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What is a Soffit? What is Fascia? – A Homeowner’s Guide

Some of the most common calls we receive at ProMaster Home Repair & Handyman of Cincinnati are inquiries about water damage and wood rot issues around a home’s roofline. Many customers have questions about the damage, where it comes from, and how it affects the various components of their roofline. However, they may also feel confused or intimidated because they aren’t familiar with the terminology associated with roofline construction. If terms such as soffit, fascia, eave, or gable leave you scratching your head, you’ve come to the right place! Adam Crowell, Master Craftsman at ProMaster, is here to help as only our Home Repair Heroes can.

Get to Know Your Roofline 

In the video below, Adam explains how a roofline is constructed and the names of the various components, along with how and where water damage may occur along the edge of your roof.

Eaves and Soffits

As Adam described, the eave is the part of your roof that extends past the wall. This is important for water flow. If the eave did not extend past the wall, then water would simply run straight down the wall or flow back up under the roof every time it rained. This would create a myriad of problems. Some homes don’t have very pronounced eaves, but even abbreviated eaves help move water away from the wall. Eaves also help to shade the house from the sun, as well as adding to the beauty and appeal of the home’s design.

While the eave is part of the roof, soffits are materials that protect the underside of it. Soffits can be made from a wide variety of materials including vinyl, wood, aluminum, steel, or composite. Some soffits are vented to improve airflow and minimize moisture build-up. Soffits also provide a barrier preventing birds or other unwanted guests from inviting themselves into your home.

ProMaster Craftsman Andrew Hall repaired this severely damaged soffit and fascia, restoring it to better-than-new condition.
Check out the difference in this soffit and fascia repair made by ProMaster Craftsman Andrew Hall

Fascia Board

The fascia board is a thin longboard that runs along the entire roofline of your house. Fascia boards perform several important functions. They support the roof structure, cover and protect rafters and trusses, and support the weight of the gutter system. Since the fascia board itself is typically made of wood, it is wrapped or capped with another material such as aluminum or vinyl to protect it from the elements.

Dustin Zamora, a Craftsman Apprentice at ProMaster, repaired this damaged fascia.
Dustin Zamora a Craftsman Apprentice at ProMaster nailed this fascia repair


Gutters are crucial in protecting your home from water damage. They move water off of your roof and away from your home. It is vital that gutters and downspouts remain clean. Many of the wood rot issues that our craftsmen diagnose stem from clogged gutters. As Adam noted in the video, when water cannot flow freely through the gutters, it backs up and is often forced through the gap between the gutters and the fascia board. This can lead to wood rot on the fascia board. 

Gutters can also be clogged with ice in the winter. Since water expands as it freezes, these ice dams can force moisture up under the shingles or down onto the fascia board. It can also add excess weight to the gutters that the fascia board cannot support.

As Adam pointed out, the small areas where the gable board meets the shingles can also be prone to damage, particularly during a snowy winter. Snow and ice can gather in this space and just sit there until they slowly melt. Over time, this can potentially lead to water damage.

Take Action!

If you notice a damaged area around your roofline, it is important to act quickly. When wood gets wet, it begins to rot. Once wood rot takes hold, it will not get smaller. It will only grow larger. It will also not stop on its own. It must be stopped through intervention and repair. Addressing the issue when the affected area is small is key to containing the damage and avoiding a large and extensive (not to mention, expensive) repair.

This soffit and fascia were severely damaged, but ProMaster Craftsman Dale Carpenter performed a perfect repair.
This soffit and fascia were severely damaged but ProMaster Craftsman Dale Carpenter saved the day

The Home Repair Heroes at ProMaster are experts at diagnosing and repairing every type of roofline issue. Are your gutters clogged? Is water leaking between the gutter and the fascia board? Do you notice a sagging area in the soffit? Or maybe you just know there is a problem, but you aren’t sure what it is. Never fear! At ProMaster, our minds are always in the gutter…in the roof repair sort of way…not in that other way!

Whatever the problem, you can rest assured that our highly trained, multi-disciplined craftsmen will repair the issue using quality materials and the absolute best craftsmanship of any home repair company in Cincinnati. Not only that, we always deliver on-time and family-friendly service. You won’t have to wait for hours, wondering when your craftsman will show up. We set exact appointment times and we stick to them. It’s just one more way that our friendly, courteous professionals go above and beyond to serve our customers.

If you are concerned about an issue with your roofline, don’t wait! Schedule an appointment online or contact us by phone,  email, or text message today.

Additional Resources

In the meantime, our blog is filled with resources to help you care for the biggest investment in your life: your home. Here are a few more posts with more valuable information about maintaining the health and structure of your home’s roofline.

Six Common Gutter Problems: Cincinnati Gutter Repair

Gutter Cleaning is Critical for the Health of Your Cincinnati Area Home

How to Remove Ice Dams from Your Roof

Soffit and Fascia Repair on a Dayton Lane Historic Home

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