Soffit and Facia – What are they?
Two of the most important parts of your roof are the soffit and fascia. Many homeowners can be unfamiliar with the critical function of these components of their roof. These components contribute to the overall structure of the roof. There can be some common roofing problems associated with each. The exterior soffit is located on the span beneath the rafter tails, while the fascia is the exposed horizontal band you see at the end of the rafters. These elements found along the eave area do more than just add visual appeal and a finished look to your home. They help protect the your home by keeping out pests like birds and squirrels. They also give you a way to disguise ventilation for your attic.
The word soffit is derived from the French word for “formed as a ceiling” and the Latin term “to fix underneath.” The soffit is the surface beneath the overhanging section of a roof eave that is exposed.
Part of the function of the soffit is to help with ventilating the attic. The soffit normally features a design with small holes that will provide air circulation. The air from the soffit circulates to the vents to draw heat and moisture away from the house. This is a critical function because moisture in the attic can develop rot in the sheathing and rafters.
Most soffits are made from vinyl, a material that is great for withstanding the degradation that comes from heat and moisture exposure. This is vital when you consider that the soffit can be easily exposed to moisture due to gutters and wet weather conditions.
The roofing fascia is another common area that can be damaged and may require repairs. The fascia is a vertical finishing edge connected to the ends of the rafters, trusses, or the vicinity where the gutter is attached to the roof. The primary purpose of the fascia is to act as a layer between the edge of the roof and the outdoors and is meant to protect wood against water damage that can occur with different weather elements.
Functionality aside, the fascia also holds an aesthetic role since it creates a smoother and even appearance for the edge of the roof. In addition to protecting the wooden board from water damage, the fascia protects the entire roof and the interior of the house from weather damage. This happens because the facia blocks moisture from entering the home. The majority of homes will feature a fascia board, but some older homes may lack this component.
Things to know…..
The most important thing you can do as a preventative measure is clean your gutters at least twice a year. In the spring and especially in the fall after all the leaves have come down. If you are unable to do this yourself, consider hiring a gutter cleaning service. It will cost you less that making the repairs later.
If you possess some skills and time, you may be able to make repairs yourself. However, if the fascia boards are compromised you would likely have to take down the gutters first. This usually requires two or more workers on separate ladders to avoid damaging the gutter.
High Road Roofing is skilled in soffit and facia repairs. We perform these repairs quickly, safely and in a timely fashion.
Whoever you choose to hire, make sure it’s someone with experience who comes with good recommendations. (see our Testimonials page)
Ask about the materials to be used in the repair(s). There are great alternatives to wood that may hold up better. If you do use wood, make sure to use a paint that is appropriate for this purpose.