Truss Uplift Cause and Solutions

What is a Truss Rafter? Trusses are pre-engineered and manufactured assemblies that take the place of conventional rafter, ceiling joist – roof construction. Trusses are usually installed across the entire width of a home and transfer the load to the outside walls and through them to the foundation. Houses that are constructed using trusses seldom have internal load bearing walls. They are often a less expensive faster method than stick built roof framing. The trusses are a combination of wood members connected together with metal plates.

When a newer house shows signs of interior ceiling corner cracking at the top floor in the winter, this can normally be associated with truss uplift. Roof truss uplift occurs when the bottom chord of the truss is exposed to significantly different moisture and/or temperature conditions than the rest of the roof truss. The bottom chords of the truss are buried in heavy insulation, 12 inches or more thick. In the winter the warm temperature from the ceiling below and the thickness of the insulation keeps the bottom chord dry, causing them to shrink. The top chords (above the insulation) are absorbing moisture and being kept damp with the higher humidity in the attic. The dampness of the top chords of the trusses causes them to expand. This differential movement in the top and bottom chord of the trusses causes them to arch up in the center. Because the truss ends are secured to building exterior walls, (a location that resists outward thrust), as the truss bottom chord wants to expand along its length, the force pushes it upwards into the attic space. When the trusses arch up they pull away from the top plates at the ceiling-wall juncture of central interior wall partitions that run at right angles to the direction of the roof trusses, (predominately at interior partitions in the center of a building).  The ceiling/wall juncture cracks typically open in the winter and close in the summer.  As a result the problem is often an ongoing problem. The building contractor will be held responsible and in turn the drywall contractor will be called in to re-tape the corners and popped screws, only to have the problem reappear next season. If damage to the drywall occurs I am tempted to say that the drywall can’t be just repaired and refastened.  (See below for some possible preventative practices and ways to minimize the problem). Whatever the reason, the problem is real, but truss uplift is not a structural problem. This movement which can just cause a simple hairline crack or create large gaps and cracks along the corners is a cosmetic problem mostly in homes in cold climates.  I think the best approach is to stop the truss uplift action from having any effect on the ceiling and wall drywall joints that exist throughout the home. Remember, truss uplift is not truss uplift if the owner can’t see it. Let the trusses move.  The truss moves, the drywall bends, no crack, happy customer.

NOTE: Most truss movement occurs over a period of time, the preventive techniques listed below will allow the drywall to flex near the corners preventing cracking. In other words the truss does not just pop up or slam

When building a new house the framing contractor should secure the interior partitions to the trusses with truss clips. The clips attach to the tops of the interior wall partitions and are then fastened through the slots to the trusses. The fasteners are not driven tight so as to allow for movement of the truss. This keeps the partition wall stable and plumb and secures the rafters at the proper on center spacing. The drywall installer must then install the drywall properly to prevent cracking. A common method of attaching the drywall is to use floating interior angle method. This helps minimize the possibility of fasteners popping in areas adjacent to the wall and ceiling intersection and cracking due to the truss moving upwards. The drywall installers should not screw or nail the drywall to the trusses within 16 inches of an interior wall and within 8 inches of the ceilings on the interior walls. The ceiling drywall panel is fastened to blocks of wood nailed between the trusses to the top plates of the walls or to metal clips or continuous angles that are attached along the top of the interior walls.

Note:The key to eliminating truss uplift cracks and screw pops is to connect the ceiling and wall drywall while avoiding nailing or screwing the ceiling drywall panel to the bottom of the trusses at or near the intersectiondown. The movement is gradual so the drywall can just flex slowly as the rafter moves up but the drywall along the wall/ceiling intersection stays in place.


Figure 1 – Ceiling and wall damage caused by roof truss uplift.  Truss uplift occurs in homes when the bottom of the trusses separate from interior partition walls during winter months. This separation breaks the taped joints between ceiling and wall drywall as shown in Figure 3. The wider the span of the truss, the more often the problem seems to present itself



Figure 2 – Roof truss in normal position.

Truss Photo_01


Figure 3 – Roof truss in “uplift” position. NOTE: The walls that are prone to the problem are the interior walls that run at right angles to the trusses, but walls that run parallel to trusses especially those close to trusses are also in danger of being effected by truss uplift. 

