Soffit and Fascia Repair on a Dayton Lane Historic Home
We were recently out in the Dayton Lane Historic Area(which is an awesome area if you get the chance to visit) for a soffit and fascia repair on a beautiful home that like many historic homes, needs some lovin’. When working in a historic area, it’s important to adhere to all the rules and regulations of the district to maintain the integrity of the homes classic character.
How to Spot and Treat Soffit and Fascia Wood Rot
Dayton Lane Historic Area
This soffit and fascia repair is a great example of how to deal with wood rot while maintaining a historic homes integrity. This blog details a problem (and solution!) common in many historic and older homes – Soffit and Fascia damage caused by a leaking gutter. Read below on how to spot, avoid, and repair soffit and fascia damage.
The Cause of Soffit and Fascia Damage
Soffit and fascia damage is typically caused by intrusive water damage. For a detailed article and video about how a properly built roof and gutter should work to avoid soffit and fascia damage, check out this past blog post. To keep things simple and avoid redundancy, I’ll give the short and simple version here of the two ways damage occurs:
Wood Rot Caused by Gutter Leak
1.) Ideally when a rain storm comes through, your roof should act as a system to direct rain from the top of your house to the ground without any water getting in. The rain hits the shingles, goes down the slope and into the gutters, then through a downspout to the ground safely away from your home.
However, residue is left on the edge of the shingles which will slowly drip down and get behind the gutter and rest on the soffit. Over time this will cause the soffit and fascia to develop wood rot. To protect this from happening, newer homes use a drip edge, which acts as a barrier to redirect those stray drips of water into the gutter. Drip edges are key to maintaining your home, but they are often missing or damaged on old homes.
2.)In this particular homes case the soffit damage was caused by holes in the box gutters. Box gutters differ from typical gutters because the flashing leads directly into the gutter. There is no need for a drip edge, but holes and separation can still develop, such as in the home in this post.
Regular Maintenance of Gutters Avoid Soffit and Fascia Damage
Undetected gutter leaks can cause a massive repair project, which is why it’s important to clean your gutters regularly. If your gutters are high off the ground, like in the case of this historic home where the roof was 30-feet up it may be a good idea to call a professional to take a look (unless you own a long ladder and are comfortable with heights).
Remember, just because a tree doesn’t hang over your roof doesn’t mean debris can’t get in your gutters. Even if you aren’t near any trees it’s always a good idea to check you gutters twice a year, once during a fall cleaning after the leaves fall and again in the spring to ensure no ice damage has occurred.
How to Spot Soffit or Fascia Damage Early
While the best way to check out a leak is to inspect your gutters, that isn’t a realistic option for many people who shouldn’t risk being high up on a ladder. Some great things to look for from the ground are:
Notice how wood rot has completely eaten a hole into the soffit
- Bubbling paint
- Water marks
- Constant “wet look” to wood
- Visible holes or gaps caused by wood rot in soffit or fascia like in the photos above and to the right
How to Repair Soffit and Fascia Damage
This home was a great challenge to repair and an even greater testament to the skills of two of our craftsmen, Ben Benson and Tim Fightmaster. As I said before, a historic home can be difficult because you must follow not only city ordinances but historic appropriateness, too. Our craftsmen did a fine job of repairing the damage, matching the original look and properly sealing the area to make sure it doesn’t happen again. How did they do this? By these steps, that’s how!
Fixed soffit to the original look
- Replacing the rotted wood
- Designing and painting the trim to match the original look
- Caulking the area for an extra watertight seal
- Getting on the roof and sealing any holes or leaks
What if I Spot Soffit or Fascia Damage?
If you spot soffit or fascia damage, it is a good idea to call a local home repair company. Stopping wood rot early on can save you hundreds of dollars by leaving salvageable wood. Waiting too long will mean there is no wood to work with and it will all need replaced instead of just some. If you’re in the Cincinnati area and notice any water damage to your soffits or fascia, you can give us a call at 513-724-0539 and we would be glad to help! Also, feel free to check out our other posts about Wood Rot Repair and Gutters.
Call (513) 724-0539