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Fixing a Cracked Rafter Tail

Q: "Can my sagging eaves be fixed?"


The eaves of my house are sagging in one spot where a rafter is cracked, right above the notch where it rests on the wall. Can it be fixed?
— Mike Scully, Nampa, Idaho


Tom Silva replies: I think so, with the help of some polyurethane glue. Force the crack open a bit, dampen it with water—polyurethane cures faster on wet wood—then use a stiff brush to force the glue into the crack. Now brace the rafter tail in its original position until the glue cures. One way to do this is by temporarily screwing a board across the underside of the rafters on both sides of the cracked one. This will "borrow" the strength of the good rafters to support the damaged one.
If you want to strengthen the rafter even more, take a 1x fascia board that's an inch or so wider than the rafter ends and fasten it permanently across all of the rafter ends. For this fix to work, however, the roof sheathing has to extend past the rafter tails by at least an inch so you can tuck the fascia up underneath it.


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