Truss Photo_02


1. The solution to an existing condition: The tops of the interior walls should be un-nailed from the trusses. Remove or cut free the nails from inside the attic. Then remove all the ceiling screws within 16 inches of the corners at the center partitions and all the wall screws within 8 inches of the ceiling along the wall. The holes in the drywall should then be patched with dry wall joint compound and the walls and ceilings repainted. This solution will be difficult to accomplish and will be costly.

2.Install crown molding around all the second floor ceilings, nailing the trim only to the ceilings. This procedure would cover the cracks and maintain a good looking ceiling corner. Note:  When installing the crown molding in this manner, remember to paint the trim and drywall in the winter months so that there is no paint stripe at the bottom of the trim when the trusses lift next winter.

3. Change the way we insulate attics. Insulate against the roof plywood. This will create a conditioned attic so the temperature and humidity will be better controlled. In homes where the attic is part of the conditioned space, typically where expanded foam is sprayed against the roof sheathing, truss uplift problems are less likely.

Trim-Tex has a product called a “Truss Backing Angle” which is installed before the drywall is hung which helps prevent truss uplift.

Trim_Tex Solution_Truss Uplift

The idea is not really new; Trim-Tex is just trying to offer a better alternative that is also available at the numerous suppliers that carry their products. The backing angle is made out of vinyl, which is plenty strong enough. It just needs to hold the drywall edge in place along the top edge of the wall. It is attached the entire length of the walls being treated. This means that the drywall is backed for its entire length and can easily be fastened anywhere along the edge as long as the fasteners don’t go through the angle and into the truss. The screws start very easily in the vinyl engineered extrusions which speeds up production.

Truss Backing Angle: Eliminates inside ceiling corner cracking due to truss uplift at interior partition walls. The rigid PVC Framing Angle keeps the inside corner stationary during truss uplift.

Truss Photo_03


© Myron R. Ferguson 2014



70 thoughts on “Truss Uplift Cause and Solutions

  1. Hi Myron, It looks like we have this Truss Uplift problem in our 18 month old third floor condo. The builder sent an engineer today to look at the problem. He’s suggesting covering the problem with crown molding. I would prefer they remove the ceiling screws first then put up the molding. Should they do both? Or will the crown molding be enough to fix/hide the problem? Thanks.

    • Hi Michael, I would say removing the ceiling screw is a good idea otherwise the drywall will just keep moving and crack along the top of the crown. I would say you also could not fasten the crown to the rafters either. But I am still afraid that the ceiling drywall will still pull upwards.
      > I don’t know how bad the movement is but maybe attaching only to the rafters is a better option. That way you don’t have to remove the drywall screws and the crown will just slide up and down on the wall where it will not be very noticeable. Paint when the trusses are up.
      > Myron

    • I am a residential drywall contractor. the best way to prevent truss lift related drywall cracking is to install 2″ 25 gauge steel construction angle metal at the top of the interior partitions that are perpendicular to the trusses. Screw the metal into the wall plate but not the truss. don’t use screws in the ceilings any closer than 18″ from the top of the wall. Works perfectly. 100 houses per year, no callbacks. You’re welcome.

      • Hi Ed

        I found your comment about truss uplift.

        Can you explain a bit more in detail. I am a new homeowner and this 1994 house is experiencing it badly in the second level interior walls.

        I don’t quite understand when you talk about the steel plate?

        Here’s what you said.

        So I would have to remove screws from ceiling and wall perpendicular to ceiling?

        The screws on the top of the wall are pooping out!

        Thanks Cody.

        I am a residential drywall contractor. the best way to prevent truss lift related drywall cracking is to install 2″ 25 gauge steel construction angle metal at the top of the interior partitions that are perpendicular to the trusses. Screw the metal into the wall plate but not the truss. don’t use screws in the ceilings any closer than 18″ from the top of the wall. Works perfectly. 100 houses per year, no callbacks. You’re welcome.

        • Yes you would want to remove those screws so that the drywall will not be pulled up when the trusses lift. Your method of using the metal angles is great. I was referring to loosening the truss from the top wall plate and then attaching a metal bracket to the plate that has a slotted hole along the edge that attaches to the truss. A screw loosely installed in the slot will allow the truss to move up and down and not affect the wall while still having the truss attached to the wall.

