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Soffits, Fascias and Guttering explained!

Soffits, fascias and guttering all play an important role in keeping your home pest free and dry, they are also highly important from an aesthetic point of view. Having sparkling soffits and fascias makes your home look far more attractive and appealing to buyers. If you are thinking of selling your home, then sprucing up the outside of your house is a good investment. Replacing soffits and fascias that are old or worn helps to protect your roof and walls, preventing damp and water damage. Clean new gutters and ornate fascias can greatly increase the value of your home, and will impress the surveyor too.

Soffits and Fascias explained

A soffit is a covering which sits between the outer edges of your roof and the adjacent wall of the house, protecting and sealing the rafter feet. If your roof has a soffit (not all do), you will be able to see it if you stand underneath the overhang of your roof and look up.

Modern soffits are usually made of uPVC. UPVC soffits and fascias are hardwearing and cope well with exposure to moisture. Wooden soffits are a popular rustic or period feature, but they are more likely to rot and decay quickly, threatening the integrity of the rest of the roof structure.

Fascias are traditionally a softwood board which is mounted to the exposed edges of your rafters, however in recent years this has been replaced with high grade uPVC as softwood has a tendency to rot. The purpose of a fascia is to protect and seal the roof and the interior of your home from exposure to the elements, to support roof tiles at an eaves level and to provide support for the guttering. Fascias also serve a cosmetic purpose, and are much nicer to look at than exposed rafters.

Guttering is used to collect rainwater from the roof and direct the flow of water as it drains. Gutters catch the water and direct it into the downpipes, and towards a drain. Guttering is fixed with the appropriate “fall” to prevent the water from pooling in places that it should not, which could eventually lead to your gutters overflowing, which is then likely to cause other problems.

An Overview of Your Roof

There are many parts which go into the edge of a roof, including:

Soffits and fascias explained diagram

1. Bargeboard- The bargeboard provides a decorative finish to the gable end of your home, sealing the end rafters and the verge.

2. Box end- Forms the link between the fascia and the bargeboard on gable ends. All the fixings and rough edges are covered with trim, not only to look as neat and professional as possible but also to ensure that the roofline remains as secure and moisture resistant as possible.

3. Guttering – Collects rainwater from the roof and discharges it into the downpipes. All gutters are levelled and aligned to ensure that they have the correct fall, leading to the rainwater running in the correct direction and down the downpipe.

4. Fascia Boards- Protects and seals the rafter feet to prevent them contracting any rot and it progressing up the rafters and into your roof. The fascia also supports the roof tiles and provides a fixing point and support for the guttering.

5. Soffit BoardsSoffit boards run across the underside of your roofline, with the purpose of protecting the underside of the rafter feet. The expanded core of the soffit is lightweight, whilst the highly polished surface acts as a seal to water damage.

6. Downpipe – Carries rainwater from the gutters and down into the drains. Should be screwed into the brickwork to provide a secure fix.

7. Sprockets- Sprockets are made to size on site from uPVC and fixed securely and level to the rafter feet. This then provides a fixing point upon which to mount the fascia and soffit. Once aligned and levelled, the sprockets guarantee the fascia remains straight and true for years after the installation is complete.

8. Ventilation- Vents can either be cut into the soffit when manufactured or fixed to the top of the fascia board before it is installed which is likely to be the cheaper and neater option. Ventilation is essential to allow your roof timbers to breathe and prevent the build up of moisture.

9. Roofguard Eaves Protector- Inserted under the bottom roof tiles, the eaves guard protects the often damaged bottom end of felt in your roof and curves into the guttering, preventing any rainwater running behind the fascia board or guttering.

10. Birdcomb- Installed where appropriate, this helps prevent birds from nesting in your roof, by blocking any voids which lie between the tile and top edge of fascia.

11. Dry Verge- Dry verge can be installed to protect the verge area above the bargeboard on the gable and prevents you ever having to have this area re-pointed again


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