Soffit is the material that covers the overhang between the exterior wall and the roof edge. Far from just a decorative component, soffits serve many practical purposes. In this blog, local renovation company Exterior Qualities Home Improvement shares a closer look at this essential roofing component.
Soffits Add a Clean Look
Typical sloped roofing systems have rafter tails that extend beyond the exterior wall and forms an overhang. While certain architectural styles like Craftsman leave the rafters exposed, other roofing styles cover this overhang with soffits for a clean look. Soffits typically match the trim color, though one can choose a different color that also works with the roofing and siding.
Traditional soffits are made from wood boards. If installed by a knowledgeable roof replacement contractor, the spacing between these wood boards would allow attic ventilation (more on this below) among its other functions. Alternatively, composite and vinyl soffits are available. These products usually have built-in vents and interlocking components that ensure proper spacing.
Soffits Protect the Attic
Exposed rafter tails leave the attic open to infiltration by windblown debris and small animals, including nest-building ones like wasps. Without soffits, the roof would also be vulnerable to uplift caused by wind hitting the exterior wall below it. During a storm, the wind can be strong enough to separate the roof from the house.
Soffits Ensure Proper Attic Ventilation
Soffits serve yet another function, and it’s the most important one. It serves as the intake vent in the attic ventilation system. Sloped roofs have vents at the ridges, which allows hot and moist air to escape. This helps keep the attic cool and prevents damage to the roof support structure. As heat and moisture escape at the ridges, the resulting negative pressure pulls fresh air through the soffit vents. Soffit vent size is important to ensure continuous ventilation: too wide and the heat dissipates to other directions. Too narrow would defeat its purpose, as it would allow cool, fresh air in at a much slower rate.
Exterior Qualities Home Improvement is your leading provider of roof repair and installation services. Give us a call at (419) 779-6566 or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Toledo, OH, and nearby areas.