Soffit and fascia define the function and appearance of your home. The overhang of a house extends the roof out away from exterior walls so that rainwater doesn’t run directly down the siding and windows. Soffit panels enclose the underside of the overhang from the elements. Fascia boards serve the same purpose for the rafters of the roof, covering the ends of the rafters, keeping out pests as well as bad weather. Choosing the right soffit and fascia for your home help maintain its structural integrity while improving curb appeal.
When deciding on what type of soffit and fascia will be the most suitable, consider accessibility in relation to the architectural style of your home. When a house has a straightforward design comprised of clean lines with a simple roof configuration, soffit and fascia will be easier to access.
Soffits and fascia boards on a home in the Gabled Vernacular, Victorian or Modern styles might be harder to access. Wood fascia boards and wood soffit panels can be high-maintenance. In order to prevent wood rot, select soffit panels, and fascia that are low maintenance such as aluminum or fiber cement.
However, before replacing wood soffit and fascia on a historical style or heritage home, check bylaws, strata councils, or any other governing body guideless to see if alternative soffit and fascia materials are allowed.
Soffit and Fascia Materials
Soffits can be manufactured from a number of different types of materials including wood, vinyl, and aluminum. In today’s competitive market for environmentally-friendly materials that are also low-maintenance, fiber cement soffits are becoming more popular – they are strong, don’t require painting, and are relatively easy to maintain.
In the past, wood soffit was used for most residential dwellings. But as mentioned previously, wood soffits require vigilant upkeep. They need to be cleaned, painted and sealed regularly to protect against rot.
Fascia boards are typically made of vinyl or aluminum. If you have an older home and would like to retain the appearance of wood, expect to replace wood fascia every five or so years, depending on the amount of annual rainfall and average humidity of where you live.
White, black, and grey are standard choices for soffit panels and fascia boards. But soffit is available in a wide variety of colours. For visual impact that is harmonious and enhances curb appeal, select shades that complement an existing element of the house exterior such as door and window trim or the roof.
Since fascia needs to protect the roof and attic from air and moisture, it never should be ventilated. On the other hand, soffit panels can be ventilated or non-ventilated. Ventilated soffits include small to allow unobstructed airflow throughout the attic and prevent condensation. A professional roofing contractor will be able to advise you on how the two types of soffit should be installed and where they will be the most effective.