If your soffits are looking a little worn out or damaged, it may be time to replace them. Soffit helps protect the exterior of your home by adding much-needed ventilation to your attic and roof. If your soffit is getting old or it's been destroyed by pests, you need to either repair or replace it. Learn how to spot key signs of deterioration and whether you should repair or replace soffits.
What Causes Soffit Damage?
Since it's exposed to the elements, soffit can eventually rot or wear down. You should regularly inspect your soffit for signs of damage especially if you live in an area with brutal weather.
Heat escaping a house can cause snow and ice to melt and refreeze along your eaves. If you live in a snowy area, ice dams can cause damage to your roof and soffits.
Another common problem is pests such as wasps and hornets. Wasps can build nests along the soffit which can be difficult or even dangerous to remove.
Common Signs of Soffit Damage
When you're inspecting your soffit, how do you know what to look for? Start by checking for these common signs of damage.
- Chipping or flaking paint
- Cracks in the soffit
- Rotting soffit
- Mold, fungus, or algae
- Missing pieces
- Sagging sections
In addition to the checklist above, make sure to look for wasp or hornet nests. Pests can also crawl inside cracked or rotting wood, so make sure to replace your soffits to avoid even bigger problems.
The Best Time to Repair or Replace Soffits
You should repair soffits as soon as you notice any damage. Check around your soffits and fascias at least once per year. A good rule of thumb is to do this while winterizing your home around fall.
You can do patch repairs yourself with the right tools. If your soffits have rotted away, you'll need to patch them up or install replacement soffits right away.
In some cases, you may need to replace larger sections of your soffit. When replacing soffit, it's important to take the right measurements. You might want to leave soffit replacement up to the pros if you feel uncomfortable.
Preventing Soffit Damage
You can prevent future damage to your soffits by performing regular maintenance and replacing soffits and fascias that have fallen apart.
Aluminum or vinyl soffits are both more durable options that work well if you need to replace wooden soffits. There are many types of soffit materials you can choose from, so consider all your options before replacing your soffit.
Look for cracks and damage that can attract pests. You can use pest deterrents like pest spray to avoid unwanted insects. The best time to spray is around fall or early spring.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Soffits?
Whether you should repair or replace soffits depends on the severity of the damage.
You may only need to do a few patch jobs. You can prep and paint old soffit to freshen it up. You can also replace damaged sections if necessary.
If you're looking at a total replacement, you may want to call a contractor to ensure proper installation. Learn more about what's the right move for you.