Buying a home comes with a lot to learn. These nine steps will guide you through one common roof issue: repairing or replacing rotting fascia and soffit boards.
Fascia and Soffit: What and Where?
The fascia and soffit both have 24/7 exposure to the elements, which means they are more prone to rotting and damage.
The fascia board runs along the very edges of your roof just under your gutters. The soffit is a panel installed just below the roof line (where birds and rodents often like to nest)
Common Problems with the Fascia and Soffit
Both the fascia and the soffit can affect the “curb appeal” of your home when you go to resell it. But more than that, leaving necessary repairs undone can affect your home’s resale value.
According to Restoration Roofing, even if you are not ready to sell your home, repairing the fascia or soffit can guard against costlier repairs later on.
Older homes may not have a fascia at all. Older homes may also have a wooden soffit instead of vinyl, which makes the soffit more prone to rotting. In most cases, if the fascia is rotting, the soffit is likely compromised as well and vice versa.
9 Steps to Fascia and Soffit Repair
Following these nine steps can help speed up the process of getting necessary repairs done for your roof’s fascia and/or soffit.
Step 1: Evaluate the extent of the damage from weather, animals and/or rotting.
Once you understand whether just a portion or the entirety of the fascia and/or soffit is affected, this can help you decide whether to do the repairs yourself or hire a contractor.
Step 2: Replacement is often a better option than repair.
Once wood begins to rot, it is often impossible to determine how much of a panel may be compromised. This makes replacement a better long-term option and also more cost effective.
Step 3: Opt for vinyl or plastic (UPVC) instead of wood.
Vinyl and UPVC are both weather and water resistant materials that can withstand the elements far better than most wooden boards, even if they are weather treated.
Step 4: Be sure the soffit offers adequate ventilation to the attic.
There is a fine line between too little and too much ventilation. With too little, mold is a very real risk. With too much, a creative bird or animal could easily slip through a ventilation hole to get inside. You need just enough ventilation to let the summer heat out and keep the air circulating to reduce moisture build-up.
Step 5: Repair everything at the same time.
If you decide to first repair the fascia and then the soffit or to just do a section of the house, the additional later repairs may cost you more than if you do them all at once. Plus, leaving any necessary repairs undone will expose your roof to further risk of rotting.
Step 6: Be careful with nail placement.
The placement of your nails will help your roof resist buckling and keep your panels from weakening, which can lead to splits.
Step 7: Choose strong, durable nails.
The nails you select should be made of weather resistant steel and long and thick enough to withstand a roof heavy from snow, leaf litter or other debris.
Step 8: Select naturally strong, hardy, weather resistant wood.
If you plan to use lumber for your fascia and soffit replacement, be sure the wood you pick is up for the job. Ideally, the wood should not warp, buckle, split or bow from exposure to the elements.
Step 9: Spend the time to put on the finishing touches.
The time you spend to caulk, seal, sand and paint the edges and ends of the fascia will strengthen the most vulnerable areas of the fascia – the ends.
By following these nine steps, you can protect the interior of your attic and house from the elements and unwelcome visitors and preserve the curb appeal and resale value of your home.