Roof Maintenance: Inspection And Repair Of The Soffits And Fascia

When it comes to maintaining your roof, you know to keep an eye on your shingles and to keep them in good repair. Yet, you may overlook the soffits and fascia boards that make up a major part of your roof. The fascia are the facing boards that run along the front edge of the roof, usually behind the gutters. The soffits are the boards underneath the edge of the roof. Damage to these roof sections can result in problems that go beyond leaks.

Common Concerns

Fascia and soffit boards do more than give your roof its finished look. They prevent moisture from penetrating beneath the shingles, which minimizes leak dangers. They also keep pest out from your attic. In fact, damaged eaves and soffits are a common entrance point for problem raccoons, squirrels, and birds in the house.

Rot and moisture issues on your fascia or soffits can also expand to other parts of the wall or roof, since they are no longer protecting your home against moisture.

The Annual Inspection

It's a good idea to inspect your roof line at least once per year. A good time is during your regular gutter cleaning. Things to look for include:

  • Obvious damage like holes, cracks, or warped boards.

  • Peeling or blistered paint.

  • Drip line issues, such as the roof's edge not extending far enough over the guttering.

  • Clogged vent holes in the soffit.

Repair Tips

Soffit boards can be made from wood, vinyl or metal. They always have vents in them to help air out the attic. You can minimize soffit damage by keeping the vents clear of debris and repainting them as necessary to protect the wood from rot or the metal from rust. Vinyl soffits don't require painting. When cleaning your vents, make sure they have a fine mesh screen inside them to keep pests out. If not, you can cut some screening to size to install inside the vents.

The fascia boards are more prone to damage. These are generally wood, although vinyl is also available. Your main concern here is rot, usually from clogged or poorly positioned gutters. If the gutters are leaking so that water runs behind them, you will need to get the problem fixed to prevent fascia damage. It's also a good idea to repaint the fascia boards if the paint begins to peel or if bare wood is showing, because this will help prevent rot.

It's time to schedule a repair and replacement if the fascia or soffits have holes or cracks in them. Since these elements of the roof often outlast the shingles, you may not have had them replaced at your last roof installation. Contact a local roofing contractor for more information.