What are Soffits and Fascias?
When it comes to the roof of the house there are many elements that go into the package in addition to the roofing tiles that make everything work perfectly. Some elements are needed for structural reasons while others add a finished look to the roof and are important for aesthetical purposes. Two of these lesser known elements are soffits and fascias and here is an introduction to them.
Soffits and fascias are one of the most underrated features of a property and yet, without them, your home would be prone to any number of issues. At JJ Roofing, we take pride in being one of the leading stockists and suppliers of high-quality roofing products and consider ourselves to be quite knowledgeable.
If you’re unsure as to what exactly soffits and fascias are, continue reading below.
What are Soffits?
The word ‘soffit’ comes from French and translates to meaning ‘something fixed underneath’. They are most commonly used in the main roofing area but also under porches and even under flights of stairs. There are many different materials used to create them include fibres, cement, steel and wood.
With this in mind, however, it’s worth bearing in mind that a uPVC soffit is by far a superior investment to other alternatives. There are numerous benefits associated with soffits that are comprised of this material, most notably its impressive resilience which makes impervious to rotting or warping.
A soffit comprised of uPVC can withstand severe weather conditions and won’t need re-painting, unlike wooden variants. Of course, whether you decide to opt for a uPVC soffit or one made from a different material, many of the characteristics remains the same.
On a roofing system, the soffit serves a dual purpose – it helps with the look of the roof and also protects rafters from the elements. If a soffit weren’t in place to protect the rafters, over time they would rot and could allow mould into the house, both serious problems that cost a lot to fix. Once mould infiltrates a property it becomes almost impossible to completely eradicate without the help of a remedial company.
Soffits are also part of the airflow of a house as they come in vented varieties. They work to allow air to circulate around the house but limit the moisture that can get through, preventing damp problems.
This is an invaluable feature as moisture is created on a daily basis through simple activities such as cooking, showering and washing clothes. If this moisture is unable to escape, it’ll settle as condensation inside your home eventually leading to damp-related issues forming. This makes the addition of a vented soffit all the more important.
As mentioned above, plastic (uPVC) tends to be the favoured material to make soffits with for a number of reasons. It is more affordable than metals such as aluminium and steel, has better insulating properties and doesn’t rot. It also comes in a range of finishes and colours to allow the customisation of the house and to fit in with any look you want the roof to have. Plastic is also water resistant, meaning that for high moisture areas it is the perfect material. Finally, it is also the easiest material to clean.
Wood is sometimes used for soffits but has a lesser lifespan than plastic because it will, at some point, rot. It does look great and is very warm but still needs vents to allow air circulation. In the US, aluminium is the material of choice for soffits along with plastic and doesn’t rot, chip or crack but is a lot more expensive, particularly if covering a large area.
Here in the UK, aluminium soffit construction is somewhat less common as uPVC soffits are considered to be more advantageous, especially given the UK’s more changeable climate.
What are Fascias?
The fascia is placed at the spot where the roof meets an outer wall, often termed as the roofline. Fascia, or fascia boards, are long straight boards that are found at the lower edge of the roof and is fixed directly to roof trusses. It works to support the last row of tiles or other roofing material as well as supporting the guttering. Like soffits, fascias do two jobs – they finish the look of the house and protect the interior from weathering damage.
Wood is the most commonly used material to make fascia boards and it is primed and painted to make it durable. Wood is also the most cost effective but will need to be periodically replaced as no matter how well protected, wood will always rot eventually. Some companies now produce a composite material using timber and other products such as recycled plastic, woodchips and sawdust that are bound together using an epoxy resin. While resistant to rot and other decay, they tend to be around double the price of normal wood fascias.
Many manufacturers now product plastic, or vinyl, fascias that can coordinate in colour and style with other roofing parts for a universal look. These tend to be not that much more expensive than wood versions and are long lasting as well as being easy to clean.
Both soffits and fascias serve practical purposes protecting your house as well as adding a finished and aesthetically pleasing look to the roof. Therefore when planning your roof, never forget to include these vital lesser known elements.
For more information about soffits and fascias or any of the other products that we supply, make sure you give JJ Roofing a call today.