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How Soffits and Fascia Are Rotted and Ruined - ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman of Cincinnati

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Hi, Don Kennedy again with ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman of Cincinnati. You know, one of the common home repair tasks we're often requested to perform, are to repair rotted soffits and fascia. So I thought I would take a few minutes in this video to share with you how soffits and fascia on your home become rotted and ruined. So in the next few minutes, I'm going to reveal to you the cause of how your home's fascia and soffits become damaged. And then, of course rot! We'll the illustrate some of the warning signs that, there may be a problem with your fascia and soffit. And this will help you diagnose quickly, whether or not you have a problem and forestall expensive repairs. And finally, we'll talk about some simple steps that YOU can take to reduce your chance of experiencing any of these costly repairs to begin with. But before I begin, I just wanted to tell you a quick story. You know, when I was new in the home improvement business I would sometimes see homes that look somewhat like this picture I'm showing you here. You're standing on the ground, you look up at a soffit, and you're asking yourself, "well, why is it rotting?" "Why is the paint peeling?" "It's not exposed to the elements... you know... it doesn't see direct rain, even driving rain." "It's kind of underneath something that should be protecting it." "Why is the rest of it painted and this part looks so bad?" I never knew the answer to that question. So, I'm just telling you that story because many of you may see this on your own home, or on someone else's home. And you may be wondering, "what's going on here?" The best way to answer that question is to show you how a typical fascia gutter and soffit system (which is seen pictured here... very typical of a home in the Cincinnati area... ) how that's supposed to work to shed water away from the home. And then consequently, if this does not work correctly, how it can develop into some of the problems I've shown you in these pictures. What I've done here is made a little drawing. (Pardon the "low-tech" white board) But it'll work. What I've done is to draw a cross-section of the soffit, roof and gutter region that is affected here that we were just talking about with some those pictures prior. So here we have your shingles up here (in black). The brown part right underneath, this represents the roof sheathing. And then the fascia board, that is part of the structure of that soffit. And is what your gutter (here in red) is attached to. Now, there's something called drip edge. And that is what I've made here in orange. It's this little piece here and its usually made out of aluminum. And the name kind of implies what it does. So we'll grab my blue marker here to simulate water. So water comes down off your roof like this. Got a bunch of rain. What happens is, it drips off the edge of the shingle, and on to the DRIP EDGE. And then what happens is, it flows down that drip edge into the gutter ... fills up the gutter. Now, when that drip edge (for whatever reason) is broken, a couple of bad things can happen. Now let's pretend that the drip edge is missing. This is a common thing that I see in a lot of homes--there just isn't any. It was never installed.. they never bothered to put it in. Where is that water going to to go? Well, some of it will fall into the gutter. But some of it will travel back up the shingle and connect here where the fascia board lies and begin to soak the fascia board. And that is how these fascia boards rot out. And what's the gutter attached to? The gutter is attached to the fascia board When this get soft and rots out, and this thing fills up with water and gets really heavy... or in the winter, fills up with ice... It is what causes the gutters to fall down off the house! Now, if that water continues, and then you have your soffit underneath here... (like we saw in those pictures) if this begins to rot out, and now, you get a gap here maybe... you know, as this is all rotten out and yucky. That water, can then come in this direction. And then can pool in this area or soak that wood that is underneath the soffit. So, it answers the question for you of "well this soffit underneath here, its... protected from the elements... why would it rot out?" "It doesn't see any rain." "And it is underneath there, so how does it get wet?" It is because from where the water is coming down the roof, it is finding its way in. USUALLY, through the top; sometimes down here in the bottom... or this entire fascia board is rotted out. The water just comes straight in. So, there you can see an explanation for how these soffits get ruined and why proper maintenance and construction techniques... like how far the shingle is off the roof, whether or not drip edge was installed, whether or not it was installed correctly, what shape or condition it is in, how the gutters are sloped, if the gutters are backing up, right? (Like we see with ice daming in the winter.) And water starts to travel back up the roof. When that water melts, it gets in here and destroys the soffits and fascia. So are several different ways this can occur. But we're going