Essential Maintenance for Fascia, Soffits and Guttering

essential-maintenance-for-fascia-soffits-and-guttering

Fascia, soffit and guttering maintenance is essential to maintaining your home’s condition. Roof maintenance is far too often overlooked as part of home ownership, and unless there is a problem with leaks or damp roofs are generally ignored. This is quite surprising given the amount of protection they provide to the rest of the house, and the likely high cost of replacement.

Just like a bottle can’t keep water from spilling without a cap, a roof cannot keep the house dry without fascia and soffits. These are very important parts of roof construction and, if not maintained correctly, they can allow damp ingress.

What is a fascia?

The fascia is the vertical board that fixes to the end of the roof trusses. Not only does it protect the ends of the roof, it also helps to support the bottom row of tiles, and the guttering.  The fascia needs to be strong and in good condition to support the weight of the tiles, and potentially large volumes of water in the guttering during a heavy storm. A damaged fascia board will lead to bigger problems such as rotting in the roof joists and may mean that you will need to repair or even do a new roof if the joists have extensive damage by the rooting timber due to moisture getting inside.

What is a soffit?

The horizontal board you can see if you look up at the roofline is the soffit. It helps to complete the weatherproofing of your roof and may be fitted with vents to ensure an adequate airflow into the roof space. Without ventilation condensation can form on the inside of the roof – you may even think you have a leak when what you need is more airflow.

Types of fascia

Many materials can be used to create fascia and soffits. The traditional material is wood but alternatives such as aluminium and vinyl (uPVC) are also available. Wood is time-honoured and relatively inexpensive to fit but requires regular repainting and can very quickly deteriorate if the finish becomes damaged. Plastic and aluminium fascia are available in a wide variety of finishes to match other elements of the property.

4 Signs you shouldn’t ignore

For the most part the combination of soffit, fascia and gutter works very well to keep your home dry but, like all parts of a building, they require maintenance to continue to provide protection.

  • Peeling or flaking paint is a sign that the wood underneath has swollen due to damp. It needs to be repainted and checked for signs of rot.
  • Noticeable rot or dampness is a more serious sign that something is wrong. The damaged area will need to be replaced before more serious structural damage can occur.
  • Leaky gutters are often blamed on blockages and while you should clean your gutters out they leak it may also indicate that the fascia is wearing out.
  • Holes can indicate infestation. Some pests can cause structural damage, so any holes should be checked, and any infestations dealt with.

 

Fascia and gutter

Your fascia and gutter system need to be designed together to ensure the fascia is of an appropriate material to support the weight required, and to ensure you don’t create problems further down the line with insufficient ventilation, which is why it is important to discuss any changes to your roofline with an expert. One word of advice if you decide to do it yourself – please make sure your new fascia boards and soffit are securely in place and not fixed on to any rotten timber, or you may end up causing more damage or even hurting someone.

If you require any help please do not hesitate to contact us with your queries here at S & M Solutions LTD. Our team would be happy to help you make your house watertight. Call us on 0203 092 3791 today.

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1 Comment
  • Sarah
    Posted at 14:47h, 25 May Reply

    Lots of people blame insufficient drainage on problems which they see with little expertise – gutters filled with leaves, roofs pooling etc. and very often this is the case – but you’re right in saying the design of the fascia must match that of the guttering which must be suitable for the roof – there is skill to designing this, and it means that if it is poorly designed, there are many areas for error which homeowners may not look for or see – ultimately we should be prepared to call professionals if we see any symptoms, as the problems could be much bigger than we think.

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