What Is Soffit and Fascia On a House?

soffit and fascia

Identifying soffit and fascia

This is a popular question along with, what is the purpose of soffit and fascia? Once it is explained, it makes sense. The soffit and fascia are a part of the roofing system.  Along the underside of the roof rafters is where the soffit is installed.  

The fascia is installed horizontally over the ends of the rafters. Between the fascia and the soffit, the roof rafters are protected against the elements, which makes soffit and fascia repair so important. 

So, is a soffit necessary since it is covering the underside of the rafters? Because it is on the underside, you may think there isn’t much to get under there, right? Wrong!  The soffit replaced the gable vents and hood vents that used to be a part of a home’s construction. The soffit provides the necessary attic ventilation that keeps the warm moisture that collects in an attic moving, keeping condensation from building up and creating mold. Without soffit and fascia repairs and upkeep, your roof will deteriorate faster. 

What is the difference between an eave and a soffit?

The eaves are found on the underside of the roof where the roof attaches to the house and just out a couple of feet.  Roof eaves have an impact on the overall appearance of a home with the intended purpose of directing water away from the exterior walls of your home.

The soffit is attached to the underside of the eaves and is the part you’ll see from the ground.  The soffit, along with the fascia, envelope the rafters of your roof, protecting it from the elements as well as small critters and insects.  When there are soffit and fascia repairs needed, the sooner the better is every roofing contractor’s recommendation. 

What causes soffit damage?

As we’ve explained, the soffit is the part of the roof you see under the eaves or overhang of the roof. The soffit covers and protects the underside horizontally and provides ventilation to the attic, hence the small holes spaced out on the soffit. 

The soffit and fascia repairs are often needed because exposure to the sun and weather. Because these parts have the most exposure, saving the roof, fascia and soffit repair or replacement are a routine part of roof maintenance and upkeep. Without these two components, the roof isn’t going to be adequately protected against the wind and the humid will increase from the moisture building up in the attic. That moisture build up leads to critter invasion, pest infestation, water infiltrating and wood rotting. 

soffit and eaves

How do you replace fascia boards?

When fascia and soffit repairs are needed, a handy DIY homeowner doesn’t have to call a professional soffit and fascia repair company or roofing contractor. There are plenty of online videos that will give you step-by-step instructions on how to repair fascia on house.  For now, we are offering you a few basics on how to repair fascia and soffit:

  1. Remove Shingle Molding: With the flat end of a pry par, pull the narrow shingle molding off the fascia. Save for reusing if it doesn’t break or split.
  2. Remove the Rotted Fascia Boards: Remove any rotted sections of the fascia boards, being careful not to damage any flashing or shingles.
  3. Remove the Old Soffit: Carefully, pull the old soffit down, being cautious of critter and insect nests. 
  4. Remove All Rotted Rafters: With a reciprocating saw, cut out all the rotted rafters. Then cut matching sizes of replacement pieces from pressure-treated lumber.
  5. Attach the Cleat: If your house has a brick chimney, attach a 2×4 cleat to help support the new overhang you’re going to build.
  6. Attach the New Rafter: Clamp a 1×1  backing board in place then attach the new rafter to it with screws and then screw the rafter to the positioned chimney cleat.
  7. Seal the Replacement Soffit: Using a waxy type of waterproof sealer, cover the edges of the new soffit to provide protection from water penetration. The soffit protects your roof, but it needs protecting too. 
  8. Attach the Replacement Soffit: After you have primed the bottom and top surfaces, attach your new plywood soffit to the eave’s underside.
  9. Replace the Crown Molding: Replace the molding you removed earlier along the wall under the new soffit’s rear edge.
  10. Attach the Replacement Fascia: Slide the new fascia in place and with galvanized nails, attach it and cover with putty.
  11. Attach the Shingle Mold: Attach the shingle mold you removed earlier along the top of the fascia, keeping a consistent covering. 

Congratulations!  You just completed your own soffit and fascia repairs and a huge step in maintaining the health and well-being of your home’s roof.  Keeping the roof maintenance done, you’ll come close to keeping that 25 to 30 year lifespan that asphalt roofing manufacturer offer. Call (516) 986-3979 today for your soffit and fascia service needs in Long Island and Farmingdale, NY.