Of all the various parts of a building, the soffit might be the least well known. Even now, you might be asking, “What is a soffit, anyway?” A soffit is the underside of any element of a building, but it generally refers to the area under the eaves of a roof. These soffits connect the roof overhang to the side of the building. Other examples of soffits include the underside of a porch roof, the underside of a flight of stairs, and the underside of projecting cornices.
What Is a Soffit?
As we mentioned above, a soffit is the underside of any construction element. Soffits play an important role within the construction of a building, because they cover the eaves and protect the rafters from weather damage. Without soffits, your home might experience hazardous mold buildup or dangerous rotting beams. They are also an aesthetic bonus for your home. You can use their style, color, and material to enhance your home’s curb appeal. The size of a soffit will depend on the structure of the roof; the wider the overhang, the wider the soffit will be.
Unfortunately, soffits can be vulnerable to water damage caused by ice dams, uncleaned gutters, or damaged flashing, and they can be misused by animals as well. For example, squirrels and birds can harm a soffit by nesting in the space behind it. Bees, hornets and wasps sometimes also build nests on soffits. These pests don’t usually cause damage, but they can be a nuisance for homeowners.
Soffits should be ventilated to let air flow into the attic. Lanced style vents allow the appropriate amount of airflow while limiting the moisture that enters the attic. Proper ventilation allows hot air to escape the house in the summertime while drawing cooler air inside. In the winter, rain and snow could lead to moisture buildup, mold, and rot if you didn’t have well-maintained soffits.
Soffits can be made from aluminum or fiber cement. Aluminum is malleable and can fit into a variety of spaces. It is durable and will not rot, chip, or crack. It is also resistant to water, which makes it ideal for wet and humid regions. Fiber cement soffits come in a variety of textures and colors, and they can also be painted or stained to suit the colors of your home.
If you find mold growing on your soffits, use a soft brush to clean them with a mixture of bleach and water. Remove bee and wasp nests regularly from your soffits for your own convenience. Finally, when you notice that your soffits are damaged, have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible to prevent water and animals from infiltrating your home.
Well-maintained soffits can protect your home from the elements and provide excellent insulation. If you would like Taylor-Made Roofing to inspect or repair your soffits, please give us a call at 417-326-8778 (toll-free number) or 417-326-8778 (local number) for a free estimate. We look forward to hearing from you!