braced.  The long diagonal members are susceptible to buckling from compression and require lateral bracing.  This bracing is commonly specified by the truss manufacturer. The short braces seen at the top of the photo are not adequate.  The fractured member extending out to the left indicates that some bracing was removed.

The roof exhibits sagging as evidenced by the damage to the drywall firewall.

The attic appears to be well ventilated along the eave as evidenced by the light seen in teh truss spaces along the eave.

There has been a lot of foot traffic in this attic, as evidenced by the compressed, disturbed, and uneven condition of the insulation.

Do you have any other observations that we missed?

Please write to us at engineering@prugarinc.com and let us know.