What is a fascia and soffit?

Unless you are a roofing professional, your experience with fascias and soffits may not be extensive. We do know they are an important part of maintaining your roof and weather proofing your abode, but why?

The role of fascias and soffits on your roof is primarily to prevent moisture and mould from developing. When fascias and soffits are damaged, they are prone to rot as water will be able to find its way behind them, which may eventually cause mould and mildew to occur and worsening rot in the area. This issue can spread to your roof rafters, which is a more expensive problem.

It is clear that rotting components of your roofing system can invite other problems to the forefront, for example: mould growing on your roof may attract more sunlight, leading to your shingles becoming too hot and cracking. This is another scenario where water may enter your home, through the cracked shingles, causing potential water damage.

Wooden fascias and soffits have a tendency to rot. Therefore, it is advisable to use uPVC for your fascia and soffit boards, as it will not rot nor corrode in the way wooden or metal fascias and soffits have a tendency to. Your fascias and soffits are an important line of defence for your home, even protecting against infestations and severe weather conditions, so they must be in great condition. But how do you know if your fascias and soffits are in good working order? First, identify them!

What is a fascia?

Fascia boards run horizontally to the lower edge of your roof. They are long and straight boards normally made from wood, metal or uPVC. They are attached to cover the exposed edges of your roof rafters, ensuring that your home is waterproofed and protected from extreme weather conditions.

Fascia boards also have an aesthetic function, as covering up any exposed edges and roof rafters increases your home’s curb appeal.

fascia board

If your fascia boards are not in good condition, it is likely to affect the appearance of your house, along with other practical issues. Due to their consistent exposure to the elements, fascia boards can be damaged quite easily. Some tree limbs and debris may damage your fascia boards, along with extreme weather conditions and any excessive amounts of water, which can lead to wear and tear. Damage caused to your fascia and soffit is likely to lead to rot, depending on their material.

Furthermore, poorly installed fascia boards are susceptible to mould and mildew, as they don’t necessarily need to be damaged in order for them to rot. It is important to ensure that your fascia boards are well built, as they are also crucial to the stability of your guttering system. If your fascia boards are strong and well installed, they should be able to withstand different weather conditions and a significant amount of water.

What is a soffit?

A soffit covers the feet of your roof rafter, as rafters on some structures may overhang. They are positioned adjacent to the house – to see your soffit board, stand under the overhanging part of your roof and look up! It can be made with wood or even fibre cement however uPVC has become the most advisable material due to its durability and how it has no tendency to rot.


Your soffit is crucial for ventilation in your home as it works to shift the heat from the sun, which can protect your roof shingles. Soffit boards are also an important part of protecting your home from pests, such as bees and wasps, as they have been known to nestle in any cracks in damaged soffits.

Despite both fascias and soffits being important for the wellbeing of your home, a soffit board is specifically crucial. Although a fascia without a soffit board is not advised, some homes may enable you to only have a soffit. Soffit boards will appear anywhere where the roof overhangs by a few inches and are important because they give your home a more finished look, as they cover the exposed rafters, whilst also protecting your roof from the elements.

Looking for more information on fascias and soffits? Our fascia and soffit replacement guide features all the most important considerations to think about when planning the work, from the best materials to the length of time it will take.

Want an estimate on how much the work will cost? MyLocalToolbox’s fascia and soffit cost guide has you covered.

To get quotes for fascias, soffits or guttering – post a job now.

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