What You Should Do Before Covering Old Fascia And Soffit with Aluminum
Prior to covering old fascia and soffit directly with aluminum or vinyl, it is recommended that a full inspection be carried out so as to uncover rot and other damages. The commonest defects found during this kind of an inspection are normally associated with neglect or poor maintenance. Once the inspection is carried out and problems not found, the old fascia and soffit then can directly be covered with new aluminum or vinyl. But before doing this, there are a number of things that have to be taken into consideration. These include:
Determining if there is an existing rot in the wood
The best way to determine the presence of rot in wooden fascia and soffits is to use a sharp probe, screwdriver or awl. If your preferred tool penetrates the wood with little or no resistance, then this means that the wood is already rotten. Covering rotten wood with aluminum or vinyl is not a good idea as the rot will simply continue to spread. The new material unfortunately might end up expediting the process by limiting air circulation. As a result, this kind of a rot may eventually spread to the roof framing beneath, something that will end up causing a more costly revamp. If any decay is found, the affected boards must immediately be removed and the framing underneath examined to see if it is still sound.
How does the rot come about?
Soffit and fascia damage is basically caused by intrusive water. This causes the wood to slowly by slowly rot. Here is how it happens.
• Ideally when rain comes, your roof acts as a perfect system to direct rain water from the top of the roof to the ground, and all this without water into the house. How does this happen? The rains hits the roof, or shingles, then goes down the slope and into the gutters, and then through the downspout to the ground safely away from the house.
Unfortunately, some residue is left on the edge of the shingles which eventually drips down and get behind the gutter and the rest on the soffit. With passage of time, this causes the soffit and fascia to develop wood rot. Newer homes use a drip edge to protect this from happening. The drip edge acts as an excellent barrier that redirects the stray drips of water into the gutter. So, drip edges are one of the best ways to maintaining your home. However, these edges are often damaged or missing on older homes.
• Holes in the box gutters. Different from regular gutters in that the flashing leads directly into the gutter, they easily develop holes that eventually lead to wood damage.
Examining the ventilation
If the existing wood is in good shape, then it is safe to cover it with aluminum or vinyl material. The original soffits might have vents cut into the surface to provide fresh air to the attic. These form an integral part of ventilation of the attic. Most vinyl and aluminum soffit material has integral venting built into the design, and hence making sure that the material underneath has sufficient circulation is something of a paramount importance. This not only improves the conditions in the attic, but it also reduces the likelihood of rot in old soffits. In simple terms, it is not necessary to remove the old soffits as long as they are in good shape and proper allowance is made for air circulation and ventilation.
All in all, if you spot damage to your soffit and fascia in Toronto, make sure to have the rotted portion removed before covering it with either vinyl or aluminum. Removing the rotted section early enough can save you a lot of hassles and money in the long run.