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Truss Lift

 
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Old 04-26-2006, 09:51 PM   #1
 
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Truss Lift


In April of 2004, I started construction on a spec house. Trusses were set in June. By December the sheetrock began to crack on the second floor. The truss span is 32' and there is almost a half inch gap at mid span during the winter. It settled down to nothing last summer and is starting to decrease again as we approach summer. The sheetrockers attached the drywall to the trusses rather than using clips (which we are now installing). I have never had this problem before and have built many houses at the same time of year and with longer truss spans. I suggested crown molding to the client, but he doesn't like how it will look. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.
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Old 04-26-2006, 10:05 PM   #2
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Re: Truss Lift


He doesn't like how crown molding looks?

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Old 04-26-2006, 10:38 PM   #3
 
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Re: Truss Lift


No. He doesn't think it will look good with his 8' ceilings. This solution has the most likelihood of success. My question is: Should I have known not to attach any sheetrock to trusses within in 18" of interior walls, is that the sheetrockers responsibility, or is truss uplift not a common enough thing for a contractor to know everyway to avoid it( I have been building houses since 1998 and have never had this problem or heard of it.)
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Old 04-27-2006, 12:07 AM   #4
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Re: Truss Lift


I think you have some other issues going on. Any expansive soil in your area??
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Old 04-27-2006, 07:20 AM   #5
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Re: Truss Lift


Truss uplift for sure......With the 32' span, it is not uncommon at all for them to lift 1/2" or more. It doesn't matter one bit what time of year the house was built or trusses set. They will raise that much every single winter.

I ALWAYS block the interior wall plates that run perpendicular to the trusses. These are just scrap lumber a foot or so long, nailed to top plates between trusses. If you (as the builder) did not block or clip the wall plates, the sheetrockers had no choice but fasten into the truss. After I have all blocks and nailers in, the sheetrockers will have something to fasten the edges to.

As far as your current problem...... I would suggest you get in the attic and fasten blocks on all interior wall plates. Then you'll have to retape, texture and paint all the walls. This is a bad deal, since you did not do right in the first place, to have to do all this work now for nothing. I don't blame the client for not wanting crown, because it is basically a cheap way for you to cover your ass.
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:40 AM   #6
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Re: Truss Lift


I built new homes for 25 years with trusses and never heard of truss uplift. I still own a building I did 21 years ago with trusses and never saw a problem. I also stay in touch with people and visit homes I did 25 years ago and never saw this type of problem.

Generally trusses are built with about a 1/2 in. camber so the members go under tension right away, (making them kinda like pre stressed), but moving up or down after the drywall would be a new one to me.
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Old 04-27-2006, 10:26 AM   #7
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Re: Truss Lift


Rob, do a Google search - type in "truss uplift" and you'll get all the information you need.

I don't know where you're at, but it may be you're in an area that doesn't have winter time issues like us up north.

I don't have the time right now to explain, but the search should expain everything.

30 years ago, before we were using trusses and hand framed everything, we nailed ceiling joists to interior top plates. Then trusses came along and we used to nail the bottom chord to interior wall plates. The trusses would actually lift the whole wall (sheetrock & all), there would be a gap btween the floor and baseboard of 1/2" or more! Now we know that trusses absolutely DON"T get nailed to interior walls.
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Old 04-27-2006, 11:08 AM   #8
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Re: Truss Lift


Quote:
Rob, do a Google search - type in "truss uplift" and you'll get all the information you need.
Hmm. Just when I thought I knew everything.
I'm in southern Colorado and we are getting dryer all the time. 1/2 in moisture in the last 100 days.
Just another example of the regional thing. I just got back from Key West and building there is foreign to me. Of course we have our own peculiar problems to deal with here in CO, (mainly expansive soils), so we do some things that would seem strange to some of the guys around Contractor Talk.

I hate when I have to learn something new..
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Old 04-27-2006, 01:12 PM   #9
 
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Re: Truss Lift


We have serious trusslift problems here, too. We use "cornerback", or 1-1/2" sheet metal angle at all interior truss/wall intersections. Rockers know not to screw near the walls. Problems arise when we do angled trays or other fanciness. It's a real challenge.

