What is the Difference Between Soffit and Fascia?

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If you aren’t in the roofing business, you might not have even heard of soffit and fascia, let alone know what the difference is between them. Homeowners usually only notice and think about the most prominent features of their home but it is important not to overlook the smaller, less talked about features.

Soffits and fascia are integral to your roofing system and serve important functions that move past simple aesthetics. If not well maintained, both roofing elements can wreak havoc on your roof, attic, and utility bills. Take this blog as a reminder that it is important to take note of your home’s soffit and fascia to avoid more costly roof repairs and even roof replacement. In today’s blog, we wanted to breakdown what soffits and fascia are and why they are important roofing components of your home.

What is Soffit?

Out of necessity, roofs often extend past and over the walls of your home which is called the house eaves or rafters. The soffit, which means “something fixed underneath”, is the flat panel that covers the underside of this overhang. Its placement often means soffit is overlooked and forgotten about because it is not normally visible from street level and in terms of curb appeal. The soffit of your home runs parallel to the ground and is usually made to blend into your home as it is installed to match the same colour and design of your home’s siding. While it is most commonly discussed as part of a roofing system, soffit can actually also be used in anything that has a visible ceiling or underside like porches, archways, or under a flight of stairs. Soffit is very common in almost all homes so there is a high chance your home has soffit installed even if you were not aware of it before. Take a walk outside and look up at your roof from underneath – the flat material that connects your roof’s overhang to the side of your home is the soffit.

 What is Fascia?

While you’re outside and looking, see if you can spot the fascia of your roofing system. Fascia goes hand-in-hand with soffit and is the area directly above your home’s soffit. Look for wide boards that run along the edge of your home and on the front of your roof’s overhang. These exposed boards run horizontally along the edge of your roof to cover the space between the soffit and the roof itself.  The top edge of the fascia is tucked up and under the shingles, while the outside face is where the eavestroughs are mounted and placed. Similar to the soffit, the fascia of your home is commonly installed to match the colour and design of your home’s siding to create a seamless aesthetic. However, unlike soffit, fascia is more visible and needs to be kept in good condition so as to not dampen your home’s visual look.

Why are Soffit and Fascia Important?

It is important to maintain your soffit and fascia to keep your home looking polished and energy-efficient. Both roofing elements provide your home with a finished and smooth look that keeps your home’s aesthetics in check. However, more importantly, soffit and fascia help protect your home from the elements and allow for a more energy-efficient ventilation system.

The soffit of your home closes the space beneath your eaves and plays an important role in ventilating your attic. The purpose of the soffit is to provide venting that helps keeps a steady stream of airflow between your attic and roof to allow your home to breathe. This ventilation prevents moisture build-up and mould in your attic as well as helping your home’s temperature control in the summer with the release of heat. The soffit also helps protect your home from pests as the material prevent animals and insect from getting into your attic and invading your home.

Similarly, your home’s fascia creates a barrier between the edge of the roof and the outside elements. Fascia boards protect your roof from weather damage and are the last line of support for the lower edge and bottom row of shingles. Since this roofing element also provides a point of attachment for eavestroughs, gutters, and drainpipes, your fascia is integral to holding these up during heavy rain or snow. Unlike soffit, your home’s fascia is more visible and it is important to maintain in order to maximize your home’s curb appeal.

Common Materials and Maintenance

The most common soffit and fascia materials are aluminum and vinyl. Aluminum is a great option due to its malleability and durability that make it easier to install and maintain. This material is also non-combustible, easy to clean, and water-resistant making it ideal for wet regions or conditions. Aluminum soffit and fascia boards are lightweight, easy to repaint and last longer than other materials. However, compared to the vinyl soffit, aluminum tends to be more expensive if covering a large area and is not as insulating. Vinyl is more customizable because it comes in a variety of textures and grains, while also being easy to clean and water-resistant. However, vinyl soffit is more easily impacted by heat and can become discoloured and brittle if exposed to regular sunlight.

No matter the type of material you choose for your soffit and fascia, all face issues with rot, warping, or peeling paint. Your home’s soffit and fascia are vulnerable to the elements as both can be exposed to flowing water, damaged or rusted flashing, malfunctioning gutters, gravity which leads to sagging, and even bird and squirrel nesting. At Empire Roofing & Exteriors, we recommend regular maintenance to keep your soffit and fascia well-sealed and prevent any further damage to your home. Sometimes, when the damage is showing signs of holes, splits, and severe rotting, replacement is more beneficial and cost-efficient than trying to repair the damage.

Empire Roofing and Exteriors is your best choice for Roofing Repairs in Guelph, Cambridge & surrounding areas.

As a professional Guelph Roof Repair company, Empire Roofing & Exteriors will be there for you now and in the future. You can trust our local, reputable, and licensed roof repair services backed with years of proven experience. All your roof repairs will be handled by our licensed and insured workers, all of which are carefully vetted and selected because of their commitment to quality and safety.

Let the roofing experts at Empire Roofing & Exteriors get your roof done the right way today by calling 519 265-ROOF (7663) or fill out our online quote form.

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