How Pros Quickly Spot Siding, Trim and Soffit Damage

May 25, 2021

Spring and summer reveal the ravages of severe weather on your home. UV light, insects and other pests, age, materials’ expansion and contraction, water and moisture can also deteriorate your home’s exterior. And there’s no place more revealing of Mother Nature’s damage than your home’s siding and trim, which includes your soffit and fascia. How can you quickly spot this damage like a pro?

First let’s define a few terms, locate these important exterior home components and determine their importance in keeping your home dry.

Trim is a generic term referring to the decorative board on your home that encases or outlines windows and doors and other areas of your home’s exterior.

Fascia is the vertical trim board that sits directly behind your home’s gutter system. Your gutters mount to the fascia. The fascia sits near the eave where the water runs off the roof onto the drip edge and into your gutter, as illustrated in the diagram. It protects the roof and prevents water and pests from entering the home or its roofing system and rotting or ruining its materials. Fascia also creates a professional finish for the roof edge.

Soffit is the horizontal trim mounted underneath the eave or overhang, which closes off the exposed surface below the fascia and rafters. Small holes in the soffit which release heat and moisture provide ventilation for the attic, prevent rotting to the roofing sheathing and rafters, and keep out nasty critters (especially when made of fiber cement that resists heat, mold, moisture, insects and critters). Soffits can, however, be made of a number of other materials, such as wood, aluminum or vinyl.

A Main Cause of Exterior Damage

When leaves and other debris, fast moving rainwater or thawing ice, snow and hail, or some combination fill and clog your gutters, especially if the drip edge is damaged or missing, water has no place to go but into your fascia, soffits and roofing system. This can cause your soffit, fascia, siding and other trim to rot, mold and/or leak, and create stress on your gutters, causing them to fail, sag or pull away from the home as well. In the worst case scenario, this could even force water into your home’s interior.

How can you spot this dangerous trend before it’s too late and determine when you need to replace your siding, trim, soffit and/or fascia? What are the signs of deterioration?

Signs of Siding, Trim, Soffit or Fascia Deterioration

  • Peeling or flaking paint.
  • Discoloration or water “staining” on trim, siding, soffits or fascia.
  • Holes or cracks on any of these surfaces.
  • The appearance of mold on surfaces.
  • Warped, twisted, sagging, or buckled siding.
  • Clogged, leaking, sagging or water-logged gutters, or gutters that are pulling away from the home altogether.
  • Nests, signs of chewing or other clues that pests have infested your soffit or fascia.
  • A marked change in your attic’s ventilation which may point to blocked soffit holes.
  • Water coming into your home, cascading off the roof onto the ground or exiting your home any place it isn’t designed to exit!
Rotten fascia near guttersRotten trim board next to garage doorPeeling paint on fascia board

What to Do When You Find or Suspect Damage

If you find or suspect damage, call a trusted home improvement company to perform a full inspection and spot the signs of deterioration that only the trained eye can see (such as missing or damaged drip edges or damage to high surfaces inaccessible to most homeowners). A one-stop shop like Phillips Home Improvements can repair or replace your roofing components, damaged siding, soffit and fascia and gutter system if necessary. Regardless of who you choose, a company that warranties its workmanship and uses quality materials that provide lasting value, are low maintenance, and promise the curb appeal that you deserve.

Call (972) 867-9792 to schedule a free, full inspection. We can’t wait to take care of your home!