There is more to installing a shingled roof than just the shingles; every roof system is made of many parts that work together to create an entire structure.
Soffits are a mostly unseen part of the installation; however, unless they are kept in good condition by your roof service, they could cause major problems with your roof.
What Are The Soffits On Your Roof?
The soffits on a roof installation are the horizontal pieces installed underneath the end of the roof eaves, spanning from the side of the house to the end of the rafters.
Usually capped by a piece of fascia, soffits create an attractive, enclosed appearance at the eaves and hide the rafters from view.
Although not all homes have soffits, roof services will generally install soffits due to the important function this component has.
What Is The Role of Soffits?
Soffits must be ventilated; they cover the underside of the roof rafters and protect the rafters and decking from the elements.
They prevent water from blowing up into the rafters from underneath and protect the underside from birds, mice, squirrels, wasps, and other pest animals or insects that might nest under there.
Soffits are designed with ample ventilation built in so they can protect the area under the rafters without impeding attic ventilation.
Without enough ventilation in the soffit, it’s possible for ice damming to occur at the eaves.
What Materials Are Used for Soffits?
More recently, vinyl has become another favorite material for soffits since it is durable and easy for roof services to use.
Vinyl soffits can even be installed to match vinyl siding on the house.
Does Every Roof Need Soffits?
Although some roof styles do not include soffits, they are recommended for most installations for their protective features.
Soffits may not be as necessary in areas where there is little wind and less of a problem of water getting blown up into the rafters; however, it is inexpensive protection for those critical support structures that can suffer from rot if they get wet very often.
Although some roof companies might leave the soffit off to quote a lower price on an installation, this could be detrimental to the condition of the rafters and cost more in later repairs.
The Soffit - A Functional and Important Roof Part
Sometimes it’s less seen parts of a system that have very important jobs; soffits are one such component of your roof installation that protect and ventilate your roof.
If you have a roof with some type of pitched design or includes eaves that overhang the side of your house, chances are your roof service will recommend installing soffits or replacing current ones if they are in poor condition.
Soffits can help your entire roof last longer and protect the top structural elements of your house!