What Is Soffit? A Complete, Easy-To-Understand House Soffit Guide

An image of what is soffit.

Does the question, "what is soffit?" rattle your brain? We share a basic overview of what a soffit is and does for your home. And, why you may need them.

Apr 17th · 3 min read

Siding and shingles are easy to spot, but what is soffit? A soffit is located on nearly every home, whether you recognize it or not!

Soffits are used under porches, arches, stairs, and more. A general rule of thumb is that anything with a ceiling gets a soffit.

If you're wondering what is soffit, you're not alone. It's located between your siding and roof. If you stand under your roof and look up, you'll see it.

What Is Soffit?

Soffit is a French word translating to "something fixed underneath."

Roofs often extend over a building's walls. These reveal rafters or house eaves. Underneath the overhang, soffits are installed.

Soffits connect your roof to the side of your building. Essentially, they're designed to cover any visible roofing. Soffits give your home a polished appearance as well as hide ventilation tubes.

Soffits come in aluminum, vinyl, wood, steel, and fiber cement.

Importance of Soffits for Your Home

First things first, soffits boost ventilation.

A soffit covers under your roof and part of your attic. It protects your roof from overheating. Without a soffit, your shingles can wear out and break down.

Broken and damaged shingles lead to water leaks, high energy bills, and humidity build up. The more moisture in your home, the greater your risk of mold, mildew, and foul odors.

Soffits are essential for adequate attic airflow. A properly ventilated attic keeps your home's temperature in check. Soffits circulate air so your home stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Soffits protect the underside of your roof from insects and moisture. It prevents weather damage that could cause your roof to fail and collapse.

Aesthetically, soffits add a polished touch. Without one, you would see your roof's rafters. A soffit comes in different colors and finishes, so you can coordinate it to match your home's exterior.

Choosing the Right Soffit

Wooden soffits need to be repainted from time to time. Wood looks nice on homes, but be mindful of your environment. They may rot, especially if you live in a moist area with heavy rainfall.

Fiber cement soffits are the most versatile. They can be smooth or grainy, vented or unvented, and come in many colors. Due to its customized appearance, fiber cement carries a higher price tag than other soffits.

Aluminum soffits can be altered to fit into difficult spaces. They're non-combustible, durable, and unlikely to chip or crack. They're also water resistant, making aluminum soffits ideal in moist climates.

Vinyl soffits are very affordable and insulate your home well. They can be customized to fit your preference and are water resistance. Vinyl is easy to keep clean and unlikely to rot.

Steel soffits are about 25% more expensive than aluminum ones. They're extremely durable and long-lasting. They come in different colors so you have plenty of aesthetic options.

Explore Our Soffit Collection

What is soffit and what can it do for your home? Soffit protects your roof, regulates temperature, and gives your house a beautifully finished look. Whether you're looking to learn what soffit is, where soffits go, or how soffits should be installed, we have the answers you're looking for. Check out our website to learn more about this essential piece of your home's exterior.

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