If you're a homeowner, soffit and fascia boards are almost certainly a part of your life—whether you know it or not. While they're hated by squirrels and rats everywhere, they perform several critical functions to protect your home from damage, not to mention give it a stylish, finished appearance.
But what happens when boards themselves suffer damage? What are the signs of damage? How can you maintain them? And... um... what are they, anyway? We have answers to all these important questions below.
If you need to know more or are looking for an experienced, trustworthy handyman to repair your fascias and soffits, search no further than Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County. Our service professionals are proud to have worked on the homes of many happy customers in the Fairfield County area including Westport, Darien, New Canaan, and other towns across the county.
What Are Soffit and Fascia Boards?
Soffits and fascias are a part of most homes—in fact, they're something you see every day—but the typical reaction upon hearing about them is, "What is that!?" That's understandable since most of us laymen don't use these technical and peculiar terms to describe our homes.
Simply put, they are two important parts of your roof that hang out past the edge of your exterior walls, which is often referred to as a "roofline."
Fascia boards run parallel to the wall and are usually where your rain gutters are attached to your roof, while soffit boards run underneath the overhang—it's the part you see if you stand next to your exterior wall and look straight up. The bottom board of the roofline is typically ventilated, but sometimes vents are located on top of the sideboard instead.
Soffit and fascia board material can be wood, aluminum, or vinyl. In a damp, coastal climate such as we have in Connecticut, wood is less common—especially on newer homes—because it's more susceptible to moisture.
Why Are Soffits and Fascias Important?
They may seem like mere design elements that exist to give your roof a finished look, but they actually perform some very important functions to protect your home from damage.
Those functions include:
- Venting excess heat and moisture out of your attic
- Preventing moisture from entering your attic and damaging the rafters
- Blocking rats, squirrels, insects, and other pests from entering your home
If any of these three functions failed to work properly, the consequences for your home could be extremely difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to fix. The first one, venting heat and moisture from the attic is particularly important because wood rot will fester in timber rafters that are exposed to dampness and warmth.
How Do They Get Damaged and What Are the Signs?
Allow us to answer a question with a question—who loves cleaning out their rain gutters? The answer is pretty much no one, and that's why overflowing gutters are one of the most common causes of damage to rooflines.
Gutters collect rainwater from the roof and channel it safely away from your house where it can't cause trouble. But, when they're crammed full of dead leaves, animal nests, dirt, and other debris, the water has nowhere to go and pours down the exterior of your home. Since the gutters are attached to the fascia, those boards are the first stop for moisture to worm its way into the interior structure of the building. If your gutters become extremely heavy with rain or debris, they can fall and take parts of the board with them.
Weather is another typical cause of damage. In a storm, strong winds can gust upward to the underside of the eaves, blowing rain into the soffit vents where it can pool inside the roof if it doesn't have a chance to evaporate. Pests are yet another damaging factor, particularly in the winter, as rodents and insects will force their way into surprisingly small cracks and gaps and enlarge them to get inside a warm attic.
Signs of damage to look out for include:
- Peeling, chipped, and flaking paint or finish
- Leaking or damaged gutters
- Ventilation issues in your home such as excess condensation
- Air conditioner is working harder than it used to
- Rodents and insects are getting into your home
- Visible bird, rodent, or insect nests
- Discoloration on the boards
How Can I Keep My Roofline in Great Condition?
If you've noticed some signs around your house that the roofline is damaged, it's a good idea to call in a professional handyman to check out their condition and make a recommendation. While the boards themselves are on the surface, the potential damage can go much deeper.
An expert on fascia and soffit boards will be able to track a problem to the source and eliminate it, rather than just using a band-aid solution that doesn't address underlying causes. Our team at Mr. Handyman has the experience needed to get your roofline in perfect condition so it can do its job and protect your house.
However, there is something you can do on a regular basis to keep your fascia and soffit in good shape—keep your rain gutters clean and in good repair. (You knew we were going to say that, right?)
Gutter cleaning is a big chore even under the best circumstances, but if you're not comfortable climbing a ladder, don't have the time, or don't like getting dirty, then it's nearly impossible. Don't worry—Mr. Handyman can take care of cleaning your gutters for you as well, along with numerous other repair and maintenance tasks around your property.
Rely on Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County to Repair Your Soffit and Fascia Boards!
Modern homes have come a long way from humble beginnings as four walls and a roof. They have parts most homeowners aren't even aware of that, nonetheless, can allow damage to spread if they're neglected. Soffits and fascias are hard-working elements of your home that require maintenance to keep doing their jobs, and Mr. Handyman of Upper Fairfield County has the skills and equipment to keep them in perfect working order.