Many homeowners think of soffit panels and fascia boards as cosmetic features, while some are unaware of exactly what they do. Probably the most overlooked exterior finishing elements, they are as important to a home’s exterior as the roof or gutters. Here are a few reasons soffit and fascia play an important role in protecting your house from water damage.
What is Soffit?
The edge of a roof typically extends about 18 inches to 2 feet out from the house. Soffit is siding enclosing the underside of the roof’s overhang. While it usually doesn’t immediately impact curb appeal, soffit can be seen when standing on the porch or entry steps; underneath the overhang; walking by at street level. Traditionally made from wood, today soffit panels are also manufactured from composite wood, vinyl, and aluminum.
What is Fascia?
Fascia is the finishing edge covering the ends of a roof’s rafters, trusses, or the area where the gutter system is attached to the roof. Fascia boards keep rain and snow from entering a home that might result in water damage such as mould, pooling water, and rot. Standard gutters – not hidden or drainage systems for flat roofs – are generally attached to the fascia.
Important for Ventilation
The rise in temperature or heat escaping from the attic is one of the main causes of ice dams forming on a roof. It is important for the attic of your home to be properly ventilated to ensure it remains dry, eliminating potential leaks and other moisture-related problems. Soffit and fascia prevent the elements from coming inside your home. Vented soffit is designed to specifically increase or improve the circulation of air throughout an attic, with small holes or thin slots to air to flow.
Important for Pest Control
Soffit boards and fascia panels keep pests out. Hibernating animals or ones that just want shelter when the weather gets colder find attics, gutters, and roof overhangs very attractive. Pests such as birds, rodents, squirrels, bats, and insects (wasps, bees) can gain entry through compromised soffit and/fascia.
Important for Protection
Soffit and fascia protect your home from water, wind, and pests. When a home is missing soffit panels or fascia boards, rainwater and moisture can be blown into the attic during a heavy rainstorm. The same can be said of improperly installed or damaged soffits and fascia – water that can damage your home is allowed to enter. Keeping gutters maintained helps prevent overflowing, which also can lead to damaged soffit, fascia, and siding.