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Here you'll find the essential images to quickly identify indications of dry rot in roof beams, why many common wood repair techniques are ineffective on exterior roof beams, and how The Century Beam restoration can give your roof beams a new lease on life. If you landed on this page first, I highly recommend you begin with the article Roof Beams or visit it immediately after this page.

What Is Roof Beam Dry Rot? Why Does It Happen?

 

The nature and appearance of dry rot in roof beams can be understood in context.

Dry rot is caused by fungi. In the forest, these fungi have the job of decomposing dead and dying trees to make food and room for the next generations. It's part of mother nature's recycling plan. 

But, for homeowners, nature's efficiency becomes a threat to the structural integrity of their roof beams. The worst of these culminate in structural failure.

While an ounce of prevention is still worth a pound of cure, early detection of roof beam dry rot is the next best tool in the homeowner's toolbox. 

Below is a gallery featuring a variety of dry rot issues in roof beams. Each photo has a description to help you identify similar issues in your beams. Click the top photo to expand and read the explanation. (On some iPads, you'll need to use a slow double tap.) Use the arrows within the expansion to read flip-book style. (On mobile devices, tap and swipe left.)

What Types of Dry Rot Repair Are There? What Should I Avoid?

 

Carpenters often refer to the "bones" of a house when speaking of studs, posts, beams, and the like. Remodelers and realtors speak of a home as having "good bones" as well. The analogy is a good one; just as your bones are the structural framework of your body, structural roof beams are the bones that hold up the entirety of your roof. And if you've ever injured a bone, you also know that a cosmetic "fix" is an absurd notion. This reality also applies to roof beams; any restorative work to these exposed structural members must be able to endure all of the physical loads and weather extremes they're sure to be subject to.

Below is a photo gallery of ineffective roof beam dry rot repairs that homeowners over the years have asked me to inspect. Each photo has a description to explain the attempted repair and its subsequent failure. Click the top photo to expand and read the explanation. (On some iPads, you'll need to use a slow double tap.) Use the arrows within the expansion to read flip-book style. (On mobile devices, tap and swipe left.)

The following one-minute videos reveal the consequences of a few types of cosmetic-only repairs. These are failing repairs I was brought in to correct.

(*Note: I have no control over the "more videos" selections YouTube adds on pause or stop.)

What Type of Roof Beam Restoration Do You Offer? How Long Will It Last?

 

Returning to the bone analogy from above, when a bone is so severely damaged that setting it isn't enough, a physician will reassemble and reinforce the weakened area with metal plates and screws. I use a similar technique with severely dry-rotted roof beams. I offer The Century Beam restoration which is engineered to last the expected life of the home.

Like a surgeon, my purpose is to restore these structural members back to their full function. The Carter Sparks - Streng roof beams have another, more subtle function: the design was intended to extended the bold architectural lines from the inside out and the outside in. The Century Beam restoration will bring back a roof beam’s original length and projection as well. Below is a complete Streng Beam restoration using the Century Beam method. (Read the article on Streng Beam Restoration.)

The Century Beam restoration is designed to restore both form and function. I engineered this restoration method after consulting with Streng Brothers' architect Carter Sparks back in 1995. His insights on using architectural perspective to blend the load-bearing function with mid-century modern form were invaluable. Below are two 30-second videos which highlight the blending of two essential qualities: the restoration of structural integrity with enduring aesthetic appeal.

Perspective

Vanishing Point

Below is a gallery with close-up views of The Century Beam highlighting the complete restoration of the load-bearing function that will last the expected life of a home. Click the top photo to expand. (On some iPads, you'll need to use a slow double tap.) Use the arrows within the expansion to view flip-book style. (On mobile devices tap and swipe left.)

If you haven't already done so, go to the Roof Beams article now. If you're ready to consider the services I offer, you can jump to the Services page or allow me to answer your roof beam questions via phone or email. If you have general questions about roof beam repairs or restoration, try the FAQ page. Everybody should visit the Before You Repair page to be safe when hiring for roof beam repairs. If you're curious to know more about me and my history, go to About The Beam Guy

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