Cleaning and Maintaining Soffits and Fascias

Even though they are an integral part of the roofing system, soffit and fascia can be overlooked as part of a home maintenance routine. Just like gutters, soffit boards and fascia panels are designed to prevent water damage, so it’s important they are properly maintained.

What are Soffits and Fascias?

Where the roof extends a few inches beyond the exterior walls of your home, the ends of the rafters are closed off from the elements by fascias.

Soffits cover the bottom of the fascia board. Soffit panels are available in several profiles including solid and perforated (vented) to allow increased air flow in the attic and throughout the house.

Cleaning Tips for Soffits

Spray water indirectly onto soffits to remove surface dirt and other pollutants, while avoiding pushing moisture in behind the boards when cleaning vented soffit panels.

Clean vented or perforated soffit boards with compressed air once every two years to remove any buildup of dirt, grime and other types of debris inside the soffits that can block air flow.

Remove mold or mildew with a soft bristle brush and a cleaning solution of water, liquid dish or laundry detergent, and bleach. When mold growth is extensive or soffits are hard to reach consider calling a roofing contractor.

Cleaning Tips for Fascias

Wash away dirt buildup and stains with a mix of water and mild detergent. To remove stubborn stains, use a stiff bristle brush.

When you need to remove mold or mildew from fascia boards, add bleach to a solution of water and mild detergent. Lightly scrub with a stiff bristle brush.

For rinsing off soap residue, you can use a power washer on the lowest setting. However it’s probably safer to spray fascia with a garden hose that has a pistol grip nozzle.

Maintenance Tips for Soffit and Fascia

Regular gutter cleanings help prevent overflowing gutters. Water splashing up into wood soffits can cause water damage including wood rot.

Inspect the soffit and fascia for cracks, holes, peeling paint, and scratches. Make the appropriate repairs as soon as possible.

Inspect the soffits for gaps, places where critters and insects can get inside your house. Look for nests – wasps, bees, or hornets. If it’s just one nest and can be removed fairly easily, DIY. But if there are several, hire a professional to remove them for you.

Check soffits for gaps, cracks, and worn places in the sealant or caulking that keeps them in place. Reapply if required.

Fascia boards support the gutter system. Look for any raised nail heads that might indicate loose fascias unable to adequately support the weight of the gutters.