While soffit and fascia aren’t as noticeable on your home’s exterior as siding is, they do play a significant role in protection from water damage. And like siding, soffit panels and fascia boards add an aesthetic element to its overall appearance. Selecting the right materials for soffit, fascia and siding also strengthens the building envelope and increases your home’s curb appeal.
Materials for Soffit and Fascia
Soffit panels enclose the underside of the roof edge. They are available in vented (allows air to circulate) and unvented options. Fascia boards cover the ends of the roof rafters. In the past, the material of choice for soffit and fascia was wood. Today, many soffit and fascia installations are made of aluminum. Another popular material for both soffit and fascia panels is vinyl.
Using metal or vinyl instead of wood eliminates potential wood rot; reduces the effects of water damage; and decreases the amount of warping that can occur.
Aluminum soffits and aluminum fascia are made from different grades or thicknesses. The thicker or higher the grade, the better the soffits and fascia will withstand the elements. Vinyl soffits and vinyl fascia also come in a range of thicknesses; the thicker the panels, the more protection they will offer.
Materials for Siding
The top four materials for siding are aluminum, fiber cement, vinyl and wood.
Aluminum siding and fiber cement siding are naturally resistant to fire, rotting or insect infestations. Vinyl siding is the most cost effective, but has the shortest lifespan.
Treated wood siding decreases its vulnerability to the effects of water.
Soffit, Fascia and Siding Material Tips
Replacing wood soffit and fascia with metal or vinyl can reduce the risk of injury when maintaining hard-to-reach soffits and fascia panels. Depending on the size and shape of a house, access to soffit and fascia can be awkward or difficult.
Materials for soffit, fascia and siding should be: easy to maintain; durable; strong; and create a unified appearance for your home’s exterior.
When choosing a siding material, consider the size and architectural style of the home; regional and local environmental conditions; and the cost, both to purchase and maintain.