Roofing Soffit And Fascia - What Are They?

Soffit And Fascia Are important Parts Of A Sealed Up Exterior That Prevent Weather From Affecting The Structure Of Your Home Or Building.

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Soffit And Fascia Are Much Needed For Full protection

If you are like most homeowners, the first time you pay attention to your soffit or fascia is when something goes wrong, and your contractor says these elements are the culprits.

 

Until then, you probably will not know what these are, what they are for, or even where in your house they are. If this is the case, you are in good company.

soffit and fascia protecting the house from weather

Indeed, most people have very little information on this. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that soffit and fascia are considered trims and are not often listed among the more prominent parts of a house.

 

That aside, soffit and fascia require very little maintenance. This in itself makes this something you seldom hear about.

The Importance Of Soffit And Fascia

Every feature of your house, no matter how small, contributes something to the house.

 

This is true for your roof. The roof is actually complex, with various components being put together to provide protection, increase roof ventilation and enhance the aesthetic value of your home. Soffits and fascia are among these components.

 

The soffit is the part of an overhang where the roof meets the siding. It can also be described as the exposed surface under the hanging part of the eave.

 

The role of the soffit is to:

Give a Finished Look

Roofs often extend over the walls of a house. This overhang goes by several names, including the eave, the overhang, or raptors. A soffit gives this underside a neater, more finished look when it’s installed.

Protection And Roof Integrity

The soffit and features around it (soffit joists and fascia board)  provide the first line of protection for your roofing. The soffit protects the gathers underneath from the changing weather conditions. Without it, the rafters will likely get wet, grow mold and begin to rot.

 

The soffit joist lies on the side, while fascia boards lie on the front of the overhang. The soffit system as a whole also keeps snowmelt and rain away from the foundational structures of a roof.

Decreased Maintenance

Moisture and wood are a bad combination. Exposing wood to snow is one sure way to degrade it much faster, necessitating an often expensive roof rafter replacement.

 

Soffit prevents water from seeping in, eliminating rafter damage.

 

Without one, you would need to inspect your overhang very regularly. You would also be required to periodically inspect your shingles to ensure they are not lifting. Any damage would need to be attended to immediately.

 

This is a much more involved maintenance regimen than what you get after installing a soffit.

Upgraded Resale Value

Homebuyers today are becoming more discerning and have a detailed list of what to look out for in a house they will potentially buy.

 

It’s not surprising to find homebuyers today scrutinizing siding, roofs, and soffits. Of course, the fact that a house with a soffit will require reduced maintenance is always a plus. The soffit also makes a house look well put together.

 

As such, you get better offers on a house with soffit than one without.

Soffit Maintenance

Soffit requires very little maintenance. Here are some things you can do to prolong their lifespan while performing other roof maintenance activities.

 

  • Keep gutters clean and free from debris. This can be done by cleaning or installing gutter guards.
  • Ensure your gutters are sized correctly for your roof size
  • Ensure the soffit remains well caulked and sealed at all times
  • Check your soffit for bees, wasps, and hornets
  • Ensure your attic fan is always in good working order
  • Check the soffit for mildew and remove these with a soft brush and bleach solution

What Is Fascia?

The fascia is a wooden board that runs horizontally on the edge of a roof. This board is either 2×6 or 2×8 and is made from wood, composite wood, UPVC, and PVC.

 

These materials are used primarily because they can hold their own against water and temperature fluctuations. This means they can resist swelling and shrinking. They are also unlikely to bend or warp over time.

 

From the ground, these plastic boards look much like wood. However, they can be painted to match vinyl or aluminum gutters.

Importance Of Fascia

It Stabilizes Your Gutters

Aside from the soffit, the fascia is yet another structure on your house that supports your gutters. You need gutters to remain in place so as to trap and direct water away from the roof and the structures underneath.

Closing Off Access

You will be surprised at how many unwanted guests tour house’s structure can attract. These include insects and critters. While they might seem harmless, these can access your attic or other wooden frames under your roof and build nests, defecate, and so on. This is damaging to the structural integrity of your house and damage its aesthetic appeal as well.

