Soffits are the horizontal beams that can be seen looking up at the underside of the eaves.
Like fascias, soffits seal off the ends of the rafters from view from the outside and present a finished appearance to the roof.
However, they play several very important roles in addition to contributing to the good looks of your house.
Waterproofing and ventilation
Soffits, along with fascias, seal your roof against the rain and prevent the ingress of pests, such as birds and squirrels.
Ironically however, if your roof is completely sealed against the outside, waterproof and airtight, you will most likely suffer problems with condensation in your attic, which could well lead to more serious problems with mould or rot.
Why is this?
Every dwelling will have moisture-laden air circulating around, from baths, showers, kettles, cooking, clothes drying: even breathing produces water vapour! A lot of this moisture will find its way out of your house or flat through open windows and doors and vents in the windows.
However, inevitably some finds its way into the roof space, which is generally much colder than the rest of the house. Here, the water vapour condenses on cold surfaces, if it has nowhere to go. Wet surfaces cause mould, damp and rot.
The solution is ventilation, to allow a steady stream of outside air to carry off any water vapour before it condenses. Clearly, we cannot drill holes in the roof, or rain will get in.
The answer is often to ventilate the underside of the soffits, which lie under the eaves of your house. Vented soffits are fitted with grids or slots in the ventilation holes, which allow air to pass through but prevent pests gaining access to your roof space. Vented soffits on opposite sides of your roof provide airflow across the whole space, preventing any build-up of condensation.
The most popular choice nowadays is PVC, which demands low maintenance but is lightweight and long-lasting.
Typically, we provide a 9mm hollow PVC soffit board which is attractively profiled like cladding. We can fit ventilation discs as required.
We also offer a flat, solid soffit board with optional integrated ventilation strips, or we can fit ventilation to order in a plain soffit.
We also offer traditional timber soffits, which can be painted to match existing woodwork.
PVC soffits are available in a number of colour options, such as white, rosewood, oak, black and now, very popular anthracite.
The best care for your soffits and fascias is to keep your gutters clean and free from any blockages or vegetation. This prevents the gutters from overflowing, which can rot wooden fascias and soak soffits and masonry or brick work, causing serious problems due to moisture ingress.
It is also important to have your roof checked regularly, including the roof edge. Improper tile or shingle overhang can allow water to get behind the fascia and cause damage to the soffits.
LC Joinery, Roofing and Building Work are assessed, approved and highly recommended members of the Guild of Master Craftsmen and the Federation of Master Builders, and we are a Which? Trusted Trader.
Talk to us
LC Joinery, Roofing and Building Work are specialists in all aspects of roofing work. We can inspect your roof structure and give you, expert, qualified advice.
We can fully guarantee any and all work that we do, as we only ever use fully insured, time-served, qualified, experienced tradesmen.