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Roof Pedicure - Toe Nailing!

A roof pedicure happens when "repairs" are made by using a nailing technique called "toe nailing."

To toe nail a technique that abuts two perpendicular pieces of wood by driving nails at an angle on the very end.

This attachment technique really isn't good for most long term applications and is often only a temporary thing until the proper strap or bolt is put in place.  It should not be used long term for, say, roof support!

From the outside of the house there was a substantial dip in the roof.

That almost always means fun on the inside!

This roof was no exception.

I found two sistered joists in a row.

For all I know this was done many years ago.

But maybe even last year as the sheathing above these two joists was fairly new looking.

Nevertheless, this roof application is unprofessional and even dangerous.

When I see a dip in the roof and I can get to it, I never walk on it to test its strength!

Looking at this"repair" you can see just how wise that practice is.

And this view gives something of a close up of just how professional a job it was!

You will notice that this fine job uses three toe nails and six sistering nails!

Somebody thought that was "over engineering."

I certain worlds I guess that is.

My recommendation:  roofs sag for various reasons, but it is best to determine why.  The reason might actually be a safety issue.  Safety issues are not something one wants to inherit when buying a house.  Have a home inspector check it out!  You may be pleasantly surprised, or not...

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 23 commentsJay Markanich • May 03 2012 02:40AM

Comments

Yes, it is super important to have a home inspector look at this.  And, roof repair/replacement is very expensive.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) over 7 years ago

This one would be no exception Debbie, because the shingles were in very bad condition too.  And, this was not the only problem with the roof, no surprise!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Morning Jay we also have some sagging roofs and my mid section is there as well.  Although some nails might take care of the roof I wouldn't recommend it for my mid section :~)

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 7 years ago

Probably sound policy James!  I do hear they have staples for the mid section though!     ;>)

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

From what you are say, it looks like the sistering got the job done. Not sure why there was any sagging to start with. Were these beans 24" on center?

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 7 years ago

Joe - the nails were driven so far in I think because they are small.  They didn't penetrate the other side of the joist!  And notice how low this joist is to the ridge beam.  About 1" below.  I think the end of the previous joist must have rotted.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, our industry does not have a lock on this type of repair behavior. In my 30+ years as a Mack Truck dealer you would not believe the bailing wire jobs I have seen. Frame repairs like this are very dangerous. If a frame rail breaks not only can the driver get hurt, but depending on the situation a lot of other people can too. 

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) over 7 years ago

That has to be true Tom.  I expect schmuck work to span the industries!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Good morning Jay,

And I learned a new term - roof pedicure - love it, cute turn of phrase.  Now I can get a giggle from clients when I point out roof pedicures to be aware of!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) over 7 years ago

I wanted to use MANicure, Lisa, but pedicure worked better because of the toe nailing!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Sag could be due to 24" OC rafter spacing and no clips on the plywood, which as you know was not standard practice years ago. When I see sag, it is almost always on a truss roof due to the wider spacing. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 7 years ago

My guess is there was a dip on the roof trying to repair the dip in the roof.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) over 7 years ago

Jay, All I can say it is better to "toe nail" than "nail through toe".

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

It is 24" Jim, but there were clips, ironically on the sagging areas!  Note that the toe nail is about 1" below the ridge beam.  Excellent work.

I think I catch your drift Than.  Maybe a drifter roofer?

I have never nailed through toe, Don, but I have hammered my thumb pretty hard!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay -- once again, by trying to do things on the cheap (sistering, instead of replacing entire beam) they have added to the problems and eventual cost to fix things up.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) over 7 years ago

All of those rafters are toe nailed, but properly Steven.  That sistered rafter joist is a bit weak!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Wow. That would be an unpleasant surprise for a buyer and the home inspector. Probably why we hire good inspectors, yes?

Posted by Jon Quist, Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996 (REALTY EXECUTIVES TUCSON ELITE) over 7 years ago

It would if we were both up on the roof at the same time Jon!  From outside I would not get near this and it's probably a good thing.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Just when you think you've seen everything...

Too funny, but you are right, this may be a safety issue. Couple more nails should do it right Jay?

Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 7 years ago
Hi Jay, It so amazing that these things show as often as they do. But thankfully with the right pro, they can usually be rectified. Sadly it is usually the inocent Buyer that can get stuck with it.
Posted by William Johnson, Retired Real Estate Professional (Retired) over 7 years ago

I was shocked, shocked I tell you, that they only used 3 in the one and 6 in the other Tom.

Hence the great market we have for home inspectors William.  There will always be this kind of stuff out there.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

Jay, thank you for another lesson.  Sagging roofs are another thing I will keep an eye out for.  I have often seen the particle board sheathing warp (especially if exposed to moisture), but never really looked for sagging.

 

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

I can tell you that we all sag with time Chris!  And roofs are no exception.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 7 years ago

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