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Fascia Boards 101: What NOVA Homeowners Need to Know

If you're like most Northern Virginia homeowners, you don't think about your fascia boards very often—if at all. But perhaps you were taking a turn around your property, checking for damage as signs of spring signal winter's end, and noticed something wrong with the underside of your roof. Fascia plays a few important roles for your home, and is commonly affected by water damage.

That's why responsible homeowners should be familiar with the different types of fascia, common problems to troubleshoot, and when you need to call the pros at Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia - Arlington to Haymarket for help.

What is Fascia?

Essentially, fascia is part of your roof trim and is also referred to as roof decking. It's a front board running horizontally and placed vertically under your roof edge. It's not the planks running directly beneath your roof—those are soffit boards—but rather parallel to your roof.

The primary role of roof decking is to protect your home from the elements, particularly water, by acting as an insulating layer between your roof and the outdoors. It also contributes to the aesthetic appeal of your home's exterior, as it creates a smooth, even appearance along your roof's edge. Lastly, fascia also supports your home's gutters.

Different Types of Fascia Board Material

Usually, fascia is made out of wooden boards or sheet metal, although there are many other varieties, including:

Vinyl Fascia Boards

Known for being highly durable and easy to install, another benefit of vinyl is that it's repair and maintenance costs are lower than other materials, like wood. Vinyl, also known as PVC (polyvinyl chloride), is a type of plastic. While it's not a very eco-friendly material, it does last a long time. Available in a variety of colors, vinyl does not rot but can be prone to staining from algae and mildew.

Wooden Fascia Boards

Wood is a very commonly used material for roof decking and soffits alike. While not as long-lasting as vinyl, when treated and maintained correctly, wood will still last a very long time. It's also better for the environment and relatively affordable. Although wood can be prone to rot, especially during periods of heavy water flow from thunderstorms, a coat or two of exterior paint can protect it from moisture while also contributing to your curb appeal.

Aluminum Fascia Boards

Like vinyl, aluminum is a very low-maintenance material that is also highly durable. Often, aluminum is used to protect already existing wood fascia because it's flexible and is an ideal weather proofing solution. Like wood, aluminum is easy to paint and available in tons of colors.

Composite Fascia Boards

Although composite decking is more expensive than other materials, it has many benefits. Made out of recycled wood chips and sawdust bonded with epoxy resin, composite is rot, mildew and mold resistant. It's long-lasting, durable, and can emulate the look of wood. Also, composite is available in many colors and styles. It's weather-resistant and can stand up to even the toughest elements.

Proper Maintenance Routine

Like any part of your home, fascia is subject to damage over time—especially if it's not properly cared for. Moisture, strong winds and pests can all take their toll on your fascia. It's important to protect this part of your roof because it, in turn, protects both the exterior and interior of your home from mold, mildew, and wood rot. There are a few things you can do to ensure your roof decking remains in good condition.

Install Drip Edge Boards

Every home should include a drip edge, as it's key for preventing fascia damage. Essentially, a drip edge is an L-shaped piece of metal. It's attached to your roof deck boards and sits below the first layer of shingles. Its job is to direct water away from the fascia to minimize damage from moisture.

Regularly Check for Damage

It's important to look for damage to your roof decking at least twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. You could add this to-do to your seasonal maintenance, as it's a good opportunity to also check out your soffits, siding, roof, gutters, and down pipes. You're looking for:

  • Cracks

  • Discoloration

  • Splinters

  • Rot/deterioration

  • Staining

  • Warping/buckling

  • Missing boards

  • Exposed nails

  • Peeling paint

Promptly Remove Insect Nests

Living in Northern Virginia, you're likely no stranger to bees, wasps, and even hornets trying to make a home beneath your roof. Often, your roof deck boards look like a cozy place to set up shop because they're up high and relatively protected from wind and rain. Since it can be tricky to safely remove nests, we suggest you call a professional to have them moved—especially bee nests, as they may be a protected or endangered species.

Keep Your Gutters Clean

Cleaning out gutters is no one's favorite chore, but it's undoubtedly an important task. And the good news is, if you don't like the job or don't feel safe climbing up on a ladder, the pros at Mr. Handyman can take care of it for you!

It's important to clean out your gutters for a few reasons. A gutter moves rainwater away from your home through down pipes. It directs water a safe distance away from your house's foundation to avoid problems with water seepage and erosion. However, if your gutters are clogged, water spills over the edge and can seriously damage your fascia, soffits, and siding. Also, if left unattended full gutters could collapse under the weight of water.

When to Call the Pros at Mr. Handyman

If you've noticed damage to your fascia, or a missing part of your roof deck boards, then it's time to call the pros at Mr. Handyman of Northern Virginia - Arlington to Haymarket. Not only can we efficiently repair, replace and/or install a range of fascia boards, but we will also help you keep your home in tip-top condition by cleaning out your gutters and repairing damage to your siding as well.

We truly are your “one call does it all!” handyman service. With one appointment, we'll get all your spring maintenance to-dos done. To book an appointment today, we invite you to call our friendly office staff at 703-621-4817. You can also reach us online by requesting service.