As for your customer - he's a nutjob if he doesn't think crown will add huge elegance to his room. Crown looks great in almost any situation. You could paint it to match the walls if nothing else, but a richly stained wood looks fantastic.
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Old 04-27-2006, 03:05 PM   #10
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Re: Truss Lift


I must add something here on the crown molding issue......

We have already established the truss uplift issue. I'll bet the crack is pretty much gone by now (season). But it WILL return next winter & every winter hereafter if the issue is not resolved correctly.

Now back to the crown molding idea.....If the fella just nails it up like most folks do, he will brobably nail it to both wall & ceiling to get a good tight fight with the irregularities in the wall. Now imagine whats going to happen next winter when the homeowner calls again and says how the crown molding is splitting or pulling loose??!!!??/ If he must take the cheap route and install some trim boards (which h.o. doesn't want), it better be nailed to the CEILING ONLY. This way when the trusses lift, the crown will go with it. The crown will basically slide on the wall.
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Old 04-27-2006, 07:14 PM   #11
 
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Re: Truss Lift


From what I have heard, you would only nail the crown molding to the ceiling. From some internet searches I did, it sounds like the only way to solve the problem now is to go in to the attic and screw blocking down to the interior walls between every truss. This is done in the summer when the trusses have settled back down. It is going to be a huge pain in the butt, with the 10" - 12" of blown in insulation. I guess I chock this up as another on the job learning experience.
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Old 04-27-2006, 09:20 PM   #12
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Re: Truss Lift


Quote:
Originally Posted by maj

I ALWAYS block the interior wall plates that run perpendicular to the trusses. These are just scrap lumber a foot or so long, nailed to top plates between trusses. If you (as the builder) did not block or clip the wall plates, the sheetrockers had no choice but fasten into the truss. After I have all blocks and nailers in, the sheetrockers will have something to fasten the edges to.

As far as your current problem...... I would suggest you get in the attic and fasten blocks on all interior wall plates. Then you'll have to retape, texture and paint all the walls. This is a bad deal, since you did not do right in the first place, to have to do all this work now for nothing. I don't blame the client for not wanting crown, because it is basically a cheap way for you to cover your ass.
Quote:
We have already established the truss uplift issue. I'll bet the crack is pretty much gone by now (season). But it WILL return next winter & every winter hereafter if the issue is not resolved correctly.
Quote:
If he must take the cheap route and install some trim boards (which h.o. doesn't want), it better be nailed to the CEILING ONLY. This way when the trusses lift, the crown will go with it. The crown will basically slide on the wall.
You got it now!!!!!!!!

Lesson learned!!!!!!

You'll really appreciate this lesson when you're in the attic this summer.

BTW, you'll also want to reblow the attic insulation when you're all done
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Old 04-27-2006, 10:11 PM   #13
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Re: Truss Lift


How to solve truss uplift and the problems that is cause's. One don't nail your trusses to the walls. Two use (spacing the name) the simpson truss brackets to attach walls. Three walls parallel to trusses where the truss is over 16" from wall add a 2x member on edge attached to trusses perpendicular to 2x members attached to top of bottom chords 16" from wall. Four rockers use clips.

Regardless if clips are used if the trusses are toe nailed to walls you still have a problem.


I mean interior walls.

Last edited by JustaFramer; 05-10-2006 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:56 PM   #14
 
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Re: Truss Lift


I've had the same problem in a few of the houses I built last year. I started ensuring that my hanger followed the screw spacing guidelines that came with the truss package(who reads directions). I use sliding T brackets when its absolutely necessary to fasten to an interior wall. I haven't had any problems since. atleast not this winter.
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Old 05-10-2006, 05:50 PM   #15
 
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Re: Truss Lift


Need engineering plans in order to provide a satisfactory construction fix. From your partial description crown molding could be an answer, but the concern should be concentrated on the structural issues.

