Soffits are the small part of your roof that juts out from your exterior walls, right underneath your gutters.
Due to the constant weather exposure that they receive, soffits can become damaged over time. Soffit repair is a straightforward process that you can do yourself.
Soffit vents provide air flow into the space between your rafters and the roof itself. Without functioning soffit vents, your home may not have enough air circulation to remove interior moisture accumulation, which can lead to interior damage and wood rot.
Rotting or broken soffits can also provide an avenue for rot to spread to the rafters of your home, can lead to mold growth and health complications, and can provide an avenue for pests to enter your house.
In the future, you may want to consider installing a soffit made from a different material: a wide range of different materials are available, including aluminum and vinyl, which are immune to moisture damage.
Tools You’ll Need for Soffit Repair
- Galvanized nails
- Power drill
- Reciprocating saw (Potentially)
- Galvanized screws
- Replacement soffits
- Replacement fascia (Potentially)
- Pressure treated 2x4 (Potentially)
- Replacement shingle molding (Potentially)
All these items are available at almost every hardware store if you do not already have them at home.
Remove the Fascia and Shingle Molding
The first step to getting to the damaged or rotting soffits on the side of your home is removing the shingle molding, which is a long, thin piece of wood that is located under the edge of your shingles.
You can pry it off with a crowbar, but take care to loosen it gently, as if it is undamaged you can nail it back into place later.
You can then take off the fascia, which is the board underneath the shingle mold and which runs up the side of your roof’s slope. If the fascia has rotted or broken, you should consider purchasing replacements to install as well.
Remove the Damaged Soffits
The next step is to remove the soffits themselves. You can pull rotting wood down with your hands or with the crowbar, but if you have vinyl or metal soffits that have been damaged, you may have to use a drill or hammer to remove the attached sheet.
Inspect and Replace the Rafter
If the exposed rafter behind the fascia and soffit is rotten, you’ll want to use a reciprocating saw to cut it free. Measure the missing piece of the rafter, cut a piece of a 2x4 that is the same size, and then screw it into place using a drill and galvanized steel screws to restore the rafter’s shape. Be sure to treat the cut edges of the rafter with a wood sealant to prevent rotting in the future.
Replace the Soffit
Attach the soffit to the underside of the rafter, screwing it into the eave with the drill and several galvanized screws. Prefabricated soffits that have vents already installed in them have specific holes that you should drill through to ensure that you do not damage the rest of the soffit.
Replace the Fascia and Shingle Molding
If the old fascia has not rotted, you can nail it back into place using your hammer and move on. If the fascia has rotted or otherwise been damaged, which is likely considering your soffit was damaged, you will need to replace your fascia.
While you can cut plywood or other materials to fit the area, your best bet is to go to a hardware store and buy prefabricated fascia, which comes in standard sizes and you can more easily cut it to size if necessary.
Once cut, you can nail your fascia into place using galvanized nails and your hammer. Then, you can nail your shingle molding into place (again, if it has rotted or broken during the soffit repair process, you can buy premade moldings from most hardware stores).
Soffit and Roofing Maintenance
If you have any questions about soffit repair or repairing any other parts of your home, feel free to contact us at any time. Our team of experts will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have, and point you in the right direction when it comes to repairing your home’s exterior.