Soffits are the panels that cover the area between the roof eaves and the top of the exterior walls. It protects the attic from dust and debris while allowing cool air in as part of the attic ventilation system. But you need to watch out for issues with your soffits, including the following:
Soffits are made of multiple boards that need to be properly spaced apart. Put them too close together, and they would block airflow into the attic. Put them too far apart, and it leaves the roof vulnerable to wind lift. It may also give insects and small animals access to the attic. Manufactured soffits, typically made of vinyl, have profiles that ensure even spacing. Incorrectly installed soffits can be repaired or replaced without dismantling the rest of the roof.
If your roof has traditional soffits made of wood, it can be vulnerable to moisture damage from both sides – humidity from the attic as well as wind-driven rain. Signs of moisture damage to the soffits include blistering or peeling paint and visible rot. Regular roof inspections and sticking with routine maintenance can help prevent damage to wood soffits, but if it needs to be replaced, ask your roofing contractor about replacing it with low-maintenance and moisture-resistant options like vinyl or fiber cement.
Dry rot is caused by a type of fungi that consumes wood fiber and spreads tiny, hair-like roots as it grows. This results in the wood fibers cracking and turning into powder. Exterior wood components, including soffits, are vulnerable to it – to check for dry rot, use a large screwdriver or similar tool to gently, but firmly tap the components. If pieces fall out, then it’s a sign that dry rot is already under way. To protect your soffits from dry rot, make sure the wood is well-maintained with paint or some other kind of waterproofing. Choosing low-maintenance alternatives can help reduce the needed maintenance work.
Earl W. Johnston Roofing, LLC provides residential and commercial roofing services to customers in Hollywood and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, as well as the surrounding communities. Give us a call at (954) 989-7794, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.