We aim to teach readers of this blog everything they might want or need to know about roofs. Pride ourselves in providing you with exactly what you need on your roof. Our reputation as some of the best roofers in the industry and what one reviewer claimed as a “great, ethical company that wants to do things right for its customers!”. In this continuing series on keeping your roof in shape, we are sharing resources, tips, tricks, and things to look out for with roof maintenance. This article is all about soffits and their role in a roof.
A soffit is a complicated-sounding word whose function is to help regulate the temperature of a roof. Soffits are those vents on the underside of the overhanging part of roof (this overhang is known as the eave). And connect the bottom of the roof with the wall of the structure, most often connecting to the building’s siding.
As a vent, soffits serve to pull air into the roof, once again regulating how hot or cold the system gets for attic ventilation. This air travels through the roof and attic space and escapes through the vents along with the highest points of the roof known as ridge vents.
These attic vents to the roof are made of a variety of materials. While in older homes soffits are likely made of wood or metal, many new buildings are constructed with soffits that are vinyl, PVC, or other composite plastics or metal.
Noted to provide attic ventilation, soffits also work to regulate the temperature on surface of the roof. As soffits are large vents, when one is damaged or missing, this leaves a large opening to the inside of your roof.
In case you didn’t know, the inside of your roof is inside of your home! This is your attic space and if left open it can be a welcoming place for animals like birds, bats, raccoons, squirrels, mice, and a number of rodents or even bugs.
Soffits should be regularly inspected to make sure that they are providing an adequate barrier from entry into your home from unwanted visitors. Another reason for the regular inspection is to ensure that water has not been leaking through into your roof. Such a leak typically comes from a result of your rain gutters, which may be visible from the damage water causes to the fascia or boards capping the end of the roof. Rain gutters that are not properly maintained can lead to backups and a number of home-related issues.
In the next article of this roofing maintenance series, we will be discussing Fascia and its role in the roofing system. Animals will use soffits to hide in and protect themselves from predators and even make their nests there. A lot of damage can result from animals make the soffit space their home. And among this damage in the inhibited ventilation of the attic. Signs that animals have invaded the attic space through the soffit are largely obvious. You can spot these through visual inspection, looking for gaps, holes, and openings that appear to have be clawed or chewed through. It’s important that these are quickly addressed by a professional.
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To keep animals out of this space, be sure to keep your landscaping away from the vent space. While crawling wall vines might look beautiful, they can greatly affect the building underneath. Remember to also trim back branches of trees that might serve as a direct highway for small animals to use to invade.
When it comes to checking for water damage, soffits will also suffer the effects that prolonged water exposure causes. Be on the lookout for discoloration (which is usually brownish or yellow), sagging, misformation, or missing sections of this venting.
Proper venting of your attic and your roof through the soffit is very important. If you have a damaged soffit it should be quickly addressed and if your soffit is damaged because of leaking. Or faulty roof this should be dealt with by professionals immediately.