Home Defense - Soffits

Home defense squirrel

Most Florida architecture has the roofline overhanging the walls by a bit. In older generations of homes, this overhang was often a bit wider, but with growing hurricane awareness and concern this overhang has narrowed to decrease the chances of wind lifting your roof off. The underside of this overhang is your soffit.

Many believe this overhang is designed to protect the windows below from rain. While that is certainly a benefit, most soffits are vented to allow airflow into your attic. Hot air rises up and out of your attic through gable vents or roofline vents, pulling cooler outside air up through the soffit vents in the process. Your attic is still very hot, but not as hot as it would be without attic venting. This in turn helps keep your summer cooling costs down.

Each season brings pests and their assault on your home. Fall is when we start seeing critters looking for a winter-safe spot. Your attic has been unbearably hot for the last six months but will soon offer a warm, and dry, haven for the cooler winter months. Your soffit vents are the most common way for them to gain access. September heat is still likely keeping pests out of your attic, but now is the time to assess your needs and address them.

In newer generations of homes, the soffit vents are often perforated vinyl. This is extremely hard to tear through, but given that vinyl is flexible it more easily blows out of the channels it is mounted in. This allows access to pests.

Older homes generally have sturdier plywood soffits, with holes cut into them and wire mesh or screen over the holes to allow airflow. Over time that mesh and screening can rust and go away or be torn out by determined animals. If you had prior roof leaks around the perimeter of your home, you may have rotten spots in your soffit that can also be used for attic access.

If you walk around the outside of your home and find torn or missing soffit screens, rotten or damaged wood soffit, or missing vinyl soffit, then your attic has open access should something want in. Now is the time to do this assessment and decide what you are prepared to handle yourself, and where you may want to hire help.

Companies are busy and this may not be a call today, get it completed tomorrow's project. Matching vinyl colors and styles could also be an issue due to supply chain issues. Action now gets you on somebody’s schedule with ample time to address the issue before cooler weather sets in.

Mr. Handyman serving Greater Jacksonville can repair or replace rotten or damaged soffits, and torn or missing soffit vents and screens. We also deal with rotten fascia, damaged wood siding, and trim. If you have exterior soffit, siding, and fascia damage and need a trusted partner that can resolve your issues, please give Mr. Handyman a call.