Rotting Fascia: How to Prevent and Fix it

Is your fascia rotting?

The fascia is responsible for holding your gutters up and preventing water damage to your home. If you notice your fascia is rotting, you have a problem on your hands.

The fascia is an important part of your roof and if it has begun to rot, it may be due to improper installation or an old roof that needs to be replaced.

damaged gutters

What Does the Fascia Board Do?

The fascia is a wooden board that is mounted on your roof near the eaves. The eaves is the section of the roof that overhangs your walls where the water runs off.

The fascia is known to be sturdy so it can support the weight of your gutters. It helps protect your home from water damage.

The fascia is located next to the soffit and the shingles and is an integral part of your roof.

Causes of a Rotting Fascia

A rotting fascia is not fun to deal with. When your fascia begins to rot, it can ruin the structural stability of the fascia. The gutter system is usually attached to the fascia with gutter hangers, so when the fascia rots, it can cause your gutters to sag.

When your gutters sag, it can lead to them overflowing and causing more potential damage to your home, such as water damage to your foundation, siding, and the interior of your home.

When your fascia is rotting, there is a good chance there is something wrong with the installation of your roof or gutters.

Improper Drip Edge Installation

The drip edge is the most common reason why your fascia may be damaged.

The drip edge is responsible for running water from your roof into your gutters. It is a small piece of metal or vinyl that will keep water from dripping between your fascia and gutters.

If the drip edge is improperly installed (or missing), water can buildup between in the fascia leading to water damage and rotting.

The drip edge should be completely covering the fascia. It should bridge the gap from your roof to your gutters. If you notice a small gap, that could be the root cause of your rotting fascia.

If you experience this problem, you can always seal the gap left by your drip edge with sealant.

Overflowing Gutters

If your gutters are clogged or not working properly, they can begin to overflow. This usually starts with leaves and debris jamming up the gutters and downspouts.

When the gutters overflow, the water in the gutters can splash back onto the roof and seep into the shingles and fascia. Any moisture that makes its way into the roof will eventually cause rotting.

Note: If your gutters are sagging, it’s a sign that the fascia is rotting. A rotted fascia causes the gutter brackets to slip out.

Buildup of Moisture from Strong Weather

Sometimes if you experience strong wind in additional to heavy rainfall, water can enter the fascia even if you have a properly installed gutter system.

The wind will force the downfall of rain into the parts of your home that should remain dry.

If you experience heavy winds during rainfall, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your fascia to make sure it’s not rotting.

Old Roof

When your roof is old, it’s normal for the it to start to degrade and fall apart. If your fascia is rotting, it may be a sign that you need a roof replacement.

It’s normal to replace your roof every 15-25 years, so instead of just fixing the fascia, your home may due for a roof replacement.

The time between roof replacement depends a lot on the weather in your area, including stuff like humidity, rainfall, and seasonal weather.

What to Do About a Damaged Fascia

rotted fascia

If your fascia is damaged, there are a variety of action steps you can take. It all depends on the damages, what your budget is, and your specific scenario.

It can be easy to tell if your fascia is damaged. If you noticed dark spots, sagging, paint wearing away, or any cracks/holes, its a sign you need repairs done.

If the damage is minor, all your fascia might need is a fresh coat of paint and to be resealed to prevent water damage.

If the damage is more serious, you may need to remove your gutters and have the fascia replaced. If the area of damage is small, it might make sense to only replace that area.

It all depends on your situation.

How to Keep a Fascia Board in Good Condition

There are a few methods to keep your fascia board protected from the elements so it avoids water damage.

Install a Drip Edge

A drip edge is an important part of your roofs design. It ensures that water falls off of your roof and into the gutters. Without a drip edge (or an improperly installed one), water seep into the fascia leading to rot.

The drip edge is a small bracket that is placed on the eaves of your roof. It is placed slightly underneath the shingles and covers the top of the fascia.

The main purpose of the drip edge is to help water flow from your shingles to your gutters.

If you notice water is dripping behind your gutters and your fascia is collected moisture it could be a sign you need a drip edge.

Sometimes the drip edge may be improperly installed. You can tell if the drip edge has a gap between the gutters and the roof.

If you notice a small gap, you will either need to seal it with sealant or remove and reinstall the drip edge.

Keep Gutters Cleaned

A simple way to keep your fascia in tip top shape is to get your gutters cleaned regularly. That’s right, cleaning out your gutters twice a year can prevent clogs and your gutters overflowing.

Overflowing gutters a big cause of fascia rot. When they overflow, the water can splash off the gutters and hit your shingles and fascia. This leads to the water damage we are trying to avoid.

Make sure to clean out your gutters and downspouts whenever you notice heavy leaf fall. In certain areas, you may need to clean your gutters more often depending on the number of trees.

Gutter guards can help minimize the amount of maintenance required by keeping out leaves and debris from your gutters. Just keep in mind they can sometimes cause more problems then they need.

Paint your Fascia

Applying a fresh coat of paint doesn’t really sound like a solution, but it can work wonders.

The outer coating of paint can protect your fascia from water seeping into it. It also has the added benefit of sprucing up your home and boosting curb appeal.

A freshly painted fascia can weather a lot more moisture than a fascia with chipped paint and exposed wood.

Unless your fascia is already severely rotted, in which case it makes sense to opt for a replacement fascia.

Remove Insect Nests

The fascia and soffit are like magnets for insects. They are high up and away from predators, making them the perfect spot for wasp nests and other insects.

It’s not fun to have all sorts of creepy crawlies in your roof, so removing the nests is a great way to protect your home from pests.

Not to mention, the insect nests can increase the wear and tear your fascia is exposed to. Especially if you attract a type of insect that likes to burrow into wood and wreck havoc on your home.

It can be a good idea to remove the insects yourself or work with a professional pest control contractor.

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