How does your home's soffit and fascia look? If those terms sound unfamiliar, don't worry. They may be exotic-sounding names, but they're actually very important pieces of your roof. The soffit is the name for the exposed surface of the overhanging portion of your roof. The fascia is the flat panel at the end of the roof's rafters. It's usually covered by your home's gutters.
These two elements are important because they provide direct access into your attic and the underside of your roof. If moisture penetrates these areas, your entire roof can be in danger. Here are three ways to prevent that kind of damage:
Put guards and end-caps on your gutters. The most effective way to protect the soffit and fascia is to keep water flowing into the gutters. The best way to do that is to keep the gutters free and clear of debris. When debris builds up in the gutters, it tends to weigh the gutters down. Eventually, the gutters will start to pull away from the roof, creating a small gap between the gutter and roof for water to leak through. That water runs straight over the fascia and soffit.
Gutter guards and caps keep debris out. They also prevent animals from getting into your gutters. In addition to installing guards, you should clean your gutters a couple of times a year to be sure that they're free of debris.
Install mesh under your shingles. Animals love getting inside roofs because it gives them a save and secure place to hide from the elements and store food. Birds and squirrels frequently get inside roofs by lifting lower shingles and clawing their way through vulnerable spots or small openings. Unfortunately, the openings they create also bring in heavy amounts of moisture, which can rot the soffit and fascia from the inside. You can prevent this by installing wire mesh under your shingles, at least on the lower part of your roof. Then, even if an animal can get under your shingles, it still won't be able to access the wooden surface of your roof.
Repair gaps in the attic. Sometimes roofing mistakes are made during construction. A common mistake is to not fully align the edge of the roof deck with the fascia. The result is that a small gap exists between those two elements. This may not be noticeable from the outside, but it's almost certainly noticeable from inside your attic. Go into your attic and look for moisture at the areas where your roof meets the fascia. If moisture exists, look for a gap. You'll likely need a professional roofing service such as David Construction, LLC to repair the gap, but it's a worthwhile expense. Continued moisture exposure over time could force you to get a whole new roof.
Talk to your roof repair company about your home's soffit and fascia. They can do an inspection and point out areas of vulnerability.