How to Tell if Good Fascia is going Bad

Since vinyl and aluminum fascia rarely need replacing, this discussion deals mainly with wood fascia and how rot can compromise its ability to protect your home. Fascia boards cover the roof ends, keeping the elements from entering and resulting in damage to the roof. While it doesn’t have to be done annually, get into the habit of examining the fascia every 24 to 30 months. Another option is to check the fascias at the same time you clean the gutters.


Signs that rot might be setting in are:

  • peeling paint
  • stains and/or streaks
  • sagging gutter sections

Be aware that, unfortunately, by the time visual signs have appeared, material degradation has most likely already begun.

Simple Test

To check for rot and the extent of deterioration, follow these simple steps:

  • place the ladder where two fascia boards join at an angle and then work your way around the roof
  • with a screwdriver or another type of sharp tool, poke the surface of the fascia – if the surface “gives,”  feels soft or flakes the wood, rot has set in
  • decayed wood crumbles easily – if you can loosen or break off pieces of wood with your hand, this could be a sign that the rotting is advanced


Replace damaged areas with new fascias.

Replace damaged wood fascia with vinyl fascia or aluminum fascia panels. Vinyl and aluminum fascias typically do not have to be replaced unless they have been physically damaged.

Consider replacing all the fascia on the side affected; not just the rotted boards. This will help increase the roof’s ability to protect your home.

Find the source of the leak; start with the usual suspect, the gutters. Rot is almost always the result of moisture getting in or behind the wood fascia.