What Causes Soffit and Fascia Damage?
This blog pays close attention to what to look for if your soffit or fascia is damaged, the problems you face and potential solutions.
What is a Soffit?
The term ‘Soffit’ derives from French language and translates to ‘something fixed underneath’. Soffits are commonly used to protect the underneath of roofing areas but are also located under porches and flights of stairs. Soffits can be made from various different materials including fibres, steel, cement and wood.
Why Are Soffits Important?
The soffit serves a dual purpose on a roofing system as it protects rafters from the elements and gives a neat and tidy decorated finish. If soffits are not added to a roof system, over time this causes rot and allows mould into the house. This is a very expensive problem to fix as mould is almost impossible to eradicate without the help of a remedial company. Soffits are also crucial to the airflow of a house as they come in vented varieties, allowing air to circulate through the roof whilst limiting moisture and preventing dampness. Damp and mould have serious effects on human health, particularly the respiratory and immune system, highlighting the importance of a secure roof.
What Causes Soffit Damage?
The majority of roof issues derive from soffit damage, highlighting the importance of having an effective sealed roof protection system. Moisture is created on a daily basis through cooking, showering and washing clothes, if unable to escape – it settles and condenses inside your home and creates a number of costly damp related problems. Other areas that increase the chances of soffit damage include:
● Structural flaws – improperly installed flashing or missing shingles
● Improperly installed, damaged or clogged guttering
● Water being forced inwards
● Animals such as birds or squirrels forcing their way into eave space to nest
How Can You Prevent Soffit Damage?
The material of the soffit can be vitally important in preventing problems with your roof. The most effective modern day soffits are made from uPVC as they are a superior investment over the long term. This form of plastic is cheaper than alternatives and withstands severe weather due to it’s water resistant qualities. Using uPVC soffits also has other benefits, for example – the material is much easier to clean than alternatives and is available in a range of colours and finishes to match the style of your house. Annual roof check ups can help you stay on top of any potential problems. Although this could be costly over the short term, there are long term cost benefits if you find any problems at an early stage. Worn or damaged parts can then be identified and replaced keeping your roof dry, safe and secure.
What Is A Fascia?
A roof’s fascia is placed where the roof meets an outer wall, sometimes known as the roofline. Fascia boards are long and straight covers found at the lower edge of the roof, fixed directly to the roof’s trusses. The fascia supports the last row of tiles and other heavy roofing materials such as guttering.
Why Are Fascia’s Important?
A fascia acts as a vertical barrier between the outside and your inner roof, protecting the insides from all elements and giving the roof aesthetic appeal. These are mounted on the exposed edges to give the roof protection from all sides. Fascia damage also lets moisture inside the house, this can lead to large scale repairs for the entirety of the roof if left unchecked. A fully sealed roof system is also key for keeping the house warm, as holes in the fascia structure allow heat to escape from the house, steadily increasing energy bills.
What Causes Fascia Damage?
Rot and damp can spread quickly across the roofline causing significant damage to the structural integrity. Similarly to soffits, blocked guttering and excess water spillage can also lead to fascia damage at a faster rate. Be sure to keep an eye on the fascia for potential infestations of birds and pests as this can leave gaps in the structure, creating spaces for dampness to emerge into the roof. If the structure of the fascia is not fully sealed it should be removed, checked and potentially replaced.
Both soffits and fascia’s are vitally important to roofing structure, without fully sealed outer protection regular problems will occur – these surround the roofs structure, support, tiles and guttering. Dampness causes serious problems to houses and roofs in general, so if you are aware that your soffits or fascias are not fulfilling their purpose, acting fast will save you large sums of money over the long term. Preventing any problems soffit damage and dampness/mould can also be beneficial for your health as it poses a threat to your general wellbeing. When analysing soffits and fascias for potential problems, always look out for soft patches that look to be absorbing water. This can cause paint to crack or flake due to the inside of the roof being affected, so this can be a give away to potential problems.
Furthermore, keep an eye out for water in the roof void and condensation in your attic as this could be due to insufficient sealing efforts in the roof structure. A lack of ventilation through the roof can also cause problems through a build-up of moisture from both internal and external elements.