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Everything you need to know before repairing your soffit

soffit-repair

 

Soffits and fascias play a critical role in the overhang of your roof. They work together to help ventilate your home by maintaining airflow between your attic and the outside and preventing moisture and mold buildup.

Your gutter system attaches to your fascia, so maintaining this part of your home can help keep rainwater away from your home’s foundation. Together, the soffit, fascia and gutter increase the comfort of your home and help it look its best.

Given the importance of the soffit and fascia, keeping this portion of your home in optimal condition is crucial to helping it last. We’ll walk you through what you need to know about repairing your soffit and how to keep it working well.

 

What are soffits, and how do they work?

The soffit is on the underside of your roof overhang. It is between the roof’s eaves and the fascia. This part of your roof provides ventilation for your attic. Many people would use some type of vent to improve airflow before home soffits became popular, such as a hood vent or a gable vent. However, these old house systems tended to be limited in efficacy, and mold would grow in areas without air circulation.

A soffit is designed to ventilate the attic continuously and has become a standard component of home improvement. This part of the roof draws heat and moisture away from the house to reduce the humidity that propagates mold and poor air quality. 

Given the importance of this house feature in preventing mold growth, it’s important to quickly repair this portion of the home if it gets damaged. Here is what you need to know as you consider repairing your soffits.

 

Common soffit issues

Your soffit helps maintain the air quality in your home, which means you should pay close attention to its state. Regularly inspecting it can help alert you to potential problems so you can fix them immediately. Let’s review some common issues to watch for as you maintain your soffits. 

Improper installation

Soffits that were improperly installed can lead to various problems. Some examples include:

  • The attic might not vent properly.
  • The home is vulnerable to wind and ice damage.
  • Water gets inside the roof and enables mold and rot to spread.
  • Home gutters attached to the fascia can develop issues.

Regularly inspect your soffits to see if it does its job well and that no parts show signs of coming loose.

Animal and insect infestation

Your soffit can become an unfortunate gateway to a wide range of pests. For example, birds, squirrels, small rodents, bees, wasps and numerous other living things like to build their nests in areas like your soffits. The soffit can also potentially give them access to the rest of your attic or other vital areas, such as electrical wiring, allowing them to cause tremendous havoc in your home. 

Speak with a professional exterminator if you find that your home has some of these unfortunate guests. They can help you remove the pests that have already made their way into your soffits. You can then use caulk or similar sealants to close any holes or cracks that might have allowed the creatures to gain access in the first place. 

Water damage

Your soffit also provides access to a variety of wooden areas within your home. People often have wood in the eaves of their roofs and their attics. Water will quickly find its way in if you have damage to your soffit board. Even if the damage is directly under the overhang, wind, overflow from gutters and overall moisture in the air will bring the water to your soffit and allow it to gain access to the areas underneath. This problem can cause tremendous water damage to your roof if left unchecked, such as warping. It can also lead to the growth of mildew or mold, which can significantly damage your home’s air quality. Water damage that continues to progress can even compromise the structural integrity of the soffit.

If you see this type of water damage beginning, you’ll need to do extensive repairs to your roof as quickly as possible. Inspect the area to tell how far the water damage runs and how much of the roof you will need to replace. Many homeowners will need a professional roofing contractor to help with this project. 

It is a good idea to inspect and clean your soffits whenever you clean your gutters to prevent moisture damage from forming in the first place. You can then check for signs of moisture damage or cracks in the soffits. If you see these signs, repair the problem right away. 

Dry rot

Dry rot is caused by a particular fungus that loves to live on wood. Commonly, it will start on wood siding and spread to other parts of the home, including soffits. You can see if you have a problem with dry rot by gently (but firmly) tapping on the soffit with something like a screwdriver. If pieces fall in response, you likely have dry rot on your soffit. Find a contractor who can immediately help you repair the problem. 

 

What are the benefits of repairing soffits?

Many people do not give much thought to their soffits because they aren’t a highly visible part of the house. Your soffit generally cannot be seen from the road, which means it does little to add to your curb appeal. It remains well hidden unless you happen to stand underneath the overhang of your roof and look up.

However, given the importance of the soffit in attic ventilation, you want to repair your soffits if they are damaged. Quick repairs can help maintain the air quality in your attic and protect your home.

Remember that a damaged soffit can provide an excellent way for water and pests to get inside. Putting off repairs on your soffits will amplify these problems and can lead to moisture, mold and pest infestations in your home. If you notice a problem with your soffit, it’s important to take care of it right away. 

 

Can you repair a soffit yourself?

Homeowners with some DIY skills might be able to repair the soffit themselves. Follow these steps to replace the rotted soffit:

  1. Remove the damaged portions of the home, including damaged shingles, fascia boards, soffits and rafters.
  2. Use a drill to screw the new rafter tails into place.
  3. Complete any fascia repairs needed.
  4. Install the new soffit under the overhang.
  5. Attach any replacement crown molding.
  6. Use galvanized nails to fasten the new fascia into place. 
  7. Putty the nail holes.
  8. Reattach the shingle mold.

Those who do not have the DIY project skills to handle these tasks should call a contractor to help with the roof repair job. Similarly, if you find that your soffits and a large portion of your roof are in severe disrepair and need a tremendous amount of work to function well, calling professional roofers will likely be the best bet. 

 

Are soffit repairs expensive?

The cost of repairing the soffits on your house will vary depending on several factors. To begin, doing the work yourself will significantly impact your final price. It will also depend on how damaged the soffits are and whether other parts of your roof need repairs. 

If you hire someone to repair your soffit, this price will include the labor required to complete the project. According to HomeAdvisor, you can expect to pay anywhere from $70 to $300 on a soffit repair depending on the damage. On the other hand, if you do the repairs yourself, it generally costs about half that to secure the materials you need to make the repairs. 

 

Discover how Cinch can protect your home systems and appliances from costly repairs

As you protect your home by inspecting and caring for your soffits, it’s important to apply that same level of protection to the rest of your home. A Cinch Home Services home warranty plan can protect critical parts of your home, such as your HVAC system. 

All you need to do is call Cinch if a covered appliance or system breaks down, and we will help get you a qualified, vetted service technician to complete the repair services. Get an instant quote from Cinch and start protecting your home today!

 

Learn about the importance of soffits, common problems they face, and how to repair these important roof features.