  2. Hi Myron, Boy are you the guy I have been looking for , we turned our attached garage into part of the house 8 years ago and ever since I get ceiling cracks in the winter and they close up in the summer but they have done it so much that the screws are popping and it looks bad , I blew in about 22 inches of insulation but the roof plywood and trusses are still exposed to the cool temps from our south Dakota winters , would it help if I went up and spray foamed everything in the attic above the blown insulation to keep it from absorbing the humidity on top ? If so can I do it in the winter or not ?Thanks Mike

    • Hi Mike, The spray foam may help but it will be expensive typically around $2 per bd ft. If you choose tto do this i would do before the weather gets too cold.
      Truss uplift occurs along the ceiling at center located partition walls. Is the room just one big space or are there partition walls?
      My guess is that there is just structural movement. How good is the foundation of the old garage?
      If most of your problems are along the wall/ ceiling where the garage attaches to the house then the two buildings could just be moving independently of each other.

      • Hi Myron , It is pretty much all 1 room 14 x 18 with a hip roof 1 closet at the end of the room , most all cracks are in the center of the room running parallel with the rafters from wall to wall but not along any wall to ceiling joints . I did have pillars installed because a contractor thought it would help but it did not change a thing soon as fall comes.The cracks start to open . This always starts way before the hard freezing starts . Thanks Mike

  3. Hi Mike. Can i just use long nails or screws to secure the truss more to the interior walls? Like 3″-6″ pole barn nails for instance

    • Hi Brandon, I think there is a lot of force when the trusses pull upwards. The extra strong fasteners may hold and who knows maybe the wall itself will pull up a little. The cracking may not be as bad.
      Really good insulation and a well vented attic is best and if possible insulating the rafters against the roof and as a result having the attic as part of the conditioned space is also a good idea.

      • I have a friend that had a contractor nail the truss cords to the interior walls trying to make the connections stronger. Now they have wall movement which causes problems with the interior wall doors which will not close correctly. They rub the door casings.

  4. Myron,

    In 2013 I built a high end custom home directly on the intracoastal here in Florida. I used open cell spray foam throughout the walls and roof system. This is the second winter and the uplift is so significant that in several areas the cracks/openings are 5/8 to 3/4 inches. Last summar everything fully settled which confirms the uplift theory, however my conditions don’t seem to. Furthermore I anticipate adding crown in the coming months, but the movement during the winter months makes so much noise at night if often times can wake you up. There is a lot of popping and cracking. Please let me know your thoughts on this home specifically as it appears you are very familiar with the uplift phenomenon.



    • Joshua , just wondering if the snapping and cracking noise has gone away. I have the same situation ,since August last year , the builder is finally coming over to listen to my recorded noise. The truss has cracked the kitchen ceiling .Sometimes when I walk by the area I can hear the noise in the wall , but at night , its really bad. The last two nights haven’t been bad. I want the builder to go up in the attic to inspect. Whats your thoughts. craig

  5. Hi
    I was recently pointed to this article by a friend when i asked him about nail pops and cracks in ceilings. However I have now also noticed that there is a small gap between my kitchen cabinets on first floor and the sidewall. On that same sidewall, I notice gaps between bathroom cabinets on second floor and the sidewall. Also for that same sidewall, i notice a little gap between baseboard and floor.
    could all these be due to truss uplift or is there a structural issue that I need to be worried about?


  6. My home is 3 years old and still under structural warranty from the builder. The second winter, there were just a couple tiny cracks in where the center wall touches the ceiling. However, this year there are several, and they are bigger. I used a magnet to find the sheet-rock screws and most are only 2″ from the wall. So, I’m now waiting for the builder to schedule a time to have a look.

    In the mean time, I’ve been looking up the building codes to see how it was supposed to be done. I found the part about using the special L bracket to attach the Truss to the wall frame to allow flex. However, I haven’t found any code about not putting any attachment within a length of the wall (to allow it to flex with truss movement).

    Do you know if the IRC code even mentions this? Thanks for your feedback.

  7. Hi Mike,

    I have been searching the internet and stumbled on your website. Now I know what my problem is – Truss Uplift. We had a home build in 2014 and have the winter cracking problem. I want to do crown molding but see that I could still have a problem in the winter because this will continue to occur every year. I want to do two or three piece molding and don’t want to keep having to caulk either because that buildup will start to be unsightly. Also, I don’t want to take out any screws. Where should I nail the moldings? I plan to have a runner on the top nailed to the ceiling about 2 inches away from the inside corner of the ceiling – and – a runner along the wall about 3 inches or so down from the ceiling. So, then I will have a piece that would normally be nailed to the top runner and the bottom runner on an angle. What should I do to minimize the cracking in this case and is there another kind of molding design I should use? I am assuming this is just an unsightly problem since one of your posts above said that it is not a structural problem.

