Functions and Ideal Colors of Soffit and Fascia

builders installing soffit and fascia

When you think of a roof, the first thing you’d probably imagine is the shingle-covered surface. That’s perhaps because it’s the most visible roof element. Truth is, there are many other parts that are essential to a roof’s function and aesthetics.This is why those in the roofing industry often refer to the roof as a system rather than just a single structural component.

Two of the least noticed roof elements are the soffit and the fascia. They are actually pretty visible, but the reason they don’t get that much attention is because most people think they are only meant as finishing touches for the roof. While this is essentially true, soffit and fascia have some utilitarian functions as well.

Soffit and Fascia

To protect the walls of your home from water damage, a gutter must be installed along the roof’s edges to catch and convey rainwater toward the ground. However, a gutter alone isn’t enough to prevent overspill that can drip straight down the exterior wall. Any roof repair company would recommend extending the roof edge to about 24 inches from the exterior wall’s surface. Also, a roof with an overhang looks more appealing than one whose edge stops where it intersects with the exterior wall.

This design, however, creates a problem. The underside of the extended portion of the roof is left exposed to the elements. A strong updraft could easily blow it off or, since apart of the decking is left wide-open, water damage may spread across the roof from there. This is where soffit and fascia come in. They are used to cover the underside of a roof overhang.

A soffit covers the overhang’s underside, while a fascia closes up the vertical space between the soffit and the overhang. The fascia also serves as beam for the rafters. Depending on your preference or on the overall architectural design of your home, you can choose from a wide variety of materials for your soffit and fascia. Generally, the soffit is a type of siding, so any siding material would fit. Vinyl and wood are the top choices but aluminum is also fast becoming all the rage.

The fascia, on the other hand, requires a tougher material as it is more exposed to the elements than the soffit. It’s installed right below the gutter and doesn’t have anything to protect itself from water damage. Impermeable materials, such as metal and vinyl, are ideal but sometimes engineered wood is used, too.

Colors of Soffit and Fascia

It’s hard to imagine these parts of your home exterior looking bare and bland. After all, they’re among the first things your visitors would notice as they embark on your property. Like your exterior wall siding, they need to have some kind of coating to match your home’s architecture and protect them from rot.

Choosing the right paint color for your soffit and fascia, however, can be quite daunting. Even with countless available colors and shades, you can’t simply pick what looks nice to you. At least consider these few tips on choosing paint colors for your soffit and fascia.

Complement Each Other

You can choose a single color for the soffit and fascia, especially if you are not going to use one of those large fascia boards that add to the thickness of the trim. However, using a different color for each part may also work. Just make sure you won’t choose colors that don’t go together. For instance, shades of purple and green are not exactly the best pair.

Be careful with complementary colors, too. We were taught in school that colors opposite each other on the color wheel are complementary but this principle doesn’t apply to every situation. Especially for architectural applications, colors within the same palette make the most ideal pairs. You have to be mindful of tint and brightness as well. Just because two colors belong to the same palette or are complementary doesn’t mean they are a good choice. For instance, colors like bright orange or pink are usually not the best choices when it comes to your soffit and fascia or any visible surface of your building for that matter.

Complement Your Siding

When picking soffit and fascia colors, you also need to take into account the color of your exterior walls or siding. You don’t want a color or a pair of colors that looks totally out of place or aren’t compatible with the color of your siding. Think of it as an outfit in which every piece of garment and accessory must be of just the right color and shade to complement one another.

If you can’t decide which color is best for your soffit and fascia, go for white. It’s neutral and can fit any color combinations. It’s also very easy to cover with a new layer of paint as white is the usual primer color. The only downside to white paint is that it can quickly turn dull due to dust buildup, which is why some homeowners prefer a darker color.

Today’s soffits and fascia boards, particularly the inorganic ones such as vinyl and aluminum, usually come with coating. Unless you opt to customize, you don’t have to paint them yourself. Some roofing companies like Muller Exteriors guide homeowners in selecting the best color of soffit and fascia for their buildings. Therefore, hiring the right roofer helps expedite the selection process.

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