How to Maintain the Soffit of Your Home

Soffit is installed underneath the overhang of the roofline. Part of the roofing system, soffit and fascia define the overall appearance of the roof (aesthetics) while protecting your home from water damage (functionality). To ensure that it is able to do its job, use these tips to maintain the soffit of your home.

Cleaning the Gutters

Most of the moisture issues that wood soffit experiences are due to moisture from overflowing gutters splashing up into the soffits. Cleaning the gutters at least twice a year will help reduce the possibility of damage to the soffit. It’s not just wood soffits and rot: if moisture is allowed to penetrate vinyl soffit or aluminum soffit, mold and mildew can occur. Older aluminum soffits where protective coatings have become worn are susceptible to rust (corrosion).

Cleaning the Soffit

The two common types of soffit are solid and vented. Avoid spraying water directly on vented soffit sections. Vented soffit should be cleaned at least once every two years with compressed air to help clear the openings of dirt, dust, and bits of miscellaneous debris.

Like most exterior finishing components such as the gutters and fascia, soffit also has a protective coating that is moisture-resistant. By cleaning soffits with a mild detergent, grime, dirt, and pollutants are removed, preventing damage to soffit surfaces.

At the first appearance of mold and/or mildew, gently clean soffits with a solution of mild detergent, water, and bleach.

Periodically Check for Pests

When damaged soffit isn’t repaired, gaps can provide the perfect entrance for mice, other kinds of rodents, insects, and birds. Especially around this time of year when most creatures look for a safe nesting place, sheltered areas under the eaves or in the attic or in the insulation of interior walls are very attractive. If you do discover signs of a pest infestation such as droppings, chew marks, and wasp or bird nests. Pest removal can be complicated. If after one or two home remedies don’t work or if it could be dangerous, it will probably be safer to hire a professional to deal with the situation for you.

Inspect Soffit for Signs of Wear

Regularly inspect soffit panels for small holes as a result of rust, rot, and peeling paint. If vinyl soffits show signs of colour fading, this is another example of how the weather-resistant coating has been compromised. Soffits should be properly sealed and caulked to prevent water damage – look for gaps or worn places in the sealant or caulking.