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"Roof beam" has become a common term to describe the relatively large wooden beams that support a roof structure (load-bearing). Some homeowners have noticed this term gradually worming its way into their lexicon. Typically, their homes are the ones that have exposed roof beams projecting out to, or beyond, the roof edge framing. Roof beams can also be non-load-bearing (ornamental). These decorative beams, though not necessarily easily distinguishable from load-bearing ones, do not support roof structures and in fact are often just suspended from them.
More often than not, roof beams are exposed to the weather. The degree of exposure varies with the building design and construction details. Even beams that are cut flush with the roof edge are not immune to the effects of wind driven rain and temperature variations. Roof beams, often the only part of a structure not protected by the roof itself, are particularly vulnerable to weather related deterioration. The rate of decay, which is affected primarily by moisture and temperature, will vary between regions.
Below you will find three examples of load-bearing roof beams. Next »
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