Fascia is just one other roof area that can sustain damage and require repairs. Fascia boards are straight, long boards that run along a roof’s lower edge. They act as a barrier or layer between a roof’s edge and the exterior of a home. They are considered a finished yet protective edge to hinder damage from moisture and the elements. Fascia boards are positioned and are connected to the areas where gutters, trusses and rafters are attached to a roof. They act as a support for the lower edge of a roof and are directly under the shingles or other roofing material.
In addition to serving a protective function, fascia provides a clean, finished and smooth appearance to the edge of roof while, at the same time, protecting it and the interior of a home from the damaging effects of moisture.
The boards are stationed around the edges of a roof and are placed there as a support for the gutter system of a home. Again, they are meant to protect against any water damage from storms and other weather conditions. Most roofs today contain fascia board, but homes in the past usually lacked this element.
As a roof ages and weathers, so do fascia boards. They can be subject to both wet or dry rot, or deterioration from moisture and sun exposure. Animal pests such as squirrels can chew and gnaw away on fascia boards and can compound any existing wear and damage. The constant cycle of hot and cold exposure, along with moisture accumulation in any form, can damage fascia.
Fascia Board Replacement
Replacing fascia boards involves removing old fascia board pieces and fitting in new ones in their place. Fascia boards are actually constructed from one-inch boards that are either 1×6 or 1×8 in width and can be smooth or rough-sawn lumber. These are the common sizes of boards used in roof construction.
Wood to Use
It’s, of course, always advantageous to use the best boards from wood species like cedar and redwood as they both resist moisture and rot, and they don’t have to be painted to protect them. If the replacement boards are chosen from wood that is naturally decay resistant, the chances of the boards outlasting other natural materials are going to be considerably greater.
Fir, spruce and pine are less costly than cedar and redwood, but they do require a primer and paint to be effective. Any seams do need to be sealed and if paint is used, you want it to match or coordinate color choices with your home.
Other Repair Tips
Nailing Fascia – When nailing fascia, don’t nail it near the edge of the board and its end grain as it will likely split. An alternative to nailing and eventual splitting is to pre-drill the fascia on the edge. Next, drive in 3-4 inch screws (with an impact screw gun) to secure the fascia from splitting. The screws shouldn’t be countersunk too deeply as you want to avoid possible splitting.
Obviously, split fascia board ends look unsightly and any splits created are going to contribute to water seeping into the fascia board and causing rot and future roof repair expenses. It’s easily observed that the origin of most rot on fascia boards is going to be at the ends and connection points.
Using the Right Nails
When working with and installing fascia boards, you want to make sure that you or a roofing contractor are using galvanized or stainless steel nails. These types of nails may be a bit more costly but they are worth it in the long run as they help to preserve the integrity of the fascia board.
Priming Fascia Board
One fairly simple way to protect fascia board edges or ends is to dip them in a superior grade of primer paint. The boards should remain in the primer for several minutes so they can take in as much primer as possible. This action will help prevent moisture being drawn it at the end of the board, plus the most exposed sections of the board will be protected.
Other Types of Fascia Board
- PVC – PVC (or polyvinyl chloride) fascia board is designed to be similar in appearance to wood, as it is made of material comparable to white plumbing pipes. It definitely has advantages over wood fascia products as it’s impervious to rot. PVC fascia is more adaptable for use on houses with aluminum or vinyl siding, but it can provide a finished and clean look to houses that have brick, stone or wood siding. PVC fascia is available in a number of colors and can be painted as well. PVC fascia expands more so than wood, so glue and headed nails are used to fasten the boards.
- Vinyl and Aluminum – Homes with vinyl or aluminum siding should contain fascia that is coordinated to match. When using vinyl or aluminum fascia boards, the first step is to utilize wood fascia boards and add covers over the fascia in vinyl or aluminum. Both cover types don’t require painting and are nailed to the wood fascia boards.
- Composite Fascia Boards – Fiber-Cement – Homes with fiber-cement siding should be trimmed with fascia boards made from fiber-cement. These type of fascia boards can be cut and attached just as wood boards are, though they are more difficult to cut and can dull saw blades. They also come painted but can be painted in any color desired.
- Wood Chips and Plastic – A composite fascia board comprised of a blend of wood chips and plastic is best used with decking materials. This kind of fascia board is already made available in varying colors and cannot be painted, so any color selection for fascia trim should be carefully considered.
Repairing fascia board damage depends on a number of factors that include the actual construction process and the materials used. If you have questions about repair procedures, or need an assessment of fascia repair, complete the online contact form and a representative will get back to you with the answers you need to make an informed decision.