    Also, another problem I have you may be able to help with. In my bathroom on the first floor, some bonehead didn’t put a nailer stud in the corner and the drywall on the outside wall is free floating by about 10 inches coming to the inside corner. Should I cut out a section and put a nailer and then re-drywall (a lot of work) or is there another product that will allow a better solution?


    • I would try to just fasten to the ceiling which will let the molding along the wall slide up and down.
      Truss uplift does not compromise the structural strength but the structure is moving.
      Did you investigate the quality of the insulation in the attic and also the humidity levels in the house and attic?
      Is the drywall moving or cracked in the wall corner where there is no nailer?
      If it is just a reoccurring small crack you can install Magic corner instead of paper tape. The magic corner flexes and moves without cracking

  8. We’ve got a two flat condo and there’s uplift on almost all the interior walls of the top floor. Has anyone tried paintable caulk? I’m just trying to avoid having to do crown molding in each room.
    Tom in Chicago

  9. I am having a problem with what I assume is truss uplift. My house is 2 year old, and in my ensuite I have a full height glass shower enclosure. There is a small bulkhead across the front of the shower and the glass is attached up to that bulkhead, in a small chrome channel. There is also channel at the bottom and the glass also fits into that. Usually there are no screws in the bottom piece of channel as it could lead to water leaking below over time, so the channel is simply siliconed at the bottom and screwed dow the side. What is happening is in the summer, the panel fits perfectly and is tight on all three sides. However, during the winter, the glass and channel pull up at the bottom and breaks the silicone seal, leaving the glass swinging. Wile it is attached up the side it can be pushed back and forth. I am also having a problem in the kitchen with the crown moulding around the top of the cabinets pulling again in the winter and perfect in the summer. How can this be fixed so that this no longer happens?


    • The problem is that the rafters are lifting and taking the interior wall it is attached to with it. Increasing insulation and controlling humidity in the attic will most likely help. Also removing the nails that attach the rafters to the top plate of the wall affected will help but keep in mind that the drywall or even the crown molding is attached to the rafters so those fasteners may have to be removed as well. Myron

  10. I have read many sites concerning truss uplift and your explanation is hands down the best. I have been battling it for years and I am looking for a long term solution. I live in a small 1200 square foot ranch with s low pitch roof. The hall and one small bedroom towards the center of the house have been the worst. I am contemplating removing the drywall in the small 9’x9′ bedroom and installing new drywall based on your recommendations. This is not however a great solution for the entire house. I can see the drywall tape pulling in other locations in the winter, so I am looking for a larger solution. The attic has 16″ spaced 2″x4″ rafters with blown insulation and no vapor barrier on the ceilings. There are gable vents with vented soffit, but no ridge vent. I am considering your idea of insulating with a radiant barrier insulation against the roof rafters and taping all of the seams. Then, possibly a humidistat controlled gable fan. To make things more difficult, I have textured ceiling, so removing drywall screws and moving them is not ideal. I am considering hiding the cathedral ceiling cracks with wood flooring, but I have no solid plan yet. Any additional details related to the idea of insulating the roof trusses would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • Hi Aaron, Sounds like you have your hands full but have some good ideas. Prevention is the key because it is very difficult to fix after drywall work is complete. The angle piece that attaches to the top plate works great.
      For minor movement the Trim-Tex Magic corner is a good solution.

  11. You made a good point that the bottoms of the roof trusses are buried insulation. I would think it’s important to make sure and find the right truss contractor so that you can be confident with your trusses. I bet it would be hard to repair, seeing as it’s buried in that insulation.

    • Your right, problems created by truss uplift are very difficult to correct. Lucky for me that I have been called in for only a few problems over all these years. I think most are just small cracks.
      I think the companies who build trusses know about the potential problems but it would be interesting to know what if anything they have tried to do to eliminate the problems.

