Check roof eaves and gable end walls


Check roof eaves and gable end walls for gaps, corrosion or rotten timber.

In Queensland we use wide eaves to protect direct sunlight entering through glass windows, in order to keep houses cooler in summer. The eaves are the horizontal, lower edge of a sloped roof, the soffits are the finished underside of the eaves, and the eaves flashing is an additional layer of roofing material applied at the eaves to help prevent damage from water back up.  

Another significant part of the house affected by cyclonic winds soffit or roof eaves, either because of inadequate fixing or support for the eaves lining or because the lining spans too far. Damage to the eaves lining allows rain and wind to blow into the roof cavity, which may result in damage to the ceiling and wall lining inside your house, or even ceiling collapse.

At any time, rotten timber can pose a serious safety hazard if any weight-bearing materials, such as flooring, decking, joists and stairs are compromised and subject to breakage. Warping weatherboards and vertical cracks to brickwork may indicate subfloor failure. It is important to maintain a good protective paint or stain coating on all exposed timberwork, otherwise deterioration such as splitting and rotting will occur, and again this can compromise the protective perimeter.

Gradually warping weatherboards may result because of their exposure to the elements or the house frame drying and warping. These are not severe problems and but need annual checking because they can compromise the protective perimeter. Seal any significant gaps that develop, in order to prevent damaging water or pests from entering.

Any termite damage to the external walls or footings will compromise structure strength and stability. Call a professional to check for termite infestation, which can cause thousands of dollars damage to timber frames and timer homes. The Building Code of Australia provides a range of termite management measures that can be used, including chemical or physical barriers or a combination of any of these. A qualified termite management contractor should perform annual inspections or more often, in high-risk areas.

Does your house have a pitched, or gabled roof? If so, the external end wall takes a tremendous beating during cyclonicwinds. When a house has a pitched roof, the triangle formed by the upside-down 'V' and the front or back external wall is called the gable end wall. Once the gable end wall is damaged, strong winds, rain or hail can enter the house causing much internal damage.

Gable end walls are easy to strengthen and deserve high priority on your retrofit list. Typically, gable end trusses are directly attached to the top of gable end walls. The bottom of the truss must be securely nailed or screwed to the top of the wall and braced to adjacent trusses. This prevents wind from pushing or pulling the gable end at its critical point, where the gable truss is connected along the gable wall. Without adequate bracing, the end wall may be destroyed during high intensity winds.