to talk about things that you can do on your home to maintain this system properly to hopefully avoid this really expensive mess. Now, I'm showing you this picture to gross you out, or insult your intelligence. Because I know that any homeowner that saw this on their home would know quickly that there is a problem that they need to address. I'm simply showing it to you, so that you can appreciate how much damage can be done by allowing water to get inside the soffit. And the same is true with this picture. Water getting behind that fascia board either rots the fascia board or begins to soften the wood it is attached to. And the when that gutter fills up from rain, it becomes so heavy that it simply departs the house. And what I love about this picture, (and I've pointed it out to you with the red arrows there) ... the gutter is still attached to the fascia board! Now, hopefully after you have seen those two pictures, I can convince you, that this is a problem that YOU need to make sure DOES NOT HAPPEN TO YOUR HOME! So I wanted to point out two things quickly that could alert you to a problem developing before it becomes too expensive. Here in this picture, you can see with the yellow arrows there it looks like there is something happening with that fascia board. But the rest of the soffit still looks like it is in good shape... and is in-tact. So what we want to do here is, quickly address where the water is coming in (it is probably a drip edge problem) (or gutter sloping problem) (very inexpensive to repair) We may even be able to save that fascia board. If not, that's not going to nearly as expensive as fixing all of those soffits. And we can correct this before any of that nasty rot, mold and water damage occurs that you saw in those previous slides. Another thing you can look for... and this isn't necessarily mean you *have* a problem, I just want to you to take a look at this on your home because it is something you easily spot from the ground. If you see black streaks that are coming down from your gutters... (of course, this is a lot easier to see if you have a white or tan gutter) this *might* be... and I emphasize the word MIGHT be an indication that your gutters are overflowing. So next time you a heavy rain storm, I want you to peek out the window and see if in fact the gutters are overflowing. Because if they are, it means that water can be backing up behind the gutter getting into the fascia, soaking the board and then running down into the soffit. And therefore, cause the problem that you see in those other slides. Even better than knowing how to spot a problem before it gets too expensive, is preventing the problem all together. There are three things you can do. 1. Keep those gutters clean and flowing. That includes downspouts and drains, which are often overlooked. So for many of us in the Cincinnati area, that means we need to clean our gutters three to four times a year. and that is going to be dependent upon what kind of trees you have in your yard. Now, gutter guards aren't perfect. I've spoken to people many times who feel like "Well, I had gutter guards installed on my home three or four years ago. I don't need to have my gutters cleaned anymore." This is a great way to cause the problems that you've seen in those previous slides because sometimes debris can still get in there. It lends itself to a false sense of security thinking that "I never need to have those gutters cleaned or inspected." So even if you have gutter guards, please periodic cleaning and inspection is a good thing. 2. Keep wood fascia and soffits caulked and painted. That way, if you do get a little water on them, again, that wood will be protected. Finally. Keep the animals and insects away. Wasps, birds... for some reason they love your soffits as great safe place to build their nests. Well, this can also damage the wood and material that is there. And certainly, raccoons, squirrels and woodpeckers, love to destroy those parts of your home. So if you can, keep the animals and insects away and that will bode well for the longevity of that soffit. Well as always, thanks for watching this video. We'd LOVE to hear any of your feedback or comments after this video or at the end of our blog page. If you need help, with a soffit or fascia repair, you know where to find us. If you're in the Cincinnati area, Call (513) 724-0539 You can learn more about us at MasterMyList.com. And we've LOVE to be your friend on Facebook... Keyword: "ProMaster Craftsmen"

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 48 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman of Cincinnati
Director: Don Kennedy
Views: 1,738
Posted by: handymancincy on Jul 26, 2010

http://www.MasterMyList.com - Cincinnati, OH - Read full article at http://www.mastermylist.com/wood-rot/how-soffits-and-fascia-are-rotted-and-ruined/. - Call (513) 724-0539 for more information.

One of the most common home repair calls we get in the Cincinnati area are for soffit and fascia damage. Soffits and fascia are parts of the home that are particularly susceptible to water, storm and animal damage. Unfortunately, however, soffit and fascia construction defects abound in Cincinnati-area homes and therefore you need to be on guard to spot trouble before expensive home repairs drain your bank account.

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