What You Need to Know About Soffit and Fascia Boards

You may not know what soffit and fascia boards are—at least, not by their technical names. These two areas on your roof are often looped into the general term: trim.

It's easy to think that your trim only serves an aesthetic function, but it also performs several other critical roles that make it an essential part of your roof.

Like any other part of your home, your trim will need a little TLC from time to time. But, how do you know when it’s damaged? Is there a way to maintain it? And why is it so important anyway?

Understandably, if you're learning about fascia and soffit boards for the first time you're going to have some questions. The good news is, we've answered all of them below. At Mr. Handyman of Dallas, we believe it's integral for homeowners to be empowered regarding typical home maintenance tasks. Even if you hire one of our pros to complete maintenance and repair jobs for you, it's beneficial to know as much as you can. Keep reading to get started.

What Are Soffit and Fascia Boards?

These two components make up your trim. They're both an important part of what's often referred to as “roof decking,” and work together to keep your home's exterior looking nice while serving a range of important functions. Decking serves a similar purpose to molding, in some ways. It rounds out the part of your roof that hangs over the edge of the exterior walls.

Fascia boards run parallel to the wall and are part of the trim you see while looking directly at your house. They also support your gutters. Soffits run underneath the overhanging part of your roof. If you went under your roof and looked directly up, that would be the soffits. Some soffits contain vents. These vents are important—particularly for your attic—because they help circulate airflow through the roof space. This prevents issues with moisture, mold, and wood rot.

Both soffits and fascia can be made out of a variety of materials:

  • Wood
  • Vinyl/PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Fiber cement

Why are Soffits and Fascias Important?

These decking elements may seem like their only function is to help make your home look aesthetically pleasing. And while this is true to a degree since your trim does contribute to your curb appeal, they actually serve some very important functions:

  • Preventing moisture from entering your attic and damaging wood rafters and drywall
  • Venting excess heat and moisture out of the roof space by ensuring proper airflow
  • Stopping squirrels, rats, insects, and other pests from infiltrating your home

How Does Trim Get Damaged?

The primary cause of damage to your fascia and soffits is poorly maintained-gutters. Although cleaning out your gutters regularly is incredibly important, many Dallas homeowners put off doing this chore. Understandably, gutter cleaning is often tedious, mucky, and can be unsafe—if you're not accustomed to climbing ladders.

But, not cleaning your gutters means they can’t perform their job properly. Gutters collect rainwater and channel it to a safe distance from your home's foundation through downpipes. When they're blocked with dead leaves, twigs, and other gunk, it can be difficult for the water to flow properly. Thus, it spills over the edge of your roof. This increases the amount of moisture in your soffits, fascia, and siding—causing many issues like wood rot, mold, and rust. Also, should the gutters become too filled with debris, they'll be very heavy and eventually collapse. This will cause serious damage to your fascia.

Another common problem that causes fascia damage is exposure to the elements—particularly, stormy weather. Over time wind, rain, hail, and even sunshine can take a toll on your soffits and fascia. Strong winds can blow rain into the soffit vents, where it may accumulate and evaporate slowly—possibly causing issues with decay.

Lastly, although your trim prevents pests from getting into your home, if it's damaged, then all manner of critters will find a way in—particularly rodents and insects.

What are the Signs of Damage?

  • Rodents and insects are getting into your home
  • Visible bird, rodent, or insect nests
  • Peeling, chipped, and flaking paint or finish
  • Leaking or damaged gutters
  • Ventilation issues in your home, like excess condensation
  • The HVAC system working too hard
  • Discoloration and staining

How Can I Maintain My Trim?

If you've noticed the above red flags, then it's likely your trim is already damaged and you'll need the help of a professional handyman service—like the experts at Mr. Handyman of Dallas—to make repairs. Our team has years of experience installing and repairing different kinds of trim. We'll be able to tell you what the issue is and present your options for the best fix.

But, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your fascia and soffits are in good shape. At least twice a year, you should walk through your property and look for signs of damage. We suggest doing this once in the spring and once in the fall. This gives you an opportunity to promptly make repairs before they get worse. Also, during these times you should tackle your seasonal maintenance to-dos, like pressure washing and gutter cleaning.

In particular, gutter cleaning is the best way to prevent damage to your trim (we can't stress this enough!). If you don't have the time, ability or inclination to clean your gutters, our pros can do it for you. We also offer pressure washing services.

Choose Mr. Handyman to Repair Your Soffit and Fascia Boards!

At Mr. Handyman of Dallas, we're honored to serve customers throughout the Dallas area, including in Balch Springs, Carrollton, Highland Park, Las Colinas, Rose Hill, and Rowlett. Our team works hard to give you a positive experience from start to finish. From our friendly office staff who are happy to answer any questions you might have, to our skillful technicians who can efficiently complete repairs and maintenance tasks, we're the handyman service provider to trust. 

To get started on your next project, we invite you to give us a call. You can also reach us online by filling out a service request form. We look forward to working with you!