Whether you’re doing it yourself, or hiring a professional, it’s important to know about the different parts of your roof.
The exterior soffit can be found on the span under the rafter tails. The fascia is the exposed horizontal piece you see at the end of the rafters. These pieces are more than just decorative–they protect the exterior of your home from animals such as squirrels, birds and bats. They also provide a way to disguise your attic ventilation. Also, if the climate in your area is windy at times, the soffit stops water from blowing into the house. It’s important to maintain these items, else they can collect water. Once a year, when cleaning and inspecting your rain gutters, check the fascia and soffit for any problems such as paint peeling. Everything should be well-painted, caulked and sealed.
Traditionally, soffits and fascia boards are constructed from wood or aluminum. Many homeowners, however, are moving towards synthetic materials such as UPVC and vinyl, as they offer increased durability and are easier to maintain. Vinyl soffits, fascia and trim products are available in different styles to match your home’s style and architecture. For those looking for a more ecologically-friendly alternative, products are available that are made from recycled materials.
The best way to prevent possible problems down the road is to make sure that your soffit and fascia are correctly installed and properly waterproofed. Damaged flashing or malfunctioning rain gutters can also cause big problems. It’s imperative that gutters are routinely inspected, cleaned, and maintained. If the gutter system gets clogged and water starts to back up, the first place it goes is to the fascia board.
If you discover mold or mildew on your soffit, use a soft brush and a cleaning solution made with diluted bleach to clean it. Also, check periodically for nests made by bees, hornets, or wasps. If you’re not comfortable working on a ladder, or if the nests are more than you can handle, contact a professional.
By knowing and understanding the functions of soffits and fascia boards, you can ensure that they keep doing the job they need to do, and you can save yourself a lot of problems and hassles in the long run.