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Sagging or deflection in roof structures may or may not mean a problem. There can be several possible causes for this. It does depend on what the roof construction is, and whether this is a recent change to the roof.

Some older roofs "settled" as the timbers dried out, and do not have flat planes or straight ridgelines, but have not moved again since the timber dried, are still structurally sound and do not leak. This is generally ok if the roof was designed with a bit of tolerance, meaning the timbers are oversized.

In modern construction, timbers are not oversized as much, so a little deflection can mean a big problem.

If the roofing material and the roof structure require a straight or flat planar form to the roof, sagging can mean big problems. "flat" or nearly flat roofs have little or no tolerance for sagging, and require precise levels of fall across the roof, or water will pond and cause problems. Tile roofs can require precise interlocking of tiiles at set angles, and sagging can disrupt this, causing openings where water can be driven in by wind or birds can enter. Some steeel roofs can require precise tolerances as well.

Structurally, sagging could indicate undersized beams, rafters or purlins, knots or weak points in timber, (sometimes caused by installers of services cutting for access), rotting or corrosion of structural members, or even wetting of timber allowing more bend, or a heavier load on the roof than it is designed for, (this could be snow, hail, heavier roof cladding, water absorbed by materials, a deck added, etc). Another possible cause is the failure of some fixings of the structure.

Check for leaks and openings. Check the structure. Check the materials. Check how long it has been sagging. Get an expert to look at it.

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Q: What does it mean when your roof is sagging?
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