Tips on Replacing Fascia Boards

Fascia boards protect your roof from water damage. But when gutters clog and then overflow, instead of draining into the downspout as it should, water can seep into the fascia. If it’s wood fascia, moisture can cause decay or rot to set in. When left unattended, fascia boards that have been rotted through can let in more water and cause serious damage including the spread of wood rot, mold, mildew and even flooding. Not only will replacing fascia boards help stop moisture from doing further damage, it can also add curb appeal, making your home more attractive.

First Steps

Measure the existing fascia boards (thickness and width) so that you can look for a similar product. Determine whether or not you are replacing all of the wood fascia or just certain sections. Measure the length of each fascia panel you will be replacing and then add them together for the total amount of fascia panels in linear feet your will need. Tack on an additional 10 to 15 percent to make allowances for any mistakes or unexpected situations that might occur.

Decide what type of fascia material you will select – you don’t necessarily have to replace wood fascia with wood fascia panels. Vinyl fascia boards or aluminum fascia and fascia panels made of composite materials can last many years and do not warp or crack like wood. If you need to match the colour to sections of your existing fascia, vinyl, aluminum and composite fascia are available in a wide range of colours, but can be painted if required.

Replacing the Fascia Boards

You will need to take off the gutters first before removing the old fascia. Pull guttering gently away from existing fascia boards and place it on the ground somewhere it won’t get damaged. Unless you are planning on replacing the gutters as well, you will want to reattach them after the new fascia boards are in place. Using a pry bar, remove the old fascia boards. Clear away any debris and take out any nails left in the rafters.

Begin at one corner – all fascia board corners should be at a 45 degree angle. Before cutting, angles should be checked against the wall angles because they might not be a perfect 45 degrees. Use the old fascia boards as templates when cutting the new fascia panels. Secure the new boards into place – if using aluminum fascia remember to use aluminum nails. Apply caulk around the fascia, paying particular attention to the corners and where the new fascia meets the soffit. Should the fascia boards need painting, if you can do this before reattaching the gutters, it will probably make the paint job a little easier.