What is Soffit & Fascia and Why Is It Important

400 400 Go2Guys Inc.

Saskatoon homeowners often ask our Go2Guys “What is soffit and fascia and what does it actually do?” Even if you plan to hire a roofer, it’s important to understand the different sections of the roof, from your soffits, fascia, gutters, flashing and shingles. Our roofing and exterior experts are going to cover all the bases for you. Let’s start.

Two of the most important parts of the roof — the soffit and fascia — are detailed below so homeowners can understand how they contribute to the overall structure and the common roofing problems associated with each.

What is a soffit?

The word soffit is derived from the French word for “formed as a ceiling” and the Latin term for “to fix underneath.” It is the exposed surface beneath the overhanging section of a roof eave. It can also refer to the horizontal underside of similar architectural structures such as an archway, a staircase or a ceiling.

Part of the function of the soffit is to assist in ventilating the attic. The soffit typically features a plain design with small holes that provide air circulation. The air from the soffit cycles to the vents to draw heat and moisture away from the house. This is a highly important function because moisture in the attic can develop rot in the sheathing and rafters.

Most soffits are made from vinyl, an effective material for withstanding the degradation that comes from heat and moisture exposure. This is especially important considering that the soffit can be easily exposed to moisture due to unkempt gutters and wet weather conditions.

For this reason, we recommend a vinyl soffit, since this material is both water-resistant and cost-effective. Vinyl also saves you energy, because it helps regulate the temperature in your attic and throughout the rest of your home.


What is fascia?

Roofing fascia board is another common area that can be damaged and may need to be repaired. The fascia is a vertical finishing edge connected to the ends of the rafters, trusses, or the area where the gutter is attached to the roof. The primary role of the fascia is to act as a layer between the edge of the roof and the outdoors, and is meant to protect the wooden board against water damage that can occur during certain weather conditions.

Aside from its functional role, the fascia also plays a very important aesthetic role since it creates a smoother, more even appearance for the edge of the roof. In addition to protecting the wooden board from water damage, the fascia protects the entire roof and the interior of the house from weather damage by blocking its entrance to the home. The majority of homes in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan will feature a fascia board, but some older home styles may not have one.

If the soffit or the fascia were to develop rot or show other signs of damage, it’s important that you contact Go2Guys immediately to prevent exposing your home to damaging weather conditions due to a lack of proper protection.

“Living in Saskatchewan where we can have high winds that cause rain to swirl up under the eaves, your soffit keeps water from blowing into your house,” says Shane Regush, owner of Go2Guys in Saskatoon. “If it’s not maintained well, it’s a place for water to collect. Once a year when you clean and inspect your gutters, that’s the time to inspect your fascia and soffit for peeling paint and other problems. Keep everything well-painted, sealed and caulked.”
While soffits and fascia are traditionally constructed from materials like aluminum and wood, many homeowners are now choosing ones made from synthetic and composite materials like UPVC and vinyl because they offer easy maintenance and durability. Vinyl soffits (some are beaded or smooth, while others offer the look of wood grain) and vinyl fascia and trim products come in different styles to complement the architecture and look of your home. There are also products available made from recycled materials, for those who want an eco-friendly alternative. Give us a call at 306-220-0533 to discuss your options.
Making sure your soffit and fascia are installed correctly and properly waterproofed is the best way to prevent problems down the road. Damaged flashing or gutters that don’t function properly can also create issues.
“You really need to keep your gutters clean. When the water backs up, the first place it wants to go is the fascia board.”
Replacing your soffit or fascia generally costs about $10 a linear foot installed. Prices for the project depend on a number of factors, including the materials used and the size of your house. It can cost $5,000 or more to repair damaged or rotted fascia and soffit boards, drywall and framing. If you need to repair, replace or install new soffit and fascia for your home, check out this limited time offer where you can save $100.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • If you discover mildew or mold on your soffit, use a soft brush or broom and a cleaning solution made with bleach and water to clean it.
  • Periodically check for bee, hornet or wasp nests. If you’re not comfortable working on a ladder or the nests are extensive, call a professional to remove the nests.
  • If installing your vinyl fascia yourself, it helps to cut the pieces a bit longer than you measured so you can overlap the joints.