Your shingles can’t handle protecting your house on their own. Many different parts make up a roof; the vents, facia, eavestroughs, and flashings all work hard to protect your home. So, you should regularly inspect the different parts of your roof and make sure you consult a professional contractor if you suspect that something is wrong.
The soffits of your roof are the perforated pieces that run underneath your eaves, facing the ground. While they may initially seem insignificant, the soffits play a vital role in the well-being of your roof.
Their first function is the ventilation of your roof.
The soffit vents allow the cool exterior air to move up and out of your attic to prevent the warm air from remaining inside. This helps improve the cost-efficiency of heating and cool your home by maintaining a neutral temperature in your attic.
An unvented or poorly ventilated soffit, in turn, can trap extreme heat or cold inside your roof and encourage moisture build-up that can become mould in your attic.
Read our article about the importance of having functioning vents and proper insulation in your attic in ‘Roof Vents and Attic Insulation – How They Extend the Life of Your Roof.’
Aesthetically, the soffits hide the rafters from view and help prevent mould and mildew from setting into the wood. By protecting the rafters from heavy rainfall and snow build-up, the soffit prevents critical areas of your home from moisture damage.
Similar and often grouped with soffit, fascia is the solid piece above the soffit, facing outwards. Unlike the soffit, it’s unvented and therefore used primarily as a barrier between your home and runoff moisture and potential critters that would like to nest in your attic.
It also holds up the weight of the gutter, which is no easy task during heavy rainfall or through the winter thaw characteristic of our region. This sort of heavy wear and tear means that the fascia can be aesthetically damaged: to keep your house looking its best and ensure that your roof continues to function, keep a close eye on the fascia, primarily where it supports the gutter.
Most homeowners are familiar with the maintenance of their gutter system that requires them to continue to work correctly. Its role in moisture management of the home is extensive: the job of directing excess water does more than protect your home from water damage.
Draining excess precipitation at a controlled speed protects plants close to the overhang of your roof and maintains your soil quality. The system also redirects potential floods that could end up in your basement.
The eavestrough provides the water somewhere to go and a path to take to that destination. This prevents physical and flood damage to the home and yard, as well as keeping your roof safe from rot and mould.
Flashings are bent metal or plastic pieces that help direct water away from under the shingles. Their application and caulking must be precise, so you must research the roofing contractor to ensure they have experience and that their workers are professionally trained.
The quality of your shingles and the quality of their installation is the most valuable research you will do when getting a new roof. Read our helpful article ‘When is a More Expensive Shingle Worth it: Lessons From Moneyball.’
Thinking of buying a new home? The pitch of your roof helps snow exit cleanly off of your roof. Read more in our article ‘What is Roof Pitch and Why is it Important?’.