What is the Best Material for Soffit?

If improving your home’s exterior is a home improvement you plan on doing before the fall, soffits are an important part of the roofing system. They provide protection from the elements, prevent little critters from accessing the attic, and allow for proper ventilation. When it needs replacing, what is the best material for soffit?

Before Choosing a Soffit Material

Soffit panels cover the part of the roof that extends about two feet away from exterior walls and acts as the “ceiling” of the roof’s overhang. Before choosing a soffit material, consider the following.

Accessibility: Depending on the configuration of the roof, soffits can appear in hard-to-reach places. Select a material that is easy to maintain so you don’t have to clean the soffit boards as often.

Bylaws: If there are no local bylaws or other restrictions related to heritage/historical homes, replace wood soffit with aluminum soffit to prevent wood rot.

Increased airflow: Is the attic stuffy? Do ice dams consistently form on the roof in winter? If you currently don’t have vented soffit, the solution to either of these problems could be vented soffit.

Budget and aesthetics: You might not want to replace the existing soffit with the same colour and style. However, you will want to match the soffits with the general palette of your home’s exterior. Since there are many options to choose from, whether you select wood soffit, aluminum soffit, or vinyl soffit, create a budget to help you get the look you want to achieve maximum curb appeal.

Wood Soffit

Wood soffit is a popular choice among homeowners because it looks beautiful and never goes out of style. Wood is a very flexible material. In our Vancouver climate, wood soffits can be high maintenance, needing to be treated or stained every five to seven years depending on the amount of rainfall your local area receives and the proximity of your home to a body of water. However, when properly treated, it can be both moisture-resistant and bug-proof.

Metal Soffit

The two most common types of metal soffit are aluminum soffit and steel soffit. Both are good options since they are durable, long-lasting, and fire-resistant. Aluminum soffit does not rust and tends to be easier to maintain than steel soffit. In many aspects, aluminum soffits are better suited to Vancouver climate than wood soffit.

Vinyl Soffit

Vinyl soffit is the most budget-friendly, wood soffit being high-end with aluminum soffit somewhere mid-price range. The appeal of vinyl soffit panels is that it comes in various textures, mimicking different types of wood grains. Vinyl as a soffit material possesses high durability, not fading or degrading easily over time. It has a higher impact resistance than aluminum soffit. It will never require painting and is very low-maintenance.