Many Calgary AB homeowners ask what is the difference between a soffit and fascia when contractors are about to install their new roof. True enough, the confusion is understandable. Sometimes, homeowners mistake fascias for soffits and the other way around even if reputable roofing contractors explain the difference on the site.

After reading this post, you’ll know:

  • What are soffits
  • How to install soffits
  • The best way to maintain soffits
  • What are fascias
  • The fascia installation process
  • The right way to maintain the fascia of your roof
  • The difference as to what is soffit and fascia

What Are Soffits?

Soffits are the underside of any eaves your residential property roof might have. Therefore, only properties with sloped roof shapes where eaves exist will have soffits. A clear example is gable soffit where the roofing part exists in the undersides of eaves.

The material of the soffit board varies depending on their manufacturer. Common materials include the following:

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Aluminum
  • Steel
  • Fiber cement
  • Hard wood

What is the difference between a soffit and fascia? Soffits act as vents that help your property breathe. While it sounds counter-intuitive with your insulation efforts, good air circulation ensures your attic does not become damp due to internal precipitation that poor ventilation causes.

Taking note of these additional factors will help you achieve excellent residential roof ventilation.

The presence of precipitation-caused moisture can lead to mold growth. In turn, this can harm the health of anyone in the household.

aluminum fascia board with composite board soffit

Soffits are right underneath the eaves of your roof. They are installed perpendicular to your fascia boards.

How Do You Install Soffits?

What is the difference between a soffit and fascia? True enough, soffit and fascia installation procedures parallel each other. Here is the complete soffit installation process.

  • Contractors will measure the total square footage where they will install your soffit
  • Then, they will cut 12-foot standard distribution length of soffit material to their measurements
  • Next, they will check of all surfaces of the underside eaves frames are uniform, straight, and consistent.
  • Then, they will fix utility lines and place it in inconspicuous areas where they will not become procedural obstacles.
  • Next, they will remove your gutters to avoid damage.
  • With their precision measurements, the contractors can quickly insert the soffit panels to pre-made channels.
  • Lastly, they will secure it with trim nails to finalize the process.
eaves with no soffits primed for installation

Contractors will ensure the frame underneath your eaves are uniform and aligned before installing your soffit boards.

The Best Way to Keep Soffits Clean

The soffit and fascia repair cost can get high if you fail to maintain both roof parts. To make sure your soffit is always clean and can have a lifespan as long as the property, here are some maintenance procedures you can do:

  • Create a cleaning solution: Mix 2 parts of laundry detergent to 2 parts of warm water. Have gallons of this cleaning material to kill mildew and mold
  • Next, use a large sponge to contain the cleaning solution and scrub it over the soffit. Concentrate on reaching areas with heavy dirt trapped in their cavities
  • Then, use your garden hose to use pressurized water to rinse the soffit areas
  • Repeat the process to the other soffit areas.
  • If you find sticky spots, you can use paint or razor scrapers to remove them. Try to avoid scratching your soffits in the process.

What Are Fascias?

To answer precisely the question of “what is the difference between a soffit and fascia?”, it pays to know what a fascia is and why it exists.

Fascia boards run along the roofline. In fact, they occupy the space between your roof edge and gutters. True enough, it is where the fasteners of your gutter attach to, which make them essential parts of a roof.

Therefore, you must always take good care of your roof fascia. Aside from being the foundation of your gutter system of your Calgary AB home, they create a smooth and even appearance along the edge of your roof.

True enough, if you have a metal roof system, then it will look more residential than industrial with the presence of a beautiful fascia.

The most common fascia board material contractors use for building are the following:

  • Wood
  • Fir
  • Vinyl
  • Aluminum
  • Composite
a white board fascia along the slope of a roof

Fascia boards are right below your roof edge and right above your gutter systems.

The Fascia Installation Procedure

What is the difference between a soffit and fascia? You bet there is a major difference when it comes to installation procedures. True enough, anyone who repairs soffit and fascia or who installs them knows the biggest difference is the simplicity of fascia board installation.

Here are the complete installation steps:

  • First, contractors will remove the gutters and the first row of shingles or tiles. For metal roofs, contractors can bend it a bit upward to clear the work area.
  • Second, they will check the rafter feet and conduct repairs where necessary. The rafter feet hold the soffit and fascia systems together all over the house.
  • Third, once contractors find both rafters and soffits to be in good condition, they will install fascias with long shank nails.
  • Lastly, they will reinstall your gutter system.

Take note that during installation, contractors will not repair any part of your rafter feet. However, they will have to install them before putting up both soffits and fascias.

a gutter system installed along an aluminum fascia board

Contractors will have to remove your existing gutter system before replacing your fascia. They will also make repairs on the rafter feet of your roof.

Keeping Your Fascia Clean

Similar to soffit maintenance, you can use the same procedure to clean your fascia boards.

What is the Difference Between a Soffit and Fascia?

The major answer to this question is to remember that fascias are where contractors install your gutter system. They are the space between your gutters and the roof edge.

On the other hand, soffits are the underside of your eaves directly perpendicular with your fascia boards. They provide excellent ventilation for your attic and improve your overall property insulation.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know what is the difference between a soffit and fascia in terms of function, installation, and maintenance, you can confidently have your contractor install both roofing parts. In addition, you know whether your trusty contractor installed them effectively too!

However, even with effective regular maintenance for both parts, you will inevitably have to replace your soffits and fascias over time. When this period comes, it pays to have a trusty Calgary AB roofing contractor to help you.

We at No Payne Roofing provide excellent soffit and fascia services including their installation, repair, and replacement services for Calgary AB homes. Our 20 plus years of roofing experience will definitely help give you the precise and life-improving soffit and fascia installation and overall roof service you need.