In case you are new to construction talk, fascia is the board that runs along the ends of the trusses (your roof supports) and is the structure that your gutters are attached to.
Fascia is typically a treated wood called Comb Face and sizes range from 1″ X 6″ to 2″ X 6″ (as shown in the image above) and up to 2″ X 10″. The size installed is usually dictated by the overhang of your roof shingles or the ends of your metal roof beyond the ends of the roof trusses. The edge of the shingles should hang over a roof at least an inch and a half.
If, when the roof was installed, not much overhang was left by the roofers, usually a 1″ X 6″ fascia board is installed. This also depends on the age of your home and the contractor in charge of the project (and thus who he hires and how much the home owner or project manager was willing to spend on sub-trades).
Sometimes, under the above mentioned circumstances, it seems that fascia is an afterthought and not really considered as important as other aspects of the house. However, your fascia performs an important role in the overall health of your home when it comes to keeping moisture out.
The integrity of your fascia boards matters. A 1″ X 6″ fascia board is really the “cheap” way to go. 1″ X 6″ tends to warp in both heat and cold, and especially when moisture is present. When warping happens the boards move away from each other at the seams causing gaps, and they can twist or bow outward. This then effects your gutter system, causing the gutters to warp as well. When the gutters warp water can run behind them allowing moisture to get into your roof, rot the fascia boards, and even drip (or flow) down to your siding causing even more damage. Ultimately this water can eventually make its way down to the ground and can then make its way into your foundation and even cause flooding of your basement or crawl space.
Now, sometimes, as mentioned above, a 1″ X 6″ is the only option because of the overhang of the roof. But if the roofers have left enough overhang choosing a fascia board that has more strength, like a 2″ X 6″ or 2″ X 8″ (depending on how much of the board you want to show below the bottom of the gutter) can extend the life of your gutter system and thus your truss ends, your roof, your siding and your foundation.
If you are looking to have your gutter system replaced for practical or aesthetic purposes, take the time to look at your fascia boards to determine their size and if they are performing as they should. Look for areas of rot, especially at the corners where fascia meets bargeboard, and at seams in the gutter system (if you don’t have a seamless gutter system installed). You don’t want a gutter company to install a new system to rotting fascia boards as it will only cause headaches for you down the road. And if you have 1″ X 6″ fascia boards, discuss options with your gutter installer and get them to help you determine whether or not you should replace your fascia boards with something more substantial that will last the life of the new system and help protect your home from the insidious creeping of water damage.
If you are concerned with the state of your fascia boards, Vancouver Island Gutter can help you determine whether or not you need to replace all of the boards, just some of them (which is often the case and will save you money), or if you need to look at upping the size and whether doing so is feasible with your current roof overhang.
And if you are having your roof replaced, make sure to discuss these issues with the roofing company you choose to go with. We have encountered far too many homes that have had their roof replaced and not enough overhang was left by the roofing company.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you would like to discuss the state of your fascia boards with one of our professionals, give us a call to set up your free estimate.