Many property owners forget about their rental property’s fascia and soffit. Usually, they only pay attention to them only when there’s a problem. The fascia and soffit play an essential part in maintaining your property — aside from giving your property major curb appeal, they protect your rafters and roof from damage, pests, and more. To keep your property in perfect condition, it’s crucial to select the right material for its fascia and soffit.
Why Do You Need a Fascia and Soffit?
The fascia and soffit are two parts of the roof that most homeowners have probably never heard of. Also known as rafters (fascia) and eaves (soffit), they function to reduce roof maintenance. You can find the fascia and soffit directly underneath your roof overhang, forming what looks like a thick platform. The fascia is the exposed section, while the soffit is the underside or “belly” of the fascia. But what do they do, and why are they so important?
#1 They provide ventilation
Hot air naturally rises and eventually reaches the attic space. Most fascia and soffits have built-in vent systems that allow the hot air to escape. Your property needs to be well-ventilated, as the buildup of hot air can result in overheating, which can lead to long-term damage to your rental. Lack of ventilation, especially in the attic space, can also lead to mold buildup, causing wooden materials to rot.
#2 They act as a barrier to external elements
Aside from offering ventilation, the fascia and soffit are designed to seal your property’s interior from external elements. When properly installed, the fascia and soffit can protect your roof rafters from dirt and rainwater, as well as birds, squirrels, vermin, and insects that may build nests inside your attic. Keeping a home rodent-proof is necessary for keeping the property up to code. Additionally, the fascia provides a much easier process for securely installing a gutter.
#3 They give your roof a finished look
Roofs just don’t look complete without fascia and soffits. They provide your property with a finished look, keeping your roof rafters neatly hidden away. If your property doesn’t have fascia and soffits, don’t worry — older homes typically exposed the rafters as part of the property’s style. The good thing is that installing fascia and soffits is a fairly simple process that doesn’t take too long.
What Material Should You Use for Your Fascia and Soffit?
It’s important to choose a sturdy and low-maintenance material for your fascia and soffit. Many traditional homes feature fascia and soffits made out of wood and aluminum, but many homeowners today are choosing synthetic materials such as vinyl because of their durability and easy maintenance.
If you’re in the process of getting your home ready for new renters, we’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of each to help you decide which material is the best choice for your rental property.
Wood offers homeowners the most flexibility in terms of the appearance of their fascia and soffit. Aside from being environmentally friendly, wooden soffits and fascias look good on almost any home. Also, wood is available in a variety of types such as cedar, oak, and mahogany. You can even paint wood your preferred color. Whatever style you’re trying to accomplish, you can probably do it with wood fascia and soffits.
The downside is that wooden fascia and soffits are often expensive. While there are cheap wood types, when it comes to your property, it’s best to choose quality wood products. Wooden soffits and fascias are also prone to weathering — if it always gets wet, it can crack and lose its shape. This means that wooden soffits and fascias need frequent treating and staining to prevent them from deteriorating. If you’re on a tight budget, wood may not be the ideal choice.
Aluminum fascia and soffits are extremely durable — you can expect them to last at least twenty-five years! Unlike wood, aluminum won’t corrode, crack, or deteriorate even under the harshest weather conditions. Since aluminum is water-resistant, it is an excellent choice especially if you live in a rainy part of the country. Although aluminum may save you money in the long-run, the initial upfront cost may put a dent in your finances. What’s more, is that most aluminum fascia and soffits are made of recycled aluminum, making it an environmentally-friendly choice!
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of aluminum fascia and soffits is that they don’t provide good insulation. More heat may escape from your roof, resulting in chilly indoor temperatures and higher energy bills since your HVAC will have to work twice as hard to warm the property.
Because of vinyl’s affordability, it has become a popular choice among property owners. Its cost is significantly lower than that of wood or aluminum, but aside from its price, vinyl offers plenty of other benefits, as well. Vinyl is one of the most versatile and durable materials for home improvement, being able to withstand strong winds and debris. Also, vinyl fascia and soffits will never fade, rot, or break over time. This means that you won’t have to worry about damage due to storms.
Vinyl is also very low-maintenance. Once installed, you only have to clean the fascia and soffit occasionally by spraying it with a hose. Unlike wood, vinyl doesn’t have to be repainted over time. However, many homeowners don’t like the unnatural look of vinyl, so if you’re concerned about your property’s aesthetics, vinyl may not be the best choice.
The Best Choice
Ultimately, the material you choose depends on your personal preferences. Wood, aluminum, and vinyl each come with their pros and cons. When deciding on the right material for your fascia and soffit, you should consider maintenance costs — as a property owner, you’ll need to keep your property in perfect condition to attract tenants, so choosing function over style may be better in the long-run.
At Luxury Property Care, we can help you decide which fascia and soffit material works best for your rental investment. Get in touch with us today by calling (561) 944-2992 or filling out our contact form.