Spotting Roof Trouble Early

Spotting Roof Trouble Early

How To Fix A Rotted Roof Soffit

by William Gerard

Though many of your roof repairs involve shingles and flashing, you will eventually have to fix a damaged soffit. Soffits are horizontal boards under the roof eaves that hide rafter tails and act as ventilation for the home. However, soffits are prone to water damage caused by ice dams, faulty gutters, or decay from pests. You should repair the damage immediate to avoid it spreading to other soffits. Here are some tips to repair rotten soffits.

Remove Molding and Fascia Board

Before you begin, gather your materials. You will need safety glasses, 6d nails, screws, pressure-treated lumber, thin hardboard, one-inch lumber, a hammer, wood primer, putty, paintable caulking, a reciprocating saw, and a circular saw for this project. Identify the soffits that need repair and climb a ladder to access the damage. If you have a pest problem, you will need to get rid of that first.

When you locate the rotted piece, you need to remove the molding. Put on safety glasses to protect yourself from debris and pull off the shingle mold by inserting the pry bar below the molding and in between the shingles and the vertical fascia board. The shingle molding can be reused later if it isn't damaged.

Pull off the fascia board on the rafter ends. A rotted fascia board is commonly a sign of a rotted soffit. Even if it isn't damaged, replace it anyway along with the soffits. 

Free the Soffit

Release the soffit by cutting the seams with a utility knife. If it has nails connecting it to the molding, pull them off with the pry bar. Take the soffit out and examine the eaves for rotted rafters. Cut rotted pieces of rafter with a reciprocating saw and repair them with mending plates or braces.

Replace the Soffit

If the soffit isn't too damaged, use it as a guide to cut a replacement from thin hardboard with a circular saw. Apply a primer or wax wood sealer to preserve the wood and let it dry. Replace the fascia using the old one as a guide for cutting a replacement and coat it with primer.

Attach the new soffit and fascia board with 6d nails on the molding that secures it to the house. Insert the molding and inspect the fascia and soffit for seams that could leak. Fix the seams with paintable caulking and hide nails with wood putty, allowing the putty to dry for half an hour. Apply a coat of exterior paint on the soffit and fascia, let dry, and apply another coat in 24 hours.

You should be able to fix a rotted soffit by following these steps. If you have major roof damage or don't trust your skills, contact a professional roofing company.


About Me

Spotting Roof Trouble Early

Do you know how to tell if you have problems with your flashing, loose shingles, or damaged tar pitch? Well, I didn't either until I experienced some of those issues on my own. One day, I realized that my roof was leaking and that I needed to find a solution fast. After contacting a professional roofing company, they were able to solve my troubles and teach me the signs of trouble. I want you to avoid the same types of hassles, which is why my blog is filled to the brim with information about roofing and home ownership. You never know, these tips could really come in handy!