Home Gutters What Is Fascia On a House?

What Is Fascia On a House?

If you’ve ever had roofing work, you probably heard your contractor throw around varying roofing terms, including fascia and fascia boards. So what is fascia on a house, and how does it benefit your roof and home?

Most homeowners only know the general parts of their roofing system but need help identifying them and understanding their purposes.

The fascia board on a house is the horizontal board that runs along the lower edge of the roof or eave. The gutters cover the fascia, so they aren’t really in view. 

Fascia boards on a roof must be structurally strong and straight. They are securely fastened to the rafter tails with corrosion-resistant nails or screws and extend as far as the gutters. The fascia is responsible for supporting the gutters when full of water, so the fascia must be secure and free of rot and other defects.

Regardless of the width of the soffit, the fascia caps off the end of the rafters. Fascia boards are essential to the roof’s framing and are usually made from wood, but fiber cement versions are available. Fascia is also responsible for keeping the ends of the rafters (known as rafter tails) from warping.

There are aesthetic benefits of fascia as well. They provide clean straight lines that improve curb appeal while keeping your attic free of pests, water damage, and airborne debris. 

We’ll discuss the benefits fascia provides, the materials commonly used, and the typical installation methods of roofing pros.

What Is Fascia?

Fascia is the long, narrow board that runs horizontally and parallel to the lower edge of your roof. The location of the fascia is no accident, as the fascia provides the perfect mounting spot for a guttering system.

Some roof designs also incorporate a sub-fascia, or brace placed between the rafter tails, as opposed to along the ends, like the fascia. Sub-fascia adds structural strength to the fascia and support oversized gutters.

Fascia is typically made from wood and clad in metal or vinyl to protect the raw wood from water. It can also be sealed with a high-quality exterior paint and caulk. 

Fiber cement is also used in fascia installation because it is impact-resistant and has a high ignition point. Fiber cement fascia will require sealing, or the material will delaminate and fall apart over time.

Weak fascia is useless, so it must be protected from water damage and the elements to prevent rot and decay. 

Why Do You Need Fascia?

Without fascia, your roof would be subjected to warping as the effects of heat and age take effect. Heat, moisture, and time significantly impact the life of a roof, and fascia helps keep the attic dry and the rooftop flat.

The fascia on your home also:

Prevents Water Damage

Water intrusion attracts damaging insects into your attic, often soaking insulation. Usually, a damaged or missing fascia is responsible for roof leaks along the ceiling on an exterior wall. Well-maintained fascia has the reverse effect, preventing many common roof leaks.

Prevents Damage From Birds and Small Animals 

Woodpeckers are particularly notorious for causing damage to rotted fascia as they attempt to get to the insects inside a wet attic. The fascia prevents flowing water and wind from entering the attic between the rafters, greatly extending the roof’s useful lifespan.

Prevents Airborne Debris

Airborne debris can find its way past fascia in poor condition, particularly during storms. Fascia is often clad in aluminum to protect the fascia from both water damage and impacts caused by flying debris.

Here are some other benefits provided by fascia boards:

  • They provide the structural stability your roof requires by tying the rafters together. Each rafter is strengthened by the rafter next to it using the fascia, resulting in a robust roof design. 
  • Roofers strategically position fascia to facilitate the attachment of rain gutters and provide the support they need.
  • Some roof types, like hipped and gabled roofs, use the fascia to establish the long, straight lines that improve the view from the street.
  • Well-maintained fascia adds value to the home, as savvy buyers view them as evidence of a well-built structure.

How to Choose and Maintain Fascia

Choosing your fascia’s appropriate material, size, and finish is essential. Roofers use 2” x 6” lumber or larger to make fascia boards. The broader and longer a section of the gutter, the wider the fascia must be to allow room for the channel to slope towards a downspout.

For example, a large or steep roof may require 6” or 7” wide gutters and 3” x 4” downspouts to handle the runoff volume. Common gutter styles, like the K style, are approximately as tall as they are wide.

This means the fascia board must be wide enough to allow the gutter to slope to one end or the other.  So for a 6” gutter, 8″ wide lumber will be required to build the fascia. Fascia this wide will provide full support to the gutter along its entire length, allowing additional room for the slope.

DIY Fascia Installation 

Here are a few tips for achieving a successful DIY fascia installation:

  • Wear PPE, or personal protective equipment as appropriate.
  • If painting the fascia, paint it on the ground and touch it up after installation.
  • Always use high-quality exterior grade caulk when needed.
  • Always use corrosion-resistant fasteners.
  • Have help available because fascia is often long and awkward to handle, especially while on a ladder.

Professional Fascia Installation

Fascia boards should be installed by an experienced professional whenever possible. Roofing contractors can do the job in less than half the time because they have the appropriate tools and training to do the job. 

Many contractors are also remodelers who can inspect the rest of the roof and make recommendations.

Pros will also have aluminum fabrication tools for cladding the fascia in metal. Aluminum is an excellent choice because it is recyclable.

Here are a few advantages of hiring a pro:

  • Skillful craftsmanship and quality
  • Fast installation
  • Qualified and experienced workers to get the job done efficiently
  • Insurance and licensing
  • Warranty

Fascia, Fascia, Fascia

Hopefully you’ll never have to ask again: What is fascia on a house? Fascia is the horizontal board that runs parallel to a roof’s lower edge on most typical home designs

Any structure with a sloped roof and gutters will need fascia as it keeps your roof flat and straight while protecting the attic from pests, water, and wind damage. 

If you’re ready to evaluate your home’s fascia boards, we’d love to be of service. Call our expert fascia and roofing professionals at 888-392-6756. 

While we’re headquartered in Raleigh, NC, we have coast-to-coast home improvement and fascia installation pros. Contact us for a free estimate today so we can begin your fascia project tomorrow.

Fascia FAQs

What’s the difference between soffit and fascia?

The soffit and fascia are components of the roof’s eave but serve different purposes. Soffit is the component that protects the underside of the eave, while the fascia protects the edge.

Is fascia part of the roof or siding?

Fascia is a component of the roof, not the siding. It can be confusing as each roofing component is often attached and the same color. The fascia does not touch the siding anywhere, as it always appears at the lower edge of the roof overhang.

Does fascia get replaced with a roof?

If the fascia on your home is in poor condition, it can be replaced independently of having to replace your roof. Repairing and replacing your home’s fascia boards is part of maintaining your roof.

Any signs of rot or cracks on your fascia should prompt you to get an estimate to replace them. Having said that, whenever you have a new roof installed, it is the perfect time to replace your fascia boards. However, neither the fascia nor gutters need to be removed during a roof replacement.

When replacing your gutters, consider replacing or repairing the fascia. In this case, fascia repair or replacement should be done after the old gutters have been removed but before the new ones are installed.

How long should fascia last?

Fascia will often last 30 years, or more, with regular maintenance. The problem is that repainting or cladding fascia requires the removal of the gutters.

As such, fascia tends to be neglected in favor of repair projects that are easier to access and perform, unless the gutters are being replaced anyway.

Still, fascia board roof repair or replacement is occasionally necessary for optimal roof maintenance.

For this reason, many homeowners opt for aluminum cladding, as the cladding requires maintenance less often than painted fascia. Adding a drip edge will extend the useful life of the fascia, as it protects the vulnerable edges from water damage.