What is Fascia?
The portion of your home’s exterior where the gutters are attached is known as the fascias. Generally speaking, we put a heavy burden on those fascia boards. And while their location makes them vulnerable, they need to look good and be able to last for a long time.
If you choose the right board from a species of wood that is resistant to decay, they will last. Roofers and carpenters use general best practices in order to properly install them. This is to make sure that they last a good, long time.
Far too often, homeowners will buy a new roof and yet see rotten wood around the eaves in short order. Those roofing eaves are made up of the fascia and the soffit, which is the portion that of your overhang where things like floodlights are generally installed.
When people think about roof repair they hardly ever think about their fascia. All too often, homeowners adopt the errant notion that fascia are simply cosmetic aspects of their roofing system. But this kind of thinking can get you into trouble. The fact is that roof fascia plays a vital part to keeping the entire system in check. Oftentimes, it is responsible for bearing the weight of the lowest row of shingles or tiles.
Since we know firsthand how important fascia is to a roofing system we thought we’d comprise and share this definitive guide to fascia repair including why it so important, some signs that your fascia is in need of repair and steps that you can take to correct the problem. Let’s start with the basics.
Why Your Fascia Should be Repaired
It may be very tempting to overlook cracked or chip fascia boards as cosmetic issues and therefore non-essential. But knowing why you should have your fascia repaired will make it easier to be proactive the next time you notice something wrong with yours. If you are ever unsure about the condition of your fascia, please feel free to get in touch with us here at Nimbus Roofing for more information and an estimate.
First of all, fascia acts as the finishing edge or trim to your roof. It protects your interior walls from water damage. When there is a gap in your fascia or it has become cracked, water can get behind it and leak into the interior spaces of your home. And just in case you don’t have a reference for how much residential water damage repair can cost, the average invoice for this kind of work hovers around $2,879. That is a whole lot of money – especially when compared to the average cost of fascia repair and replacement which is around $15-$30 per linear foot with installation. So right off the bat, you have ane economic reason to repair or replace your fascia.
Health is another factor to consider with fascia repair. Where there is moisture build-up and organic materials like wood, mold can grow. When your fascia board is compromised, moisture may spawn mold growth in the interior areas of your roof and home that are very difficult to see. Not only does mold pose a health hazard to you and your family – especially if you are already prone to allergic symptoms and respiratory issues – it can severely damage your house. Mold eats away at organic materials and it can rot your roof trusses, framing and other important structural features.
A house in need of fascia repair will also be less valuable. Fascia is an integral part of your roofing system so if it is compromised, your entire roof is compromised. If your roof is compromised, your property value takes a nosedive.
Then of course there are the aesthetic reasons to have your fascia repaired. Aside from functionality, fascia is meant to decorate your home, accent your roof line and contribute to the overall curbside appeal of your property. When your fascia is cracked, peeling or hanging off your roof line like broken tree branch, your home is not looking its best.
When is it Time to Replace your Fascia?
So now that you know how important fascia repair is, you should know the tell-tale signs of fascia damage. You should take a good look at your fascia at least once a year when you clean your gutters. But it’s a good idea to keep a vigilant eye on your fascia as much as possible throughout the year.
One of the most common and easy to spot signs that your fascia is in need of repair is discoloration. While discoloration may not always warrant fascia repair, it is important that you take a closer look when you notice it. Discoloration can occur when your fascia board has become water logged. The water soaks into the board and distorts the paint or the vinyl finish. If your fascia board has indeed become waterlogged, it will eventually rot out and become useless.
Another obvious sign is chipped paint. If you are seeing chipped or flaking paint on your fascia board it may be time to get it inspected. Chipping and flaking paint may seem like a strictly cosmetic problem but the paint actually acts as a moderate shield against moisture. When the paint begins to peel or deteriorate, your fascia board is that much more susceptible to water damage.
Keep a close eye on your gutters. If they are starting to droop in some areas or have started to leak, the problem could be your fascia. Fascia also acts as a support for your gutter system. So if you are seeing that your gutters are starting to droop or leak, it may be time for fascia repair.
Taking a peek into your attic every once in a while is another good way to spot potential fascia damage. When your fascia is broken, rodents and other pests may burrow into your home through this break in the roof line. Carefully inspect your attic, keeping an eye out for rodent droppings and signs of nesting. Rodents and pests in the interior areas of your home may have gotten in through broken fascia. You should also listen for abnormal sounds in your house. Strange sounds coming from your attic or in the walls may be coming from rodents.
If you have recently had an ice dam removed from your roof, you should keep a close eye on your fascia. Ice dams are notorious for wrecking shingles but they can also damage your gutters and fascia very easily. Ice dams usually form near the lower rows of your shingles as ice melts, the water runs downward and reforms into ice near the lower roof line – right where your gutters and fascia are. Fascia damage is typical when an ice dam has formed, whether it was professionally removed or not.
How to Repair Fascia
The first thing you will need to do is remove your old damaged fascia. Start by unscrewing your gutters from the board and removing the brackets. Then carefully lift the gutter off and away from the fascia board.
Using a saws-all, you can then make cuts into the fascia board every 3 feet. Make sure the cuts go in between the rafters.
Then, use a hammer to bang the board off your house with hammer swings directed away from the front of your house.
You will then need to measure and cut board to be your new fascia. You can use a circular saw to cut the new board along measurement lines that you made with a pencil and according to the length you will need.
You will need to nail your new board into the rafters so mark your new board with a pencil where the rafters will line up with it.
Holding the board up to the rafters with your non-dominant hand, you can then nail the fascia board along the rafter lines that you made in the previous step. You should use 1-2 nails per rafter line to secure the board.
In order to secure the seams made by the new fascia board you should use a body filler. You can get body filler at your local hardware store and apply it with a putty or drywall knife. Run the body filler over the seams and over the nails with your knife a few times or until the seams have been thoroughly sealed. You will need to wait a day for the filler to set and dry before the next step.
Lastly, you will need to prime and paint the new fascia board to guard it against moisture damage. Use a high quality outdoor primer and apply 1-2 coats of it to the board. Once the primer has thoroughly dried, you can then paint the board your color of choice.
Advice and Tips
When replacing your fascia board, you should start with a naturally decay-resistant wood. Some good woods to consider include California redwood, black locust and cypress. This is the best way to ensure that your repair efforts go the distance.
You can also opt for a synthetic material for your soffit board. Materials like vinyl and UPVC are becoming very popular because of their longevity, good-looks and water-proofing performance.
Another option for fascia longevity is installing a drip edge. A drip edge essentially protects your fascia board from water damage by channeling water off of it. It is a metal attachment that gets nailed into the roof deck and runs in between the lower layer of roof shingles or tiles and the fascia board itself.
You should also be mindful of bee, hornet and wasp nests that may be present on your soffits or fascia. These nests can be damaging to the fascia board and should be removed by a professional.
Of course, if you need any type of fascia repair service or just some help, we would be glad to help here at Nimbus Roofing. Give us a call today