Your home’s exterior has many elements. While things such as brick or siding, roof shingles and windows work together to create aesthetic appeal, each of these elements also plays an important role in keeping your home warm and dry. Two of the most important features of your roof system that tend to go unnoticed are your soffit and fascia. Here we explain what they are, the role they play, and when it might be time for a replacement.
What Is Soffit?
Soffit is the siding installed below your roof’s overhang. Your soffit adds a finished look to your roofline, but it also plays a key role in the soundness of your roofing system. It has venting that allows air to flow steadily between your attic and roof to prevent moisture build-up. It draws cool, dry air into the vent, and forces hot, moist air out. Moisture is enemy number one for any roof system as it not only causes mould growth inside the home, but it can also allow rot in the structure of your roof.
Soffit releases heat from your attic in the summer, keeps pests from entering your home, and also adds a finishing touch that keeps your home dry. You can choose from wood, aluminum, and vinyl, but for the most part, Canadian homes are best suited to vinyl or aluminum soffit for longer life and easier maintenance. Soffit might not be a major architectural design detail, but it does come in a number of materials and colours. This allows you to colour match soffit to your brick, siding, eavestrough or roof for a cohesive look that improves curb appeal.
What Is Fascia?
Fascia sits above the soffit positioned at the front of your roof’s overhang. It works hand in hand with your soffit and roof, providing the last line of defense against the elements. It also provides support for the bottom row of your roof tiles or shingles. It supports your eavestroughs which is important, since your gutters can get weighed down from snow, rain, ice, and debris.
Therefore, you want to know it will hold up against harsh Canadian weather. However, it also plays more of an aesthetic role than your soffits. Because it is front-facing, you want it to blend well with your brick, roof, and gutters to create a neat and tidy look. Aluminum is an excellent choice for fascia as it won’t warp and also protects your roof system from wood rot.
How To Care For Soffit And Fascia
The first step to caring for soffit and fascia is to invest in the proper materials. As a rule, wood is never a good choice as it is prone to warping, as well as rot. It is also very high maintenance, requiring constant stripping and painting. Vinyl or aluminum are always best for the Canadian climate.
Next, removing leaves and debris from your gutters in the fall and spring is a must when it comes to caring for soffit and fascia. Run-off and ice build-up resulting from gutter overflows can cause expensive damage. If this is too much work, investing in a leaf guard system is well worth it. You never have to worry about cleaning out your gutters, which means your soffit and fascia also remain in better condition over the years.
Watch For Ice Dams
There are many signs that can indicate it’s time to replace your soffit and fascia. However, one of the most obvious signs is ice damming. Ice dams form when you have issues with your roof. Because your soffit sits below your roof overhang, if it is old and not doing its job properly it can lead to issues with sudden cold at the eave. When snow and ice melt at the top of the roof, the water is meant to trickle down to the gutters.
However, if your eaves are too cold, the water refreezes before it reaches the gutters, creating ice dams. Ice dams force the water back up your roof, often causing leaks as water can get underneath your shingles or tile. If you have ice and icicles along your roof’s edge, chances are you have issues with your soffit, and in turn your fascia and roof.
Signs You Need Soffit And Fascia Replacement
While ice dams are a more obvious sign you have roof or soffit problems, most issues need a closer look. Inspect your house every season, paying close attention to issues such as:
- Rotting wood along your roof
- Leaking inside the home or attic
- Odd leaking water that does not drain into the gutters but instead down the house
- The fascia is flaky, peeling, rusty or uneven in colour
- Signs that pests, especially bees, hornets or wasps, might have made a nest along your roofline
- Small animals entering your attic or roofline
- Hanging pieces of soffit
- Damage to your roof or siding
If you need a new eavestrough or decide to replace your siding, it’s a good time to have the soffit and fascia inspected as well. Since you also want to maintain a cohesive look to your home, you might want to look at colour options to replace your soffit and fascia for aesthetic reasons. With over 30 colour choices available, you can easily provide an upgraded look to your home’s exterior when you replace the eavestroughs, siding, soffit, and fascia all at once. It is also more budget-friendly when performed by one contractor as it saves on time and materials.
Hiring The Right Installer
When choosing an installer for your fascia and soffits, you should consider the following:
- Years of experience
- Warranties and guarantees
- Quality of materials
- Variety of colour choices
- Complementary services for an entire exterior upgrade
- Reviews and references from past clients
Weaver offers multiple exterior renovation services ensuring seamless workmanship for all your exterior needs from soffit and fascia work to eavestroughs, and from doors and windows to masonry. Request your quote today.