What Is Soffit and Fascia? Why It Matters?

Most people can easily point out the siding and shingles on a home, but if you ask “what is soffit?” or “what is fascia?” you may get a shoulder shrug. Both soffit and fascia are present on nearly every home, if you look somewhere between that siding and the roof.

What Is Soffit?

Most homes have a roof that extends over the outside wall of the home. The soffit, which is seen on the underside of the roof overhang, covers the span beneath the rafter tails. You can see soffit most easily when you stand below the edge of the roof and look directly up.

What Is Fascia?

Fascia, on the other hand, is the exposed horizontal band you see at the end of the rafters, right along the bottom of the roof. The role of fascia is to form a long, horizontal support for the lower edge of the bottom row of roof shingles or tiles.

Why Soffit and Fascia Are Important for Your Home

The purpose of these architectural elements along your eaves is more than just a way to make your home look more finished and visually appealing. Both soffit and fascia are designed to protect the exterior of your home and keep out unwanted housemates like spiders, bats, birds, and squirrels. Depending on the design, they can also disguise ventilation for your attic.

Why Is Soffit Important?

Soffit creates the finished look of the eaves, rather than just leaving them exposed, but its importance boils down to more than just aesthetics. By protecting the underside of roof deck from rain water that might otherwise be driven under the eaves, soffit helps keep mold and rot from getting a toehold on the roof. Pests ranging in size from spiders to squirrels can also be kept out of the attic by an eave enclosed with soffit. Perhaps most importantly, soffit also helps keep utility bills in line by serving as a crucial part of the ventilation system.

Why Is Fascia Important?

The role of fascia is also to protect the ends of the rafters and to prevent moisture from beginning its cycle of decomposition on the roof. Gutters are normally attached to the fascia, so if your fascia is compromised, water can back up under the roof boards. Fascia’s importance for creating the overall aesthetic of the home also bears mentioning, since it is one of the most visible trim elements of the exterior.

Make sure your soffit and fascia are installed correctly and properly waterproofed, and perform an inspection each year when you check your gutters. These simple steps can go a long way towards keeping your roof in good condition and preventing roof problems down the line.

How to Choose Soffit and Fascia

Knowing a bit about siding and fascia becomes important at a few moments in the life of your home: when you’re re-siding or re-roofing the home, or if your existing soffit or fascia should become damaged. Usually homeowners will invest in a soffit or fascia that matches their existing trim.

  1. Material: When choosing a soffit material or fascia material, the most important thing is to protect your home. Both soffit and fascia can be made of a range of materials including metals like steel or aluminum, wood, fiber cement, or vinyl. Metal has the advantage of being the most resistant to the demands of the environment, as well as being available in the widest variety of designs.
  2. Style: Choose the soffit style that most appeals to you, and also factor in ventilation, including the amount of airflow you need and your preference for the appearance of ventilation holes. For fascia, the width and texture will help define the overall style of your home.
  3. Color: Many people opt for white soffit and fascia, but soffit colors and fascia colors can match almost any trim element, so you’ll want to factor in your overall exterior home design.

So what’s the big deal about soffit and fascia? These architectural elements protect your roof and help define your home. Check out Quality Edge’s soffit collection and fascia collection to see how both of these elements create a polished exterior.