A soffit is technically the underside of any architectural component such as a staircase, archway or ceiling. In today’s world however it is really only used to describe the underside of a roof overhang. The word itself comes from “sotto” the Italian word for under and “figgere” the Italian word for “to fix”. Soffits today include vents for good air circulation in the roof of the home to prevent damp. If you have never known or never noticed a soffit before you should head outside and stand underneath your roof overhang. Now look up and what you are looking at is a soffit.
It is important that all soffits are kept well maintained. They are part of the wider guttering system found at the house and are an integral cog in ensuring that rainwater is kept away from the house and drains correctly away. Any rotten parts or holes could easily mean that rainwater has entered the roof of your home and has begun to cause damp and further damage. It is much more expensive repairing a rotten attic space and roof than it is repairing a soffit so you should catch any problems as early as possible. If there is a hole in your soffit then a bird or dozen could easily get through and start building nests. By bringing in damp grass and leaving a lot of debris, birds can cause a lot of serious problems in the roof of your home. Squirrels are another critter that can gain access through a leaking soffit and cause destruction as it does so.
In the past, soffits have often been constructed from timber and this is the primary reason that rotting and other problems occur. Soffits are designed to protect the house from rainwater but they themselves are easily damaged by rainwater if they are made of wood. A much better solution is to install those made from a material such as uPVC. These are much cheaper, can fit into place more simply and with less work and don’t take nearly as much maintenance. The durable nature of uPVC means that soffits will last decades before any likely repair is needed. The same guarantees can’t be said about wood or timber which is prone to fading and warping in the sun and rotting in the rain.
PVC is a plastic material, but it is completely non-toxic. In fact it is recyclable which makes it friendlier to the environment. Because it comes in a whole variety of wood effect finishes you can have all the benefits of wood combined with all the benefits of plastic. You will love the savings you can make too. It is not just the upfront cost that will save you money either, but because uPVC is well insulated if will help keep the heat in the home during winter and help stop the sun from heating it up during summer. There are ongoing electricity and fuel savings to be had when you use uPVC on your home.
As well as checking the soffits once a year you should ensure the guttering is free from debris and working well and you will want to check the fascias too. These work with the soffits to protect the roofline from the elements and help drain the rain water away. These too should be made of uPVC if you really want to make the most of them.
Soffit and fascia boards are both important parts of the home and help the roof stay free of damp, rainwater and small nesting animals. To make sure your home is as protected as possible you should use PVC for these purposes and make regular checks each year to ensure there are no holes or leaks. You should pay close attention to the area around the soffit vents too making sure they aren’t damaged or blocked.