 

Fascia seals off the underbelly of the roof, keeping these unwanted elements away.

Keeps Moisture Out

Fascia, through eaves, help keep water from the roof’s deck and the attic. This is important because water inside the deck or attic can damage the structures used to build the house. It can also keep the attic moist, which would make an excellent environment for mold and mildew to grow. These will destroy the physical structures of your home and pose some health risks to its occupants.

Aesthetics

Fascia’s cover the rough ends of rafters. When left exposed, they tend to make a house look incomplete and a bit ragged.

 

Fascia’s wrap these up rather neatly. This enhances a houses’ curb appeal.

Fascia Maintenance

Here are some tips to keep your fascia in top shape:

 

  • Don’t install new fascia boards on top of old ones. Always tear away old fascia before the new installation
  • Regularly inspect the boards to flag problems early. Begin with angled panels. These tend to be the first ones to rot or show other signs of deterioration. If these are okay, you can assume the rest are as well
  • Install a drip edge. This ensures water doesn’t leak behind the roof
  • Wash your fascia occasionally and repaint them when they begin to peel or chip. This will, however, only work for superficial damage. If the board had deteriorated, look into its repair or replacement

Best Soffit and Fascia Options

Vinyl is the most common fascia option, though soffit also comes in wood and aluminum. On the other hand, wood is the most popular fascia material, though you can get it in vinyl, composite, and aluminum.

 

There is not a single option that can be crowned the best; instead, look at different factors, mainly the design of your house, to find the best one for you.

 

The soffit can be vented or non-vented to allow optimal roof ventilation. Continuous or non-vented options work best for roofs with narrow eaves or have huge attic space.

 

On the other hand, Vented soffits are great for wider eaves and small attic space. This is because they have smaller vents fitted between solid panels.

 

If you opt for wood, go for redwood or cedar because they have natural rot-resistant properties. This means less maintenance and maintenance costs.

 

You can also use treated fir, spruce, or spine. These are more affordable.

 

PVC is made to look like wood, and the fact that it doesn’t rot is a huge sell. If your house has aluminum or vinyl siding, vinyl fascia will fit right in.

 

It’s also advisable to talk to your local Colorado roofing contractor about which soffit and fascia materials to use.

Soffit And Fascia Replacement

While your soffit and fascia should serve you well over the years, they will still deteriorate over time. Things like ice snow and ice damming will naturally damage your soffit and fascia.

 

At times, the damage on these boards will be fixed with simple, inexpensive repairs. However, when there is significant damage, your only recourse is a replacement.

 

Signs you need a replacement:

 

  • Rotting wood or other signs that there is a leak somewhere
  • Fascia that looks damaged beyond a paint job
  • Pests and other smaller animals get to the inside of your home

 

Soffit and fascia should cost $10 on average per linear foot, with the total cost being around $2,500. These costs should also be as low as $6 and as high as $20.

 

Fascia material on its own costs $1 to $ 20 per linear foot, while labor will cost $6 to $ 20 per linear foot.

 

The costs to expect per linear foot of material are:

 

  • Vinyl $ 5 to $ 8
  • Aluminum $8 to $20
  • UPVC/PVC/plastics $3 to $7
  • Wood/ cedar board $1 to $3
  • Composite $1 to $ 8

 

On the other hand, soffit will cost $ 1 to $3 for material per linear foot and $1.50 to $ 3 per linear foot. In addition, repair costs will set you back $6 to $12.50 per linear foot.

 

Different materials are priced differently. The most common ones are:

 

  • Vinyl $14 to $23
  • Aluminum $10 to $22
  • UPVC/PVC/plastics $6 to $12 per square foot
  • Wood/cedar board $14 to $22

Bring In The Experts

As you can see, soffit and fascia choices can get quite complicated. That’s why we are here to help with any decisions related to your roof and the exterior of your home or commercial property. If you have any questions, give us a call and speak with one of our roofing experts today.

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