The Soffit And Fascia Part Of The Gutter System

What Is The Soffit?

This is the area located in the area between the rafter tails.  This is important because in areas like ours in the Satellite Beach, Palm Bay, Melbourne, and Titusville areas, where we periodically experience high winds that can bring rain up under the eaves.  You need a soffit to protect these areas.  If this area isn’t well maintained, water can collect here.  You’ll need these areas inspected at least once a year for peeling paint and other problems.  You want this area to stay well-painted and caulked to fight water damage.

View of soffit on a home
A modern graphite roof lining is attached to the trusses, which is referred to as the soffit.

This area is visible from underneath the roof and is attached to the side of the house and the fascia.  It is typically made of aluminum or wood, you may also find ones made of composite or synthetic materials for their durability.  As you can see in this photo, the soffit can add a very finished look to your home in addition to providing the protection you need from the rain in high winds.

What Is The Fascia?

The fascia is the board along the side of the roof overhang that makes your roof look finished.  The gutter system is attached to the fascia.  This is also sometimes called the “transition trim” found between the roofline and the house.  It supports the shingles and protects the house from water damage.

These fascia boards are most often wood, but they can be made of other materials like aluminum, vinyl, plastic, or PVC.  While these give your house a more finished look, they play an important role in protecting your home from water damage.  So it makes sense to keep that in mind when choosing the materials your fascia is made of.

Painting a fascia
Professional Painter Using A Small Roller to Paint House Fascia.

With the high winds that we can experience here in the Satellite Beach, Palm Bay, Melbourne, and Titusville areas, fascia boards are very important for protecting our homes from water damage.  They must be well maintained to continue to protect our homes from water damage.  They need to be securely attached using galvanized nails, or some kind of nails that resist corrosion.  Caulking them and painting them can also help protect them from corrosion.  Installing them with metal wrapping is another way of keeping them well-maintained.

These are usually paired with a soffit.  People often confuse soffit and fascia, and which parts are called what.  But they are both essential to the roof and protecting your home.  To help you remember which is which, think of the fascia as the “face” of the edge of the roof.  This is also where the gutters are attached.  The soffit is what is underneath.

Repairing The Soffit and Fascia

When you get your roof repaired you usually replace damaged shingles and rusted flashing, but when it comes to the roof overhang this is where peeling paint and rotting wood appear first.  The eaves are where water often seeps in and stays moist the most.  Damage can also occur from birds and squirrels inside the eaves.  They can chew or peck through eaves, especially water-damaged fascia or soffit.  You can also get bees and hornet nests.

When repairing the soffit and fascia, we first remove the shingle mold from the fascia.  If we can keep the mold from splitting, we can reuse it.  Then we can remove the damaged or rotted fascia.  This has to be done carefully so we don’t damage the shingles or flashing in the process.  Then we can remove the old soffit.  It is not unusual to find nests in this area.  If there is a rotted rafter, remove it with a reciprocating saw and replace it with a piece of pressure-treated lumber.  We will then attach a cleat to support the overhang and a new rafter.  Before installing the new replacement soffit, it is a good idea to seal it to protect it from water.  Once it is installed, we replace the crown molding along the wall of the house near the edge of the new soffit.

Now we can attach the replacement fascia.  We will use galvanized nails and putty the holes to protect them.  Finally, we can attach the single mold along the top of the fascia, which must be done carefully to maintain a consistent reveal.