  12. Hello there. I just bought a home built in the mid 80s in November of 2015 and we’ve had quite a bit of rain here in central Texas (an unusual amount actually, refilling our lakes some of which were down by as much as 70 ft), but I’ve been reading about truss uplift and foundation issues trying to decide which may be affecting my home. I’m noticing more tape showing on the walls of my home and some slight separation of walls and ceiling (very minimal, nothing even near 3/16 of an inch like I’ve seen to look out for. Since moving in, however, I have had issues with attic ventilation and temperatures upstairs in the home. The attic sits on either side of the walls upstairs and is accessible by two small doors, one on either side of the room in the upstairs bedroom. My main question is this, “Is this likely caused by heat/humidity getting trapped upstairs and in the attic, truss uplift, or by a more serious foundation issue?

  13. Truss uplift has nothing to do with plastic surgery or under- garments. It is a phenomenon common in homes built with roof trusses as opposed to rafters. If a house suffers from truss uplift, the top floor ceilings literally lift off the interior walls in the winter. They drop back down in the summer. Needless to say, this is a tad disconcerting to the homeowner. At first glance, one might assume that the floors have settled. Actually the ceiling has gone up – sometimes creating a gap of as much as two inches where interior walls meet the ceilings.

  14. Okay, so I have read mountains of pretty much the same stuff on the Internet. ALL just accept the fact that there is nothing you can do but cosmetically “work with it”. This is nonsense!

    We are talking about the laws of physics at the root of the problem. Part of the problem is the lack of 100% understanding on the real cause in the first place. Some sites say it is driven by temperature disparities between bottom chord and the upper where the upper contracts in the cold exposure and the bottom remains warm and in an expanded state. Some sites say it is moisture driven, where the top dries out in the cold winter (winter air is drier, not more damp), and as such the top chords dry and shrink while the bottom is warm and remains moist due to proximity to the moist internal house air. The uplift in this scenario is by way of the dry chords pulling up on the bottom chord as they dry out.

    So the facts are this:
    > During the summer months, there is no problem at all – this can be considered the normal state
    > The problem is ONLY in the winter months
    > The problem is driven by some disparity between the top and bottom chords, either moisture or temperature driven

    If one could create an attic condition which kept all of the trusses exposed to exactly the same temperature and moisture levels, this would create a normalized condition regardless of season. Specifically, the bottom chord seems to be the only part of the truss system which has different exposure, and should be the area of focus.

    If one could somehow alter the bottom chord and expose it to the cold/dry attic during the winter, I believe the truss system would mirror summer month dynamics and normalize.

    The only problem may be if all the information out there is basically wrong, and the problem is not a disparity between bottom and top chords, but rather the overall design. The problem may be as simple as trusses which are securely fastened to the outer walls will bow up in the middle when the temperature drops, regardless of insulation or moisture, in the same way long bridges need expansion gaps to accommodate temperature fluctuations relative to length. Put simply, truss uplift may be a derivative of length and temperature.

    Thoughts anyone??

  15. I have a house that was built in 1958 and is one story. My renters recently moved out and I haven’t been in the house for awhile. I noticed an approximate 1″ gape separating the ceiling from the walls in the bathroom and part of the kitchen. They do share walls. Would a truss uplift be the only thing to worry about? Could it be some type of foundation issues?

    • Something is moving. It may be settling or raising of basement support beam, truss uplift, or building materials expanding and contracting. Because of the 1 inch gap it may be truss uplift especially if the wall is toward the interior of the house.
      Does the basement get below freezing during the winter? If so that could be cause
      Also check the posts and even the span between posts.

  16. Simpson Strong Ties sells several versions of truss clips (STC- single slot and DTC – double slot). They’re basically right angle metal brackets with a slot on the side. These nail on top of interior wall plates in the attic, with another nail hammered all most all the way in through the middle of the slot into the lower cord of the truss. This allows for the lower cord to go up in the winter and down in the summer, sliding through the slot without taking the ceiling and/or non-load bearing walls with it. There are more steps to this process which can be found by searching Truss Uplift. The task is challenging, but works and is a permanent fix to the issue. My house had the same issue and got so bad that not only did I have gaps and cracks where each non-load bearing wall met the ceiling, but my ceiling joint tape also began separating, my decorative columns became loose in the winter and nails popped at the tops of all walls too

    • This slot idea is good but because drywall is attached to the truss movement can still lift the drywall off the wall.
      I like the idea of using the angle piece along the top plate and only attaching the drywall to this angle along the inside corner. Of course the first screw on the joist will have to be placed far enough away from this corner so that when the truss lifts it won’t pop the screw. Still use the slotted clips to attach the truss to the top plates.

