Most homeowners are well aware of the basics of a roof's structure, but the terms soffits and fascia boards are still unfamiliar to many. These terms refer to the boards used to finish out and seal up the edges of the roof where the rafter tails would other be exposed. Fascia boards face outward and run horizontally around the roof's edge right under the shingles, while the soffits are tucked underneath the overhang of the roof and cover the bottoms of the rafter tails. When either of these parts of your become damaged, they can threaten the roofing and the entire structure.
The Purposes of Fascia and Soffits
Many people assume that fascia and soffits primarily provide a finished and neat look to the roof's edges. While that's true, they serve important purposes as well. You'd be surprised at how much water can blow upward in a windy storm, and the soffits prevent winds and humid air in general from rotting out your roof edge and rafters. Fascia is regularly exposed to rain and moisture, and they also keep pests from accessing the space between the rafters and heading right into the roof. On a smaller scale, soffits and fascia boards also keep your home energy efficient by limiting the loss of heated or cooled air through the edges of the roof.
How Do These Boards Get Damaged?
On homes with wood soffits and fascia, water and sun exposure eventually leads to wet or dry rot and crumbling boards. Squirrels and other pests with a penchant for chewing and gnawing also tend to accelerate the damage to these boards. Even vinyl soffits can become cracked due to physical damage, like an errant ball, or the endless heating and cooling cycles of outdoor exposure.
The Cause for Concern
Since these boards play such a big role in keeping moisture and pests out, you may be dealing with mold, rot, and infestation issues when they're damaged. Since the rafter tails exposed by a missing fascia board run at least half the height of the roof, there's a lot of chance for exposure as rot starts at the end and travels through the rest of the wood framing. Entire homes can have developed structural problems due to roofing damage like missing fascia boards. Catching this before it gets worse can be a money saver down the line.
If you are concerned that your fascia or soffits are damaged give us a call at The Window Store. We can upgrade your windows to new energy efficient ones or our standard sets of windows, either way, we are able to provide you with top quality installation and healthy fascia and soffits. To get a free estimate visit us online!