Roof Repairs – The Rafters

The rafters in your roof space are an integral part of your roofing structure and great care needs to be taken to ensure that they are kept in the best condition.

There are three layers of materials in a roof:

  • sheathing
  • felt
  • shingles or tiles

The diagram below shows how this is constructed. The sheathing is nailed to the rafters prior to the shingles or felt being applied. It is important that the structure of the rafters are integral prior to this happening and any repairs must be enacted first.

Repairing rafters 1
Image Source: IFAS publication DH 512. Adapted by UF/IFAS from: Document DH-058, IFAS Disaster Handbook for Extension Agents (developed by the Cooperative Extension Service for the benefit of Florida’s citizens)

The strength of the roof is dictated by the sturdiness of the structure and requires a continuous rafter or truss member to extend from on point of fastening to the other. If this is not integral then the whole point needs to be replaced rather than repaired.

This may be carried out by nailing an existing broken rafter to an new integral one on a truss and the two points of fastening overlapped.

The area to be scabbed upon will depend upon the type of repair, smaller repairs could use a smaller scab and truss configuration.

Broken rafters result in a weaker roof and therefore need to be strengthened, if replacement or repair is not possible as shown above then a 2 x 6 board may be nailed to the rafter and extend across the weakened area on to the next few solid and undamaged to each side of the weakened unit.

You may also use a prop to carry out this repair but it will never be as strong as a replaced unit.

All repair wood should be larger but never smaller and ideally the same size as the unit being supported i.e. 2 x 6 or the same.

Rafters should be tied down every four feet using rafter ties and at least three suitable sized nails.

Our Company

We are a roofing company based in Wirral (Wirral roofers page), we also serve Liverpool (Liverpool roofers page) and Chester (Chester roofers page). We can repair or replace any aspect of pitched or flat roofs.

we publish this and other articles as social proof that we are technical proficient at what we do.

We don’t recommend you repair your rafters yourself but if you are interested in a DIY guide we can recommend this website at

If you need a professional and time served roofing company then get in touch with us for a great quote.