  17. I am having this issue in my house in Virginia. It runs along my hall, guest bedroom and daughters room all on the same side of my house. My question is what type of contractor should I call for this repair? A drywall repair guy or roof guy or both? I don’t want to waste my money then next winter I wall see the same issue. Thanks in advance.

  18. What about the idea of now pushing the drywall down from inside the attic back to touch the inside wall. Using a 4’ long piece of drywall between the trusses and applying weight should push the sheet down. Start at the smallest gap and slowly move your way across. Once the drywall is pushed down enough to match the wall then drywall screw it in from the top of even a block of wood screwed into the wall from the top into the inside wall but not attached to the trusses. Once done caulk the crack and fix any nail pops in the drywall?

    What do you think?

    • Sounds like your idea will work. You may have to do more than just caulk the inside corner. I also think you should try and remove screws before pushing the drywall down. This will reduce damage to the drywall.

      • My idea worked perfectly. I could not seescrews to remove as the ceiling is stipples. I was in the attic, my GF on the floor in the room. Via phone, using initial measurement and her banging on the roof right next to the wall I was fairly easily able to find the walls. Once on top I applied preasurewith bothhands flat on top of the wall. Some popped down immediately, others had to span my hands out a little further and push down. Careful not to push too hard or your hands will go through but it’s pretty solid and needed a decent shove and I am 200 lbs. I could feel each pop and we got better at each one. Once I had the whole span of rhewall down I went back and screwed wide 1/2pkywood blocks down with a couple screws. Anywheretherewas a little gap the screws pulled it down tight. All done. Quick little bead of caulking all round and you can’t wvem tell it was done.

        I only had one screw appear after so a quick touch up and it was gone as well. Even if they do pop it usually only the screw head so quick caulking in it.

        Worked great! Please share this idea.

        • Have you had anymore problems with it coming back up, or having problems with doors not closing? I’m having the same issue,& have heard of doing this, but also seen where people was complaining about pulling the walls from subfloors & doorways. Thanks if you could respond since it’s been a year & been through all seasons of weather. So if it held up I will do the same

    • Gable end ventilation is not the best. The air flow works best from soffit to ridge. Ventilation helps keep the attic closer to outside temperatures and will also vent built up humidity. So it is a good idea no matter what but I am not sure it will help much with the truss uplift though.

  19. Would truss uplift cause hardwood floors to shift, door framing to come loose and cracks from the top of door framing to the ceiling?

  20. Does anybody know the average price to repair a 10-foot section in a bathroom for that truss uplift problem trying to figure out what it would cost me to hire someone to do it

  21. Another solution ?
    I learned about radient foil for an engineer who invented the stuff. Art Carlson.
    Staple radient foil on bottom chord of trusses and tape all seams
    Nail 1x material up over foil as needed for ceiling material
    You need a space between foil and ceiling material to radiate heat back
    Put up ceiling material
    The attic space is a cold area with no insulation on ceiling/ Therefore no heat buildup on bottom chord/All attic is cold

    radient foil radiates heat back into living space

  22. Hello Sir, I learned a lot from your replies. I believe I have severe uplift and more. I live in a slab home. In one room separation from the drywayy to Ceilings is 3 inches or more, it has spread to adjecent rooms. Then in the middle of the living room I noticed a crack right in the middle that runs through the kitchen it is spreading longer and wider. Wind hit it from the front and it sounded like cracking all over. It was one area, I saw that the foof had lifted by the first sheet and now running down that whole side. We did hear aloud crack during a very cold winter and noticed that lift when winter broke. There is wall cracking now, and animals chewed their way in attic. I lost my husband recently and I am unable to fully understand nor completely able to do this work. Would insurance cover any of it? My neighbors attic lifted because we had a long hot summer all the way until mid October that year. She did not have attic vents, I do but believe that could help be cause of problems have vents, but no insulation. Where would you start, who should I call for proper inspection. I see wiind blew my chimney slightly so a 7 year old roof is now leaking in many places. A25 year architectural design shingles. Alone and confused. I planned to sell and leave the area but need to know if I’m safe in my own home. I heard serious chewing in attic, I thought it was a neighborhood nailing something at first. Yes, I also have a slight slope floor towards the front. If I put a ball down, it will roll fast towards the front. Yes, I believe termites too. Where do I start or and call for a truthful inspection except city. I live in hammond indiana 47323. Thank you.

