What Is The Underside Of A Roof Overhang Known As? (& Why You Need It)

The underside of eaves or the roof overhangs, either enclosed or exposed, is known as soffits. Vinyl, aluminum, steel, wood, and fiber cement are just a few materials used to make the soffits. They are useful in improving air circulation in the attic to keep it free from moisture.

Soffits come in diverse colors and have different attributes, making them both aesthetically pleasing and useful. They are not a must-have item on your roof, but you might experience some challenges without them. Most of them have perforations that facilitate air circulation outside and in the attic.

Different materials are used to make soffits. However, before choosing the best option, it is best to wait until your house’s roof or exterior parts are complete to install soffits that match your home. Going for a durable soffit material is advisable to avoid frequent repairs. 

And although the soffits can look like a secondary need on your roof, they are important in the long run. 

Why Do You Need To Install Soffits?

Ventilation For Your Home’s Attic

The major role of soffits is ventilation for your home’s attic. Heat builds up in the living area and outside, which can get trapped between your roof and ceiling. When all this heat is not given way out, it can superheat your home. Good ventilation is not just good for controlling the heat levels in the attic, but also it is essential in getting rid of moisture and humidity.

Prevent Wind-driven Rain

Apart from moisture control, soffits play an important role in preventing wind-driven rain from entering your home. If soffits are not installed, your house will be susceptible to leaks. This is a big problem as the water can cause damage to your attic or your walls. Soffits help block any moisture from being blown into your house.

Improve The Overall Outlook Of Your Home

Aesthetically, soffits improve the overall outlook of your home and raise your home’s value. Without soffits, rafters are left exposed. This is not a pleasing sight to see. Soffits come in different colors and finishing styles, and it is good to invest in quality soffits that complement your home.

Why Do You Need To Install Soffits

Protective Measures To The Underside Of The Roof And The Deck

Soffits work as protective measures to the underside of the roof and the deck. Without the soffits, various external elements can destroy your roof. Moisture is one of these external elements, and some roofing and decking materials need to be protected with soffits to prolong their life.

Saves You Energy 

They reduce you’re your bills. With their ventilating features, they can provide a constant flow of air from your attic and the outside. The heat in your attic increases as the day goes by. Soffits eliminate the heat, which in turn cools your home and reduces your use of the air conditioner.

What Are The Different Materials Used In Making Soffits?

The type of material you choose for your soffits is of equal importance as the material you use for your roof or any other part of the house. Mostly, soffits are made of wood and vinyl. However, some opt for other materials since wood and vinyl have disadvantages.

Wood requires maintenance often, and it is prone to rotting over time due to its ability to retain moisture. On the other hand, vinyl is prone to discoloration of parts in constant contact with the sun and may start to unwrap over time.

Fiber Cement Soffits have become a better option as they help keep the aesthetic of your home without having any of the issues experienced with wood and vinyl. 

Other materials that are slowly gaining popularity include:

1. Synthetic materials

2. Aluminum soffits 

3. Metal soffits. They are strong and provide excellent resistance against wind and other environmental elements.

To choose among the many materials, consult experts for advice on the best option that goes well with your roof and other house parts. Again, it is advisable to get a professional for installation. 

 Different Materials Used In Making Soffits

What Is The Difference Between Eaves And Soffits?

Soffits are the horizontal panels that cover the space between a house’s exterior walls and the roof’s edge. Eaves, on the other hand, are the part of the roof hanging over the outer wall of a building; they can either be wide or narrow depending on the architecture of the house.

Eaves on a roof create the need to install soffits. When the eave is exposed, it is prone to pest invasion and damage from external weather conditions.

Some homes may have open rafter installed and skip the whole process of installing soffits. Flat roofs with no overhangs do not require soffits or eaves.

Eaves and soffits can be made of wood and then covered by the roofing material of your choice. But, soffits should be made of material that complements the material used on the sidings and fascia boards on the exterior walls.

What Is The Installation Cost Of Soffits?

Soffits are rarely installed alone; they are coupled together with fascia boards. The average cost of installation is 2,100 to 3,000dollars. However, the price might vary based on other factors explained below. 

Factors That Determine The Installation Cost Of Soffits 

Size Of The Property

The bigger your home, the more area to cover with soffits, and the more material and labor required. Thus, the installation cost will be higher. 

The Scope Of Work

During installation, there can be a rise of bumps or limiting factors that slow down the process. When this happens, the overall cost will go up. 

Materials Used In The Installation

As discussed earlier, soffits come in different materials. The better the fabric you purchase, the higher its cost. Apart from the soffits, other materials used during installation dictate the price.

What Are Some Of The Different Parts Of A Roof?

If you are not a roofing expert, you might not differentiate the different terms used for many parts. Below are the parts of a roof and their functions: 

What Are Some Of The Different Parts Of A Roof?

Fascia

Fascia is the trim board behind the gutters and eaves. It covers the rafter’s tail at the eaves and seals off the top siding of the gutter boards.

Felt

This is also known as tar paper. Felt constitutes interwoven fibers saturated with asphalt. It is used to protect the shingles and decking.

Deck

The deck is a supportive framing that covers the skeleton or frame of the roof. Roofing materials are applied to the deck. It can be made of plywood or OSB.

The Hip

A hip is an external angle formed at the junction of two sloping roofs intersecting. 

Flashing

This sheet of metal is used to seal the roof and prevent it from leaking into the house. Flashing is made of flexible and easily malleable material. It can be applied to the intersections of two roofing panels and points on a roof susceptible to leaking.

Cricket

This is a wood-framed structure covered with roofing material that diverts water from dripping down into your house via vertical roof projections. Crickets can be installed along the border of a chimney and the roof.

Drip Edge

This is a non-corrosive material that is fitted along the eaves. The drip edge is installed at a ninety-degree angle, and it lets water runoff clear of the fascia and into the gutter.

Rafters

This is part of the structural support of a roof that extends from the downslope perimeter to the ridge.

Rake

The rake is the inclined part of the roof that slopes over the wall of your house. It begins at the eaves and goes all the way to the ridge.

Ridge

The ridge is the horizontal external angle formed by two intersecting roof panels.

Joist

On a flat roof, the joist is the horizontal structural member to which the sheathing and roofing materials are applied.

Sheathing

The sheathing is the rigid material nailed onto the rafters. The shingles and other outside roofing materials are fixed onto the sheathing.

Gable

The triangular uppermost part of a wall closing the end on a ridged roof is called the gable.

Cornice

After roofing is done, a part of it is usually projected out from the side of the wall. This is referred to as the cornice.

Courses

Whichever material you decide to use in roofing, you will have to apply several rows of it to cover your roof completely. These rows are referred to as courses.

Final Thought

“Soffite” is a French word that means to fix underneath; this is where the name soffit was derived from. Soffits are an essential part of your roof due to their functionality and aesthetic feature. They protect your house not only from moisture but also from pests like birds, bees, or bats that may want to build their habitat in your attic. 

References:

https://www.checkbook.org/v2/docs/roofers/all-areas-roofers-parts-of-a-roof.pdf

https://designingidea.com/types-of-roof-overhangs/

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