Few of us take the time to look above our front door on a day-to-day basis and pay little attention to the condition our roof, or roofline may be in, believing they will always take care of themselves. Although in the main that will usually be the case, it pays to keep an eye on the condition of your roofline to avoid missing any problems that could escalate at a later date.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to help you understand how to maintain, check and replace your soffits, fascia’s and bargeboards. We’ll run through how to pick out any causes for concern, what to do if they need replacing and the easiest way to do so.
Why should you look after your roofline?
Many people don’t know what a fascia or soffit is, or the jobs they perform. This is only natural because most of us aren’t roofing specialists, and only learn when it is time to address a specific problem. While they add a nice cosmetic finish to the edge of the roof, they actually serve a very important function, helping to protect the roof from the more extreme weather elements throughout the year. They help to seal the house from damp and the ingress of water, as well as the extremes of the cold and heat during the year.
If a problem does occur with any part of this structure it can lead to far larger problems if not addressed quickly. For older properties this is a particular concern as the roofline is likely to be made of timber which requires regular maintenance to keep it in full working order.
How to tell if your roofline needs repairing
Fascia’s and soffits made of timber need regular sanding and painting to ensure they do not start to decompose and rot away. If your roofline starts to show signs of any of the below you will need to take further action:
- Paint is flaking off and holes are starting to appear.
- Birds have begun to nest in the roof due to deterioration of the wood.
- Moisture in the fascia or soffits have begun to affect and move the joists in the roof.
These checks can be performed by carefully using a ladder to go up to inspect the areas in question. Although, on many occasions that will not be required because the cosmetic problems, such as peeling paint and widening holes, will usually be visible from the ground
Looking after your roofline
While UPVC roofline products require far less maintenance, not everyone wants to lose the style a timber roofline can offer. If you prefer to keep your timber soffits and fascia’s in place, they will require re-painting at least once a year, to help protect the wood from rotting and creating far larger problems in the long run. For fascia’s and bargeboards that have peeling or flaking paint, lightly sanding these areas will keep the wood in good condition and this should be done before a new coat of paint is applied.
Timber rooflines can also lead to ongoing repairs over time, so you will have to keep a close eye on their condition and if needed, make arrangements to have them repaired or replaced quickly. The soffits require annual waterproofing due to the amount of rain and air moisture they are exposed to throughout the duration of the year.
How to replace your roofline products
If you want to attempt to replace the roofline yourself (and we would strongly advise this is a job only for DIY experts with many years of experience) there are two options available:
- Cappit boards: This is essentially a repair job rather than a full replacement of the existing structure. It’s a cheaper option because the products being used are less substantial. The process is referred to as a ‘cap over’ by those working in the trade. The guttering is removed before attaching UPVC ‘cappit board’ onto the existing timber fascia, and then new gutting is put in place on the cappit board. If the timber is already rotten this method will not be able to prevent it from deteriorating further, which will eventually lead to the cappit board falling off. You will either have to replace it with a new timber fascia, or opt for the alternative below.
- Roofline replacement: This method offers a longer term solution and will require removing the wooden fascia before replacing it with a PVC fascia board. When this is being undertaken, you can check the condition of the felt edging, and if required, it can be replaced so your roofing system performs as expected.
Finding a trusted installation company
If DIY is not your strong point and you’d prefer to use a professional company to install a new roofline, knowing where to start can prove difficult. It’s a search most people have never performed before and with so many companies online claiming to be the best, finding one you know will do a great job isn’t always easy. We’d advise using either the TrustATrader.com or Checkatade websites. This makes finding a local trusted trade company much easier, knowing the job will be done by an experienced company with a great reputation recommended by other homeowners.
Keeping an eye on your roofline will ensure your property remains in good shape so you don’t have to face up to further problems down the line. This general overview of roofline products and how to look after them will help ensure your roofing system continues to operate as expected, keeping you and your property protected at all times.