Fascia, Soffits, and Soffit Vents: What You Should Know

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Fascia, Soffits, and Soffit Vents

When you look at your roof, you probably notice the most obvious elements such as the shingles and the chimney. However, you might not pay as much attention to some of the additional structures such as soffits and fascia. While you may not notice them right away, they play an important role in the continued function of your roof.

Find out about fascia and soffits as well as an addition to the latter: the soffit vent.

About the Fascia

When it comes to your roof, the fascia is the board that faces out directly under the shingles. This finishing edge connects the ends of the rafters and trusses. This is the area to which contractors attach your gutters.

Fascia has an important job — it prevents moisture from getting under the roofing shingles during a rainstorm. If moisture accumulates under the shingles, they can start to buckle. The underlayment and decking can also become damaged. Aesthetically, fascia also provides a finished edge to your roof.

Fascia is normally made out of wood. However, you can also have the wood protected by a fascia cover. Typically, manufacturers make fascia covers out of aluminum, steel, or vinyl. They also come in various sizes to match the width of the fascia board. Protecting the fascia with a cover adds an extra layer of protection for the underlying roof structures and decreases trim maintenance.

About the Soffit

The soffit is the area that stretches back from the fascia. It consists of a board that connects the fascia to the wall stud. In other words, the soffit is essentially the visible underside of your roof. If you don’t have soffits, you’ll just see the underside of your roofing rafters.

Like fascia, the soffit protects the roofing structure, in this case, the eaves and roof beams. Without soffits, the wooden structures can become susceptible to buckling and rot. In extreme weather conditions, moisture can also work its way under the roof and into the walls, causing more structural damage and possibly even mold.

Aesthetically, soffits are more pleasing to look at than rafter beams. They give your roof a more finished appearance. While wood is traditional for the soffit, you also find them composed of aluminum, vinyl, and composite materials. They also come in a wide range of colors to match or complement your siding.

A box end is a relative to both fascia and soffits. This structure comes at the end, creating a corner between the fascia and soffit under the roof.

About Soffit Vents

Once you have soffits, you can have soffit vents. As the name suggests, these vents are located in the soffits. They’re a method for ventilating your roof and attic.

Contractors install vents at regular intervals along the soffit. The vents can be rounded or flat. You can also choose singular or continuous soffit vents. Singular vents fit in between the soffit joists. They’re very common but not quite as efficient as continuous vents. Continuous vents feature long, narrow channels that run the whole length of your soffits.

Soffit vents work by drawing cool, fresh air into the space made between the soffit and the rafters. In cold climates, this venting will maintain a cool roof. A cool roof is ideal because then the snow on top doesn’t melt and form an ice dam. In hot climates, the cool air moves around the soffit space, and hot air is expelled through roof vents. This method keeps your attic cooler.

Though soffits and fascia are lesser-known aspects of your roof, they work together within the whole roofing structure to provide a cap for your house. Examine your soffits and fascia to see if they’re present and in need of repair. Likewise, consider adding soffit vents if you don’t have any. Contact Cloise & Mike Construction, Inc., for all your roofing needs.