Fascia 101

Someone called recently with a home inspection report in hand. It had been noted that they had rotten fascia, and to please work with a licensed contractor for the repair prior to a re-inspection. The callers first question was to ask what fascia is, and where it was located on her home.

Fascia runs along the roof edge and is where gutters (when present) usually attach. Fascia is often damaged by overflowing gutters. If leaves and debris are stacked in the gutter and water is overflowing the back of the gutter it is keeping your fascia wet.

A leaking roof can also damage your fascia. Water eventually soaks through the sheathing below. This is the plywood surface under your roof shingles. Eventually enough water is soaking through that it starts running down the underside of the sheathing until it hits the lowest spot. This is often your fascia and soffit, which then begin to show their own damage over time.

Given the water is working from the inside out, and that you may have gutters in the way, you may not notice the issue right away. In fact, many do not realize they have an issue until the gutters start to sag. The anchor points for the gutters are no longer holding in the soft water-damaged wood and they start to droop.

Corners are a common area for fascia damage. The place where the soffit from two sides of the home come together is both nailed and then caulked prior to painting. As the wood expands and contracts with seasonal temperature fluctuations, and as caulking get older and brittle, this joint is a perfect place for water to slowly seep in. Over an extended period of time the water softens the wood.

Many homeowners, even those generally on top of things, are lax in inspecting for failing caulk on the exterior of their home, especially in high places up by the roofline. When selling their home, it is not uncommon for areas of damage – soft, or even rotten wood – to be found during the home inspection. There is no way to repair (un-rot?) the wood, it must be cut-out and replaced. It is then caulked and repainted to match the home. In some cases, the gutters must be removed for access to do this work, so this can get expensive.

The exterior of your home is a shell around you and your family. That shell, including your fascia, must be kept up via regular inspection, gutter cleaning, caulking, painting and similar maintenance to keep it from degrading. Saving time or money on maintenance will lead to costly repairs down the road, or when you sell your home.

If you do not have the time, the tools, the know-how or the desire to do your own home maintenance, to ward off more involved home repairs, know that Mr. Handyman is here to help. Gutter cleaning, caulking, painting and more; Mr. Handyman has been voted Jacksonville’s ‘Best’ handyman and home improvement contractor many times over.

And, if you have let something go too long and now a more involved repair is required, we can handle those also. We resolve many of the common issues identified by homeowners, or during the home inspection process. Rotten siding and trim repairs are common projects for us. Rotten fascia and soffit repairs are also common. We replace damaged doors and trim, and anything we repair will be painted.

These are just examples; we offer a full range of services around the home. Call us today and we can discuss your specific needs, and how we might help you.