What is Roof Fascia, and why is it Important?
Fascia boards are a staple of modern home keeping as they are added to every house’s roof. Sadly, many people are not aware of the function of these fascia boards and thus cannot properly maintain them. Fascia boards are wooden planks, usually two by 4 or 2 by 6 inches. They play the vital role of securing the roof’s structural integrity and hiding and supporting the gutters. They might also not be wooden at all; sometimes, construction workers will coat wooden boards with shades; those of vinyl or aluminum, to blend better with the gutter system. Coming across a house with no fascia boards is a scarce sight and is against home construction codes.
Having problematic fascia at home can leave you in a bit of a lurch. They bring with them a host of other issues such as pest infestations, clogged gutters, a weaker roof, and a lack of proper ventilation, to name a few. If not resolved immediately, they can also be the reason for structural instability and leave you in an expensive mess. So, better to exercise caution and have an intuitive understanding of how the fascia and the soffit work.
Roof fascia is constructed from various materials, from metals to polymers to classic wood; here are some of the most common choices. The most common choice is wood for people looking to build a house on a tight budget. Cedar or bill will get the job done, and they are, to a great degree, water-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about soiling the wood, shrinkage or swelling, or having to replace it often. Composite woods are a new option available in the market; they are lined with layers of synthetic fibre which further enhances its moisture-resistant properties.
Certain plastics, which are impervious to water and are not affected by changes in temperature, are a suitable alternative to wooden planks. The only drawback here is that they are slightly more expensive than the wooden boards but are, by and large, a much more solid investment. The PVC or UPVC pipes can also be coated with paint to match the gutters, appearing either aluminum or vinyl from afar and giving homogeneity to the house.
The Best Wood to Use for Fascia Board
Your choice of wood depends entirely on the climate in the region where your house is to be constructed or the economic constraints you face. For many homes, the standard is spruce, pine, or fir wood; these are relatively inexpensive and can withstand harsh climates. However, some professional roof builders will suggest that you instead use cedar, cypress, or redwood. These varieties have significantly better moisture resistance and can withstand fluctuations in temperature. These woods also can survive by being sealed, while other weaker species will have to be sealed to make them impermeable to water. In addition, sealed and painted woods may have to be repainted ever so often as it wears away; better quality woods require much less maintenance.
What is Fascia Trim
Fascia trims are essentially thin layers of material added over the fascia to keep it secure and protect it from erosion and the elements. These can be made from many materials like aluminum, copper, and vinyl but ideally, what you want to go for is the material that matches the rain gutters system to unify the house’s colour.
What Causes Damage to Fascia
Setting up and applying the fascia planks is the easy part. We have to make sure they stay functional for as long as possible. Unfortunately, there are no shortages of variables that people must consider when predicting how and when these problems will occur. Any damage done to fascia planks can send ripples to the entire house, compromising everything from ventilation, structural stability, and even gutter blockage. Here are some devastating problems that might arise in your fascia boards.
Moisture damage is the most common culprit among fascia maintenance problems. If the fascia boards were not correctly trimmed or sealed, then it is very likely that water must have seeped into them. This can also result from a clogged gutter or a leak from the roof’s edge. In any case, the prognosis is not so good as the wood will begin to rot and decay and might cause damage to the gutter or the roof. It will also become a haven for small insects and funguses to flourish.
Fungi, Mold, and Algae
This can be detrimental because it can quickly spread to other parts of the house. If the fascia boards are moist or routinely wet, it will promote fungi, mould, and algae. These trap moisture, and through the porous layers of wood or cement, the water will begin to permeate and spread down the walls; the fungi are lingering not far behind. This could lead to an infestation if not tended to immediately.
Cracks are common in places where the weather reaches exceptionally high temperatures. When the temperatures are sufficiently high, the moisture in the wood (the moisture present by default) escapes. This leaves the resulting wood very hard and dry, and under the stress of the gutter and the roof, it cracks. Cracked fascia planks should be replaced immediately.
Damage From Animals and Pests
In the winter, some animals, desperate to avoid the cold, might gnaw at the fascia boards to find a way into the attic. Animals like raccoons and mice might find a way to make it up there and chip away at the wood to make room for themselves to squeeze through. This problem can also arise with other insects such as ants and cockroaches that make passageways for themselves through the striations in the wooden plank. There is also the threat of termites that destroy the plank outright. Damage from any one of these attacks can leave the gap between the fascia and the roof exposed; thus, creating more problems.
Bowing or Bent Planks
Bowing refers to the bending of wooden planks such that the load is applied commonly, and it causes the plank to lose its flatness; it becomes bent. This could mean that the entire roof has some problem or that the structure of the house, or the support frames are not holding the roof properly in place. This is a severe defect, and a roof professional should be contacted immediately. This defect can also result from a disproportion of moisture on either side of the plank; however, such instances are rare and can be overlooked.
If you have holes in the planks of your fascia, you should find a way to fill them up because even the slightest hole can cause water to seep into your attic. Not only that, but the hole also exposes the internal fibres of the wood and absorbs the moisture if it comes through. This, as we have seen, can be very detrimental and should be rectified. If the hole is small, it can be filled with plaster and be left to dry. On the other hand, if the hole is significantly large, then the entire board should be replaced.
Dealing with Fascia Repair
Keep in mind that there are certain cases where only a tiny portion of the wooden board has to be removed, such as when a particular section has been exposed to water. This eliminates the need to replace the boards, thereby reducing the cost of repairs. However, if the planks are damaged by bowing or holes, it is usually best to replace them.
It should also be noted that homeowners should not try to repair fascia boards themselves because it can be a dangerous and convoluted task. This kind of work is best left to professional roofers.
Building a Home?
If you’re building a home, you should keep up with our site because we provide the most compact and thorough guides to homemaking. Also, you make a home once, but you keep it forever, so it is necessary to take precautions. You can hire roof replacement companies like the Buffalo Storm Damage Roofing Contractors or the Orono Storm Damage Roofing Contractors if you feel the elements have damaged your roof.