When choosing materials for roofing projects, the right material matters. When choosing finishing for your roof, you’ve got two options: fascia or soffit.
In this, we’ll go over what it is, some of the best materials for both, and how to choose the right materials.
What are Soffit and Fascia?
Both of these are finishing used for roofing.
Fascia is the finishing that’s visible and vertical that’s underneath your roof and plays the role of supporting the lower parts of the roof, and also is where you attach gutters. That means, the material you need to use needs to be able to handle major rainfall and snowstorms. Fascia is important as well because the right material makes your curb appeal even better.
Soffit is the surface which is underneath the overhang of the roof. It covers your overhang on the roof and is what offers ventilation to the roof and attic areas. Most soffit is made with venting put in there to improve circulation, allowing your home more protection and better air cycling, so the interior and roof of the home doesn’t accumulate too much moisture.
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Why do they Matter?
They are both important because they help circulate air, keep the roof supported, aid with gutter attachment, and make your home look good.
Both of these features are normally not discussed by many unless a problem arises. For example, if the gutters don’t attach or the roof leaks, or there is mold and air circulation issues in the attic area. This is when people normally care about this part of their roof.
However, the right materials prevents problems, and it also makes the home look even better as well.
The Best Materials for Soffit and Fascia
Your materials make a difference in this, not just in how it looks, but how much work you must put into upkeep. A lot of roofing professionals prefer one material over another, but we’ll go over each of the most common, when to use these, and the pros and cons of both.
Both soffit and fascia need to be water-resistant or else they’ll rot, so factor that in mind when choosing materials.
Below are some of the most popular materials for soffit along with fascia finishing.
Aluminum is one of the most popular and has been since WWIII. It’s light, cheap, and is much more versatile than other materials such as steel. It also does not rot or rust, so you don’t have to worry about it breaking down.
However, a problem with aluminum is it conducts heat quickly, doesn’t work well with paint, and if it exposed to water for too long, it does corrode. It also requires you to refinish it every now and then.
However, aluminum has been used for decades for homes, comes in a variety of colors, and you can also include a wood grain or a smooth finish to it. You can also buy this perforated if you want it ventilated. It also is a natural fire retardant and it handles cold well.
Aluminum is good for those who live in places that don’t have too many drastic heat changes and are okay with repainting every now and then.
Vinyl is the choice item for soffits, and it’s been the choice for siding and roof finishing. They’re usually less maintenance than other materials, and that’s because it doesn’t require painting if you don’t want to do that.
It does offer vented and perforated options for you to choose from, and it does have a wood appearance if that’s what you want.
This one however is much more susceptible than aluminum finishing are to both cold and heat, and if it gets too hot or too cold, it can sometimes crack, so it won’t last a long time if you live in a climate with extreme temperatures.
They are plastic as well, and it does create a shadow if you overlap the pieces. This impacts curb appeal for your home.
Wood finishing is one of the oldest types of materials soffits are made of, and even today you see a lot of wood siding. This has a beautiful, natural texture that makes them look really good. You can get them vented or perforated, and you can also get solid wood soffits for your home. The benefits of this one is they look great for starters, but they also are easy to paint, so if you want it to be a certain color, it’s easier.
However, they require a lot of care. They can resist insects and rot if you get cedar soffits, but they do soften. Cedar also is subjected to bleeding if you don’t use a primer before painting. They also peel over time, and you’ll have to paint it often.
A newer material on the market, this is a durable material that’s made up of silica, fiber, and cement. This is non-porous, extremely durable, and it resists insects and moisture. It also resists rotting and works well in versatile climates where other finishing won’t work.
They are made to look like cedar and be smooth, and are also able to be perforated, so you can provide ventilation. This is probably one of the best, but it does cost a bit more, which is one of the downsides.
How to Choose
Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Fiber cement has the benefits of being strong, durable, and long-lasting, but the price tag might scare people.
If you want to just get soffits without breaking the bank, aluminum or vinyl is always a good option. However, if your house has shadows, steer clear of vinyl since it creates shadows.
If you’re not sure what material to use, talk to a professional to get their opinion. Here’s a lot to choose from, and you should assess your options before you start. Don’t forget too to factor in the climate you live in and the wear and tear on the house already before choosing the soffits and fascia materials to use on your home.