Most homeowners mistakenly think that soffits and fascia are merely superfluous architectural elements that serve no real purpose except to add visual interest and lend a finished look to your home’s exterior. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The soffit can be found in the area that spans beneath the rafter tails. Fascia, on the other hand, is the area that is exposed at the end of the rafters. Usually made of materials like aluminum and wood, soffit and fascia are part of the aesthetics of your home’s exterior, but they also have a more practical function: they play an integral role in keeping pests out of your home. Soffits and fascia also stylishly hide your attic ventilation. In addition, in climates with high winds that can cause rain to swirl up under the eaves, the soffits prevent water from blowing into the house.
Soffits and fascia are now more widely available in synthetic and composite materials like unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) and vinyl, which are durable and easier to maintain than the more traditionally used wood and aluminium. Vinyl soffits, fascia and trim products now come in styles that can complement the architectural elements of your home. Products made from recycled materials are also available for those who want an eco-friendly alternative.
Soffits and fascia need to be regularly maintained to ensure that they remain in optimal condition. Replace or repair peeling paint or cracked seals, and inspect for mold and mildew regularly to ensure they stay in tip-top shape. Keep an eye out for insect nests as well and call professionals to handle their removal as needed.
Soffit replacement costs run to about $20 to $30 a linear foot installed while replacing fascia costs about $15 to $25 a linear foot installed. Final project costs will, of course, depend on a number of factors, such as your choice of materials and the size of your home. Repairing damaged or rotted fascia and soffit boards, drywall and framing can cost upwards of $5,000.
Keep your gutters clean to prevent water from backing up and inundating the fascia board. Also, make sure to properly ventilate your attic and install soffit vents and other venting systems to keep your attic dry.
If you make sure your soffit and fascia are correctly installed and waterproof, you can prevent sizeable problems from occurring down the road. Also, make sure to repair or replace damaged flashing or gutters that can also give rise to issues in the future.
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