The soffit is the exposed surface beneath the overhanging section of your roof’s eave or the finished surface below the rafters and fascia. Its main job is to ventilate the attic and prevent rot in the sheathing and rafters. Soffits are vented to provide air circulation as well as draw heat and moisture away from the house, which in turn helps regulate the temperature in your attic and the rest of your home.
While a soffit’s main function is to allow attic ventilation and prevent roof damage caused by wind uplift, it also provides a barrier that prevents dirt, debris and small animals from getting into the attic. To ensure it keeps working correctly, you need to avoid the following issues:
Soffits look like they’re simple installations. However, in the hands of an unskilled installer, you may end up with improperly installed soffits. Incorrectly spaced soffits may be vulnerable to wind damage, or, if the soffits are spaced too closely, they may not allow enough air to facilitate attic ventilation.
If you have timber soffit boards installed, make sure to keep an eye out for dry rot, a type of fungus that’s usually found in timber with moisture content in excess of 20%. This fungus weakens timber’s rigidity, eventually causing cracks to form.
Traditional soffits made from wood generally have high maintenance requirements. Lack of maintenance can result in moisture damage, which can be caused by a humid attic or by wind-driven rain. Keep an eye out for early signs of moisture damage, such as blistering, cracking or peeling paint. Have the soffits scraped and repainted, or, if you’re due for roof replacement, ask your roofer for low-maintenance options.
Birds and other small animals may gain access to the attic through the soffits and form nests there. This is one other reason you should make sure the soffits are properly installed. Proper spacing can prevent small animals from gaining access without sacrificing attic ventilation.
Why Routine Roof Maintenance Is a Must
Keep in mind the warning signs of the aforementioned are not always visible from ground level, which is why it’s important to follow a maintenance routine for your roof.
The soffit may be a small part of your home’s exterior, but it’s also a very important part. It is a solid backing between the wall unit and the home roofing exterior. Make sure that you treat this area with the care it deserves, and invest in a quality soffit to complete your exterior design.
Need help with soffit and other roofing issues? The roofers at Rapid Roofing & Restoration are ready to help. We are a locally owned company with more than 30 years of experience. We offer storm damage repair, restoration and other roofing services. Call (812) 837-9654, or complete our online request form for your free, no-obligation consultation.