  23. I live in the Chicago, IL area in a split level home built in the early 70’s. My upper level bedrooms and hallway are experiencing what is likely truss uplift. I have cracks between the inside walls and ceilings. I just had a new roof, soffits, siding, and windows installed. I had my roofer install Snow Country ridge vents. Prior to the new roof I only had a few mushroom vents in the roof. When the new soffits were installed, I was surprised to discover that there were no holes in the wood for ventilation. Also, my attic insulation is only about R-11. I now have holes in the soffit wood and am having blown in insulation added to bring me up to R-49 or 60. Before I have the insulation blown in, I would like to find someone that understands truss uplift and can remediate it. My roofer could only suggest to install crown molding, which I think looks odd in the bedrooms and hallway of a split level home. I spoke to a drywall contractor and he never heard of truss uplift and offered to install new corner bead, which likely will not stop the cracking. Can anyone recommend a contractor in the northern suburbs of Chicago than can assist?

    • I think what you plan on doing is great and will help reduce the uplift problem. It may even stop the problem. I would do as you planned and go through a heating and cooling season and see if the problem is corrected. If so repair the drywall.

  24. I have a vaulted ceiling in my living room & kitchen area (open concept). Have about a half inch gap at 8 feet across the entire span (both sides). Also above this area the drywall is gray in color & you can see where the truss board crisscross (drywall is normal color here). What’s a solution? Can I lag bolt the truss to the wall framing and prevent movement? Do I need to install a good vent fan in attic? Add more insulation to attic space? Please help.

    • Sounds like you don’t have enough insulation or the quality of the insulation is poor. Now you have a gap and air is moving into the attic bringing moist air and turning the drywall gray or it may be just dust on the drywall from the air movement. Not sure what lagging to the top plates will do. What works best is to float the drywall into the corner or attach an angle to the top plate and attach the ceiling drywall to that angle. Increased ventilation may help but only if you prevent air entering through the soffits from washing over the insulation as it exits through the ridge. Preventing interior from entering the attic will also help.

  25. Glad I found this info. I am original owner of a 2 story, 26×36 foot home. Purchased the home in 2000, the first year I heard a lot of cracking sounding like it was coming from the attic. Had the attic reinsulated, which the builder did not do properly. I no longer have loud cracking, but have had the following occur every year, since I owned the home. I believe it to be truss lift, ceiling to wall separation 1/4 of an inch, also nail pops. The doorways also have cracks this year from one corner of the doorway leading to the ceiling. This is second story only.
    The other odd thing that is happening, is that the drywall behind all my upstairs bathrooms, and downstairs kitchen counters seem to be pulling away from the drywall about 1/4 of an inch. In the summer the roof settles, nail pops are still visible, but ceiling to wall cracks not so much. Counters flush to drywall. Looking to repair, as inexpensive as possible. I’m also wondering if more support starting in the basement might fix the issue? Only one side of my stairwell, from basement up is supported, with a full wall. Most of the cracking occurs along the ridge wall, on only one side of the house. Any advice would be appreciated.

  26. My house is 38-years old and for the last 15+ years I have been battling “cold month” wall to ceiling separation localized in common non-load-bearing walls between second floor bedrooms and open-to-second-floor-foyer. Other second floor bedrooms do not exhibit the same wall to ceiling separation. No ceilings exhibit screw-pops. My initial focus was on possible settling in the front of the house or foyer, but after many dimensional checks and observing no wall to ceiling separation in first floor rooms in the same area, I am looking for other causal factors. Your truss uplift theory is very interesting and plausible. However, I do not have a trussed roof but a stick-framed roof with 2×10 inch ceiling joists (running in parallel to the affected walls) with blown in insulation initially to the top of the joists or 9-1/4 inches deep; but settling has reduced overall thickness which may have led to a thermodynamic problem discussed in your article. The “open” foyer and different heating/cooling pattern than the adjacent bedrooms may be part of the problem. I have installed crown moulding attached to only the walls in the adjacent rooms and foyer to hide the cracked tape and gap, but in the cold months there remains a gap between crown and ceiling which is still unsightly. Do you have any advice on how I can correct the problem?

