Soffit are panels that cover the space from the top of the exterior walls to the roof eaves. While its main function is to allow attic ventilation and prevent roof damage caused by wind uplift, it also provides a barrier that prevents dirt, debris and small animals from getting into the attic. In today’s post, local roofing company and home remodeler Empire Roofing & More examines the common soffit issues that you need to keep an eye on.
Soffits are made of several boards with gaps that act as vents. Proper spacing is essential: space the boards too far apart and it leaves the roof vulnerable to wind lift. Space them too close together and they will block attic ventilation. Fortunately, soffits can be repaired or replaced without affecting the rest of the roof. Manufactured soffits typically feature profiles that ensure even spacing.
Traditional soffits are made from wood, which are vulnerable to moisture damage from attic humidity or wind-driven rain, unless it receives regular maintenance. Early signs of moisture damage include blistering, cracking, or peeling paint, while later signs include broken boards and visible rot. Capable roofers can replace moisture-damaged wood soffits, however, we recommend replacing them with low-maintenance and moisture-resistant options like vinyl or fiber cement.
Dry rot is caused by fungi that consume wood fiber, which results in cracking and powdering of wood. Exterior components made of wood, such as siding, decking, and soffits, are vulnerable to it. Sometimes dry rot happens sight unseen. You can check for it by gently but firmly tapping the affected area with a large screwdriver or similar tool. If pieces of wood fall out, then dry rot has already affected your soffits. Keeping up with required maintenance or choosing low-maintenance options as we described above can help avoid dry rot.
Damaged or widely-spaced soffit can give small animals such as squirrels and birds access to the attic and let them nest there. Proper soffit spacing and regular roofing inspections can help reduce the chances of animals gaining access to your attic.
Need help with soffit and other roofing issues? The roofers at Empire Roofing & More are ready to help. Give us a call at (412) 999-7135 or (412) 414-1570. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Pittsburgh and Wexford, PA, and the surrounding communities.