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What is Fascia on a House: Understanding this Crucial Part of a Roof

Fascia is a critical component of any home and one of the many parts of a roof. It’s the exterior framing that protects and gives shape to the roof and provides attachment points for other components like gutters and downspouts. Fascia runs horizontally across the roofing section that overhangs the wall of the house.


What is fascia on a house?

Fascia, or fascia trim, is the exterior framing of the roof rafters that protects the house to give shape to the roof’s overhang. It also provides attachment points for other components like gutters, soffits, and downspouts. It runs horizontally along your roofing section.


Why do you need fascia?

A house needs fascia because it is the exterior framing. Fascia trim protects the house from wood rot and gives shape to the roof trusses. It also provides points of attachment for other components like gutters and downspouts, so you should consider replacing your fascia before it becomes a safety hazard.

Apart from these when the fascia board has a fascia cap on it (often in aluminum) it adds a nice trim feature and adds to a home’s curb appeal.

Fascia trim is usually made from the same material as the siding of the house or can be a separate color to give the roof some more definition.


Why you would need to replace fascia

If your fascia is damaged from years of weather exposure, clogged gutters, or other exterior elements, you might want to consider replacing it before it becomes a safety hazard.

Gutters can pull away from your home, and the fascia along with it, allowing water to get in behind the fascia, which can cause water damage if not repaired. You should consider replacing your fascia before it becomes a safety hazard.

This is hard because for most homeowners if your fascia board has cladding on it you will not know if it needs to be replaced until it’s too late.


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How do I know if my fascia needs to be replaced?

If you are wondering if your fascia needs to be replaced, look for the following signs that you need to replace the fascia.

  • Guttering becomes loose
  • Water is leaking between fascia boards
  • Leaks are found in ceilings
  • Rain is leaking around gutters


Different types of Fascia Board:

There are 4 different types of fascia boards.

Wood boards – these are often the cheapest and most common. However, they aren’t always the best for your home because they can rot when exposed to the elements over time.

Aluminum boards – these are thicker than wood boards, but still need maintenance like refinishing or painting in order to keep them looking good over time.

PVC board– similar in appearance to wood, but are more durable. These vinyl boards will not rot or warp making them perfect for areas where water might be an issue.

Composite board- these boards are made from recycled plastic and wood particles. They are moisture-resistant and offer great resistance to mold growth.


How to repair or replace the fascia board

If you’re ready to replace your fascia, it might be time to call a professional because the process can be quite complicated and dangerous for homeowners.

To repair fascia, you’ll need to take off the old fascia while not damaging the roof and siding in the process.

For horizontal cracks in the fascia boards, you can use special weatherproofing material and seal the crack completely with caulk. Or if it is heavily damaged you can remove the fascia trim and fascia board and replace it with new fascia materials.


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What are soffits?

Soffits are the part of the overhang that covers from where your siding meets your roof. The overhang can be called several things, like rafters and house eaves. The soffits are what give the underneath of the overhang a finishing look. They also keep out moisture and prevent ice damming in the winter and help disburse heat in the hot summer. Learn more in our “What are soffits” article. 


What is the difference between a soffit and fascia?

Soffits and fascia serve different purposes, both help protect against water infiltration. Fascia is the exterior framing that protects the house to give shape to the roof. It also provides attachment points for other components like gutters and downspouts. Soffits typically cover the underbelly of the eaves and help the rafters resist moisture.

The soffit and fascia are typically items that come up in roof replacement conversations. While getting new shingles installed on your roof doesn’t mean new fascia it is a good time to consider it if you are wanting to add trim to your roof work or want to add some protection with cladding or vinyl soffits.

fascia vs soffits

Fascia vs overhangs

The overhang is where the roof meets the edge of the exterior wall. This provides a crucial component to the home’s exterior and water drainage when accompanied by a water drainage system. The fascia board is the cap at the end of the overhang that adds a nice edge to the roofline.


Fascia Terms

If you’re going to be getting a new roof it’s a good idea to no these terms and what they are.

Fascia board – the exterior framing that is present at the bottom end of the roof rafters.

Drip edge – the metal joist that is used to keep water from dripping on a door or window.

Cladding or trim – material that goes over the fascia board to cover it.

Siding – material that covers the exterior walls of a building.

Exterior wall – side of a building that is not inside an enclosed space.

Roofing section – the portion of the roof that overhangs the wall of the house.

Gutters – the channels located over the exterior wall of a home and around the perimeter of its roof that catch and direct water away from foundations and structural components.

Rafters – beams installed on a frame that support the weight of a roof

Overhang – Overhangs are important when they come to keeping your house protected along with the fascia.

Header – beam that supports the weight of the rafters, roofing material, and overhang


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