Signs your fascias and soffits may require maintenance

When you look up at your roof, you probably see it as a single entity. There are in fact several sections to a roof and understanding what these are can be the difference between knowing what needs maintenance and what doesn’t.

What is a soffit?

The exposed section beneath the roof overhang

Soffits are the exposed surface directly beneath the overhang on a roof. They sit below the eave on the roof and are usually white or black. The function of a soffit is usually to adequately ventilate the attic. If you look closely at soffits that serve this purpose, you’ll see they have tiny holes in them for air circulation.

Signs your soffits need maintenance

Look out for cracks and surface discolouration

Soffits are usually made from wood or vinyl. Wooden soffits can rot, and vinyl soffits can crack. Because they are visible, you’ll probably be able to see these symptoms from below. If your soffits have them, they will require maintenance.

What is a fascia?

Protective roof trim that blocks out the weather

Fascias are connecting roof trim that can be found on the ends of rafters, trusses, and sometimes guttering. The function of a fascia is to sit between the edge of the roof and the outdoors and act as a separating layer. Fascias protect against the elements. They also offer a pleasing finish to a roof with their sharp edges.

Signs your fascias need maintenance

Look out for rotting and edge imperfections

Because they are so exposed to the weather, fascias are highly susceptible to degradation over time. This is especially true of wooden fascias. If your fascias have warped or become discoloured at the edges, they may have a case of wet rot.

Why have my fascias or soffits failed?

Because they are perishable roof components

Fascias and soffits do not last a lifetime. They are perishable components of a roof so it’s perfectly normal for them to fail and need maintenance over time. Even uPVC fascias and soffits degrade and fail. No material is immune from this process.

Typically, you can expect wooden fascias and soffits to last for over 10 years providing a quality hardwood is used that’s pressure-treated. Vinyl and uPVC offers the same lifespan but won’t rot. It typically lasts a little longer for this reason.

I have a leak from somewhere. Could it be a fascia or soffit?

Yes, although fascias and soffits aren’t always the primary culprit

If a new roofing system has been properly installed, the fascias and soffits will not typically cause a leaky roof. However, a structural mistake by carpenters and roofers can lead to a flat or sunken area at the roof edge which causes water to filter out behind the fascia. This then flows through to the soffits where water can penetrate the property.

A more common issue homeowners experience is water dripping down to the floor from the fascia instead of flowing into the gutter. With wind-driven rain this is normal but with regular rain it isn’t. If rain water is flowing down from the fascia board then it’s missing the gutter system. Typically, the solution is to adjust the gutter system or fascia board slightly so the water flows where it should. This is usually a quick, effective fix.

Another issue causing a leak could be a failure in the roofing felt. With some roofing systems, felt carries rainwater to the gutters. If the felt recedes, water is being carried under roof tiles. You can replace the felt or fit plastic support trays to solve the issue. With both options, tiles will need to be removed. It’s a job for a competent roofer.

I think my fascias and soffits require maintenance. What next?

Working at height is a risk and roofing work should always be carried out by a competent person to ensure its quality. For this reason, we strongly recommend you hire a professional roofer for all your fascia and soffit maintenance.

A professional roofer will be able to properly determine the condition of your soffits and fascias at height. A thorough repair recommendation can then be made.

Roundhay Roofing is local to Leeds. We’re a family-run business that’s served the area for over 30 years. Fascia and soffit maintenance is bread and butter work to us, so we’d be happy to help you. Free callouts are available now. Call us on 0113 293 4038 to arrange your callout and receive your free, no obligation quote.



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