Things Every Homeowner Should Know About Their Roof Eaves
Your residential roof consists of more than just the shingles covering the surface or the underlayment below. The roof edges, commonly referred to as the eaves, are more than just the end of your roof. Eaves consist of two main components — the soffits and the fascia — which work together to create an end cap on the roof that keeps out moisture and pests while regulating air flow through your attic.
Read below to learn more about these two important aspects of your roof.
The soffit is the part of your roof that sits beneath the eaves — in other words, it’s the bottom of the roof where it is visible around the perimeter of your home. Soffits are typically made from wood or aluminum.
Rot can be a major issue when it comes to wooden soffits. Condensation can collect on the underside of the roof, leading to rot. Dry rot is also a possibility in desert climates, especially on the side of the home with the most direct sun exposure.
Rotten wood feels soft and gives easily when you put pressure on it with a screwdriver or fingernail. Paint that is blistering or peeling is another sign that moisture-driven rot is underway. Rotten soffits can interrupt venting in the roof layers, as well as provide access points for a variety of pests.
Holes and Damage
Holes or cracks in the soffits are most common on wooden versions, but metal soffits may develop cracks if a seam separates. These openings can provide a handy nesting site for wasps or an entrance point for birds or other animal pests.
If the soffits are in otherwise good repair, cracks and small holes can be filled with either wood filler or caulk. Your roofer may need to replace the soffits if they are badly damaged or if rot has begun to affect the boards.
The soffit vent is vital to proper air circulation in your attic, which in turn helps keep your attic and your home cool. Cool air is pulled in through the soffit vents. It then passes through your roof and attic. The heated air then exits through the roof cap vent at the peak of your roof.
Soffit vents can become blocked if birds pull out the screens and build nests in the openings. In this case, the debris must be cleared so that new vent screens can be installed. If your soffits don’t have vents, vent installation may help keep your home cooler.
Fascia is the facing boards on the edge of your roof — the portion of the roof that faces outward. Not only does the fascia provide a mounting point for gutters while enclosing the roof, it also is a part of the aesthetic value of your home. Like soffits, fascia can be made of wood or aluminum. Vinyl fascia is also common.
Gutter mounts are typically affixed to the fascia. If the gutters are pulling from the home, then damage may have occurred at the mounting site. Wood and aluminum fascia can typically be patched if mounting hardware damage occurred, while vinyl may crack and require replacement.
Another problem is with poorly aligned gutters and wood fascia. If rain overflows the gutter on the fascia side, then the prolonged exposure can lead to rot problem.
Much like soffits, wood fascia can experience dry rot or moisture rot. Paint helps prevent both types of rot, so make sure that any damaged paint is promptly repaired. You can also have a weather seal applied to prevent moisture rot, or a UV coating applied to counteract the effects of dry rot.
Contact SUNVEK if you have concerns about your eaves or any other component of your roof.
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