Understanding the Importance of Soffits and Fascia in Siding Project

Published on: March 06, 2022

Soffits and fascia are some of the most overlooked exterior building features that factor into curb appeal. Most people don’t know much about these aspects of a home’s exterior finishing and know even less about the important role they play in protecting the home.

Get insights into what these aspects of your home are, why they matter, and what to look for in quality materials and workmanship when replacing them.

What Are Soffits?

Roofs often extend over the sides of the home. This area of the overhang is often referred to as eaves or rafters. 

Underneath the overhang is the soffit. Soffit literally means “something fixed underneath.” While you might not think this area of your home is important, you’d be surprised at how incomplete your home looks without it. This finishing material can be wood, fiber cement or vinyl.


Why You Need Soffits

Soffits are often misunderstood to be like trim or other static exterior fixtures solely to make a home or building look complete. The real reason for these fixtures is ventilation.

Because soffits sit under your roof’s overhang, they cover part of the attic. Heat tends to build within attic spaces, especially during summer months and sunny days. Additionally, the energy inside the home can create heat in the attic. 

Without ventilation and airflow, your roof can overheat. Overheated shingles are more likely to break and can deform become deformed causing ice dams in the winter. Ice dams lead to harmful indoor leaks causing enormous damage. Ventilation is why many soffits include perforation or venting to help air circulate effectively.

Additionally, failing to ventilate these areas can lead to high energy bills and humidity in your attic, which leads to mold, wood rot and mildew.

In addition to these important home protection measures, soffits also offer visually appealing aspects to your home or building. If you didn’t have soffits, you’d see the rafters under your roof overhang. 

Soffits come in a variety of colors and styles to offer the appearance and style you want for your home. You can coordinate them to your siding to create a clean, smooth look for your home, or you can make them stand out for a bolder appearance. Most homeowners opt for white soffits or colors that match their home’s trim.  

Soffits also help protect the underside of the roof from the elements. They prevent moisture and pests from getting into this important area of your home.

Allow the Professionals to Do It

How to Choose Soffit Material

When replacing soffits, you have many options. These options will impact the level of protection that the soffit provides your home.

Wood, vinyl and fiber cement are the leading materials for soffits. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks that you should know about.

Wood will require frequent scraping and painting as well as replacement to avoid wood rot and warping. Vinyl is prone to dislocation and may suffer from warping in areas with intense heat. Fiber cement offers the appearance of wood with lower maintenance because it is less likely to need painted frequently and not as prone to warping in hot weather. 

If you do choose fiber cement soffits, you’ll have options for wood grains or smooth finishes as well as venting to match the needs of your home. No matter the material you choose, you’ll have plenty of color options to create the aesthetic you’re looking for.

Investing a little more money to get the highest quality soffits will be worth it in the long run because you won’t have to worry as much about maintenance or the possibility of harmful materials or pests getting inside your home due to worn out or warped soffits.

What Is Fascia?

Fascia serves many of the same purposes as soffits and helps create a cohesive barrier for your home in conjunction with the soffits. Fascia is the siding that is above the soffit. This is what you see on the outside front of your roof’s overhang.

This area of your home is extremely visible, making it a crucial aspect of your home’s curb appeal. Much like soffits, fascia can be made of a variety of materials, but the most popular are wood, vinyl and fiber cement. Having a hard time understanding the difference between soffits and fascia? Watch this video that demonstrates the differences between fascia and soffit.

Why Is Fascia Important?

Fascia provides defense at the bottom row of your roofing materials. And fascia is generally where your gutters are installed and attached. To keep water flowing properly away from your home, your fascia needs to be strong enough to hold quality gutters that will withstand Washington rainstorms.

Fascia is also important because it is an extremely visible aspect of your home’s curb appeal. It can be referred to as transition trim since it visually connects the home’s roofing to the siding and prevents moisture from getting to your home’s structure. 

Modern fascia is often made from materials that don’t require frequent sanding, painting, staining and refinishing. 

How to Know Your Soffits or Fascia Need to be Replaced

Watching for signs that your soffits and fascia need to be replaced is important to prevent roof and siding damage. It’s a good idea to review your home’s exterior in July or August to prepare for the Washington rainy season. That way, you know your home is protected before the heavy rains begin and avoid potential issues with ice dams if it gets cold enough.

Here are some signs that it’s time for new soffit or fascia.

  • Rotting wood or leaks
  • Fascia that looks like it needs to be repainted, which could be a sign of wood rot or other underlying issues
  • Peeling paint or discolored fascia
  • Pests or small animals are making their way inside your home via this area of your home’s exterior

If it’s been several years since you replaced your soffits and fascia, it’s a good idea to get an expert opinion on the status of your home’s exterior. Many homeowners aren’t sure what they’re looking for in watching for deterioration of their roof, siding, windows, soffits and fascia to catch small issues before they become big problems.

Get a Free Inspection and Quote

The trusted experts at 2FL Windows, Siding & Roofing have the knowledge and skills to expertly handle your roofline maintenance installation. For everything from soffits and fascia to replacement siding and windows, our professionals will seamlessly handle your installation while delivering exceptional customer service. 

Our no-pressure quote and inspection team can visit your home or business to talk you through ways to protect the exterior of your building. Experience a team of contractors that provides top-notch service and focuses on educating and guiding customers by scheduling your free estimate today.

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