The soffit covers the space between the roof eaves and the top of the exterior walls. It protects the attic from dirt, debris and small animals in addition to facilitating attic ventilation. Like most parts of a typical roofing system, soffits have common issues that you should keep an eye out on to avoid issues, including:
1. Improper Installation
Soffits can be removed and replaced without affecting the rest of the roof, and, therefore, the chances of installation errors happening are greater if one happens to hire an inexperienced installer to replace them. Improper soffit spacing can cause problems. Space them too far apart, and it leaves the roof vulnerable to wind uplift. Space them too closely, and they may block attic ventilation.
2. Moisture Damage
Traditional soffits made from wood generally have high maintenance requirements. Lack of maintenance can result in moisture damage, which can be caused by a humid attic or by wind-driven rain. Keep an eye out for early signs of moisture damage, such as blistering, cracking or peeling paint. Have the soffits scraped and repainted, or, if they’re due for replacement, ask your roofer for low-maintenance options, such as vinyl or fiber cement.
3. Dry Rot
Dry rot is caused by a certain type of fungus that thrives on wood fiber and is typically found on exterior components made of wood, such as siding and decking, and can also spread to wood soffits. You can check for wood rot by taking a large screwdriver or similar tool and tapping the soffit gently but firmly. If pieces fall out, then dry rot has already started. You can avoid dry rot by choosing the aforementioned low-maintenance options when you replace your soffits.
4. Animal Intrusion
Damaged or improperly-spaced soffit may allow small animals access to the attic and let them form nests inside. Proper installation, as described above, can solve soffit spacing problems. Some manufacturers offer soffits that are designed to slot into each other to ensure precise spacing.
American Roofing & Construction, LLC is your leading provider of roof repair and installation services. Give us a call at (910) 964-0114 or (919) 917-2118. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.