Soffit and fascia keep a low profile on your home, but they play a big role in protecting your home and improving its overall look.
Just under the edge of your roof is a small lip about four to eight inches high. On some homes, this strip of wood is just painted. However, on most modern homes, the edge is covered with a covering known as fascia. It is a piece of vinyl or aluminum that covers the wood and protects it from water damage.
If the wood along your roof line is damaged by water, the rot can spread to your roof and make your roof vulnerable to leaks or pest infestation.
Your roof also hangs over the edge of your home by a foot or more, leaving an area under the roof edge. Left unfinished, you will see beams, subdecking and open space leading into your home’s attic. This is essential for proper ventilation to control humidity in the attic and prevent moisture damage.
Installing soffit is a good way to provide a finished edge without blocking the flow of air into your home. Soffit a board that covers that edge, and it can be made of different materials and can be vented or unvented.
If you have an older home, you may not have soffit or fascia, or you may need to upgrade it to replace aging materials. Here are a few things to keep in mind to choose the right soffit and fascia for your home:
Typically, fascia is always made of either aluminum or vinyl. The plain board is just considered sub-board.
Soffit, however, comes in a wide variety of materials, including wood, vinyl and aluminum.
Wooden soffit can create a more modest and rustic look for your home, but it is prone to rotting and warping. You will have to paint and seal it regularly, and it will have a shorter life span even with the right maintenance.
Aluminum and vinyl soffit are more resistant to water damage, and they won’t rot or fade. They will last longer and provide the protection your home needs.
White is standard for soffit and fascia, but you can buy them in a variety of colors. You should choose colors that will complement your siding and your home’s overall look. Therefore, if you have navy blue siding, bright white soffit may not be the best choice.
Some manufacturers create soffit and fascia in other colors, but you will have to paint the materials if you want unique colors. Fortunately, the materials take paint well, so you can get any color you want.
Fascia and soffit are considered trim materials, and the style you choose can have a big impact on the overall look of your home.
Fascia can include tiny grooves in the side to mimic the grain of wood, or it can feature more marked ridges. Of course, smooth panels are also available.
Soffit comes in many more styles. The panels can include different widths and sections, as well as different ventilation patterns. Designer soffit have raised panels that can create a more distinguished profile for your home.
Fascia does not need to be ventilated. In fact, any ventilation would actually let water come in contact with the wood, which would contribute to rotting and decay.
However, soffit can be ventilated or unventilated. In most cases, soffit should be ventilated since it covers the vents leading into the attic and it needs to create opportunities for air flow. Some soffits provide more ventilation by featuring more panels and more slots. When you shop, you’ll get details about how much ventilation is provided. If your home is experiencing problems with humidity control, you’ll want to choose soffit with more ventilation.
In some cases, you can choose solid soffit panels with no ventilation. You’ll need to work with your home contractor to make sure you aren’t blocking off needed ventilation. The soffit may cover an area that does not need to be ventilated, or ventilation may be provided through other outlets, such as an attic fan.
Fascia and soffit aren’t just functional. Choosing the right fascia and soffit can not only protect your home but also improve its overall look. If you choose the right materials for your fascia and soffit, you’ll also reduce the required maintenance for your home.
Explore all your options with your home contractor to make sure you choose the right fascia and soffit for your home.