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Old 05-10-2006, 11:44 PM   #16
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Re: Truss Lift


Quote:
Originally Posted by STEPHENMISHKA
Need engineering plans in order to provide a satisfactory construction fix. From your partial description crown molding could be an answer, but the concern should be concentrated on the structural issues.

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WHAT did you not read my post that remedies the problem. There is no structral issue here. I don't know about you but in WA we have been been aware of the problem for 2 or 3 years now and have been assembling trusses and backing the way I described since.
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Old 05-11-2006, 06:04 AM   #17
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Re: Truss Lift


I have only seen one home affected by truss lift here in Oklahoma. Must be the climate, becasue after we blew in 10 inches of insulation, it hasn't happened again. I have seen trusses attached both ways here.
I read that a lot of truss lift problems had to do with moisture content on the material when they were installed and then dried out to...I think the material I was reading referred to cracking in ceilings in older truss framed homes, so maybe this isn't, per say, "truss lift", but rather settling or something similar. The one house I sew true lift in also had no venting in the attic and no insulation.

Last edited by Joasis; 05-11-2006 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 05-11-2006, 06:37 AM   #18
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Re: Truss Lift


Quote:
Originally Posted by JustaFramer
WHAT did you not read my post that remedies the problem. There is no structral issue here. I don't know about you but in WA we have been been aware of the problem for 2 or 3 years now and have been assembling trusses and backing the way I described since.
It's been common practice around here for at least 20 years Justa.....

Joasis, Up north where we have high humidity & temps in summer; low humidy & temps in winter, truss uplift is an annual occurance. If it is not dealt with during the construction, the ceiling/wall joints on interior walls will open 1/2" every winter, then close tight in the summer.
We blow anywhere from 16 - 20 inches insulation. The problem arises when there is extreme temp. & humidity differences between bottom & top chords. With 20" of insulation, in the winter the bottom chord stays warm & moist, while the top chords & webbing is cold & dry. Trusses literally lift off the interior walls.

It's not to say settling could be a problem in certain cases, but more often than not, it's uplift. All houses I've built the last 5 years have included floor trusses, since there is no bearing center walls in the basement, settling problems is all but eliminated.
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Old 05-11-2006, 10:33 PM   #19
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Re: Truss Lift


Quote:
Originally Posted by maj
It's been common practice around here for at least 20 years Justa.....

Joasis, Up north where we have high humidity & temps in summer; low humidy & temps in winter, truss uplift is an annual occurance. If it is not dealt with during the construction, the ceiling/wall joints on interior walls will open 1/2" every winter, then close tight in the summer.
We blow anywhere from 16 - 20 inches insulation. The problem arises when there is extreme temp. & humidity differences between bottom & top chords. With 20" of insulation, in the winter the bottom chord stays warm & moist, while the top chords & webbing is cold & dry. Trusses literally lift off the interior walls.

It's not to say settling could be a problem in certain cases, but more often than not, it's uplift. All houses I've built the last 5 years have included floor trusses, since there is no bearing center walls in the basement, settling problems is all but eliminated.

Some of the dumb CS's I worked for in the earlier stages of the game where dumb fer's. The mostly yelled and where probably homosexual. Not rocket real sciencist's these cats. It wasn't till I talked and learned from the "watchers" (inspectors) did I learn a thing or two.
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Old 05-12-2006, 06:01 AM   #20
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Re: Truss Lift


I think maj, the difference here is the dry climate, basically all year...when the humidity pumps up, it is never long enough to make things happen. For that matter, I can air dry lumber from my sawmill to 10 - 12% just stacking it in the garage....and if the attic will hold it, 8% after a summer up there.

Back to the truss lift, I was in a house a few months back that was built in '77 ( I was the worm on the crew), and did not notice a crack anywhere in the ceilings, and this was a cheap spec home, so there was no crown hiding anything. That house was the first I was on that used engineered trusses.

Now guys...the custom we are in price stages on will use 5/12 trusses on 44'-5" span, and half of them will be scissored 2/12 for a vaulted ceiling. Now since the few interior walls in the vaulted area will be framed in place...looks like I may need to allow them to be clipped, just in case. Whatcha think?

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