What Is A Soffit & What Does It Do?

Posted on July 13, 2022

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Do you know why soffits are a great addition to your home? If you don’t know about it and where they fit in your home, you’re not alone. Most people get confused when we talk about soffit, fascia, and eaves.

At OConnor Contracting, we do our best to educate home and business owners about their properties.

So to help you out, our experts have answered all the questions you may have related to soffits:

  • Where are soffits?
  • Do I really need them?
  • What are the different types of soffit?
  • Who installs them and how?
  • What would be the installation cost?

Where Can You See Soffits?

Whether you are buying a new home or renovating your property, you’ll always hear about eaves and soffit together. You’ll notice that your roof has a small area from where it extends and hangs past the exterior walls. This area is what you call an eave, and soffit is a part of it. You can see them under the eaves of a house.

What Is A Soffit?

These are boards or panels that cover the bottom of the eaves. You see, the eaves are everywhere- at the gable, around windows, along the roof edges. Other than these small areas, your porch is also a wider eave of your roof. Soffit boards cover the bottom of all the eaves.

If you don’t cover them, you’ll clearly see rafters- a part of your roof’s foundation or sheathing. And it’s a fact that you can’t leave your roof’s foundation exposed. So basically, soffits protect your rafters and attic from damage.

So, let’s dig deeper into the world of soffits and find out how they are helpful for you and other property owners.

Do You Need Soffits?

Do you have eaves, even a few inches long? Then it’s pretty much possible that you already have soffits. You can’t spot them from the street, but if you stand outside, under the edge of your roof, and look up, you’ll find them.

But instead of soffit boards, if you see a wooden structure or plumbing, it’s a sign that you don’t have soffits, and you need to get them right away. Because there’s not one, not two, but plenty of ways soffits protect the eaves and, ultimately, your home.

What Is The Use Of Soffits?

You’ll be surprised to know that soffits guard your attic and rafters against water, storm, pests, rotting, and more elements. Let’s understand how.

# Protection From Moisture, Wind, And Storm

Since they are at the bottom of your roof, soffits keep rainwater from seeping into your attic, foundation, and other roof components.

The attic is also connected to your roof’s structure, so you must ensure it’s free from moisture; because moisture is the biggest reason for wood rotting, mold, termites, and cracks.

Besides rainwater, inadequate ventilation also leads to moisture build-up in the attic. But vented soffits help with that too. There are holes in the boards for proper air circulation. When your attic is well-ventilated in every season, it’ll reduce the chances of moisture damage.

In addition, soffits protect attic and rafters from high winds, debris, and storm damage.

# Save On Energy Bills

When your attic and rooms are well-ventilated, it reduces the load on your heating and cooling systems. This means you are saving lots of energy and cutting down on the bills. Also, overloading is often dangerous.

# Keep The Utilities Safe And Accessible

Soffits provide access to the utilities that run through your roofs, such as plumbing and electrical lines.

If you ever want to look at those, you can simply ask a roofer to remove a few boards and put them back once your plumber or electrician is done with the work. This way, soffit boards also protect these utilities from any kind of damage.

# Enhance your exteriors

No one likes the look of sewage pipes and exposed rafters that make your home look tacky and unfinished. But soffits come in a variety of pretty designs and colors, improving the look of your home or property in a big way. You can choose different types, colors, and materials for soffits.

Now that you know how important soffits are, let’s look at the types of soffits you may need.


Image Source: westmorelandwindows.co.ok

What Are The Different Types Of Soffit?

There are mainly two types of soffits- vented and non-vented. Both of them have different roles to play.

• Vented Soffits

As the name suggests, vented soffit boards have holes that help in ventilation. Air can pass in through them freely. You can install them under your attic eaves.

This is a more advanced option. It allows air to flow through the attic area of your home. It’s a great way to keep your attic ventilated, dry, and free from mold and mildew.

Well-ventilated attic keeps the rest of your home under comfortable temperature and humidity levels.

• Non-vented soffits

These are solid boards with no holes. You can use non-vented soffits to cover roof areas that don’t need ventilation—for example, rakes- the end part on the side of the gable.

They basically enhance the look of your home. It gives a grand finish to your exteriors by covering the wooden ends of your roof. With appealing soffits, you can increase the resale value of your home.

Different Soffit Materials

Soffit panels are made of many materials like aluminum, vinyl, and wood. Each one of these is quite different from the other.

1. Vinyl Soffits

Vinyl is a type of plastic material. It costs the least of all materials. However, we’d only recommend it for areas with a normal climate. That’s because vinyl isn’t tough enough to tolerate extreme weather conditions for long.

2. Metals Soffits

Aluminum soffits are very much popular and durable. Copper is the most long-lasting and sturdy material; hence, costly. Some property owners go for steel and zinc- also great options.

For Wisconsin, you need a stronger material that does not rot due to moisture. Since wood rots quickly, you may want to strike it off your list. If you want to use the most robust material, go for fiber cement. But it’s costly. So, the next best option is metal.

How To Install Soffits?

We would never recommend working on your roof yourself if you are not a specialist. It’s the job of roofing experts.

Even if you have a team of helpers, all roofing tasks need extreme precision, safety, and time. Even a tiny mistake becomes a huge issue later on. So, instead of saving money, you’ll end up spending more on repairs and replacements.

Since soffits are a part of your roof, you need to call a roofing contractor with a lot of experience. You can ask them several questions such as:

  1. Which parts of my roof need soffit?
  2. How many boards do I need?
  3. Which material would be good for me?
  4. How thick should it be?
  5. How much time will you take to complete this project?
  6. What would it cost?

It takes a lot of measurements and a dozen tools to make soffits. The cost depends on labor charges and the type of soffit; that includes its material, length, thickness, the number of boards, and painting, if any.

You can contact us for a free consultation. Our team would be happy to take you through the whole process.

Free Consultation On Soffit Installation

If you need someone for soffit installation, repair, or replacement, we can do it within your budget.

At OConnor Contracting, we’ve been helping property owners in Buffalo and nearby areas. Their honest and helpful reviews keep us going.

When you discuss budget, some roofers may compromise on quality. That’s where we differ from them. Our team never takes risks with your safety and financial goals. Team OConnor Contracting works with complete honesty.

If you need help with soffits, you can call us at (716) 600-7663 for a quick consultation. We promise you that our experts will simplify everything and create a reasonable masterplan for you.

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