    • I think some of the initial problem was caused by settling on this high wall. Could still be a little expansion and contraction going on. Not sure what to do about it though. But no matter what I would blow in some more insulation and make sure it is not getting wind washed in you vented attic.

  27. I have successfully fixed my uplift problem by attaching the ceiling sheet rock to the wall top plate – cutting the ceiling sheet rock nails back about 18″ – no cracking for over 2 years. But I have found no way to fix the problem where I have a studio vaulted ceiling where the crack opens and closes at the 8′ level instead of at the ceiling. I would appreciate any ideas to fix this.


  28. I have a single-floor condo. (3/2/2 car garage-drive up inside level garage.) It had a ground shift/settlement issue(not sinkhole)4 years ago, and was Proffesionally fixed/pinned/and “professionally lifted” an inch under my foundation. HOA, after a fight, had to pay for the inside repairs, cracks, walls,countertop, sink, etc. and outside wall due to fact of being a settlement/movement issue and not by my inside control. It is back, this time, some the same, some different. I have tiles “tenting up” in 3 rooms that I see, cracks again walking at counter edges, cabinets pulling away again, and now my A-frame/liv room Truss has strategic ceiling cracks, nail heads pop out showing in liv room and on my lanai wall/upper ceiling. Cracks of course in various areas of my ceilings again. I don’t know what to do now. I am very poor, on disability, can’t afford to pay all the varied contractors to come inspect all different aspects of this shift/damage and HOA seems not interested. After a struggle, finally report done, and Im waiting for outcome. Done by N Square-who did the prior engineering and all work. Im sorry but is this really a legal issue at this point? Stress is killing my health now. I simply can’t sell it this way, can’t keep paying fees on a “0 negative condo mortgage value” worth nothing at this stage with documented ground shift. No realtor can bring a client to buy this and I Cant afford to do all the ongoing upkeep thats happening again from shift somewhere underneath. Please suggest what you can, and I thank you in advance for any ideas on how to proceed. I feel the HOA has documented problems from 4 years ago, but this time they are not interested, dragging their feet, telling me its just normal settling with a 24 year old condo and its on me…poor construction etc… I can’t even afford to keep replacing tenting tiles, paint-patch-caulk-repair wall cracks etc… as this is a documented ongoing process. Thank you, again, in advance for any suggestions.

  29. On my second floor close to the front of the house. The two bedroom doors get cracks from the top corner of the door to the ceiling. It only happens in the winter. The attic does have insulation between the second floor and attic. And no insulation on the underside of the roof. I always thought it was the foundation moving but I don’t have any cracks in my foundation. Could this be truss uplifting and how can I stop it. The house is less than 10yrs old.

    • Hi Christopher, Truss uplift problems usually occur along the center wall of the house. Your problem is some minor structural movement or some expansion and contraction of the drywall. There is also most likely a seam where the crack is occurring. This is a week spot so that is where a crack will occur. A seam over a door header is also more likely to crack especially if located close to the edge. I typically faster better with screws and tape with FibaFuse tape. I have had a few cases where the crack always returns and have had to install a drywall expansion joint which solves the problem but you will have a slightly visible recessed seam.

  30. Excellent articles and from what I am reading I am fairly certain I have truss uplist – except it is in an area that has a flat roof – is that possible? Center wall separation as well as the tiles along the shower which is also a center wall. Also, I haven’t read anything regarding cost to repair. What would the expected range be to have a contractor repair?

    • Can’t say what cost would be. Not cheap that is for sure. How the truss is attached to the wall, how the drywall is attached to the truss, and how the attic is insulated would all have to be addressed and then any repairs would have to be done to the ceilings.

  31. Hi Myron,
    I built my home 10 years ago Almost every year I am getting truss uplift. I have repaired the dry wall about three different times and it continues. My home is spray foamed at the roof sheeting and not at the bottom cord. Are there any repair solutions that you might be able to advise me on ? Other than installing Crown Moldings ?

    Thank You

    Lost in Saratoga Springs

    Tom Marotta

    • Crown molding may not even be the solution. I think you will have to detach the drywall from the truss next to and at the first screw away from the center wall. The difficult screw may be the one next to the wall but that may have already been pulled through the drywall

      • Hi Myron,

        Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. So you recommend pulling the first screw only or should we go back even further ? The uplift is very noticeable .

        Thank You

        Tom Marotta

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