What is a Fascia Board?
When you look at most houses you’ll immediately see boarding that sits directly under the roof. Fascia board is attached to the lower ends of the roof trusses, bridging the gap between the rafters and often even supporting the bottom row of tiles. What’s more, fascia gives a clean, tidy and stylish finish to a home.
But this is not the only purpose of fascia and one of its main uses is to ensure that no moisture enters the roof space or reaches the interior of the house. The guttering is commonly attached to the fascia board and, for this reason, it is imperative that a fascia board is regularly maintained and stays strong and in good condition. During heavy rainfall fascia boards may have to hold the weight of gallons of water in the guttering at any one time.
Fascia boards are plank shaped with a lip at the bottom, this lip supports the soffit, and they come in several different materials and varieties. Keep reading to find out more about the different options you have for fascia boards.
What Type of Material Do Fascia Boards Come In?
Fascia boards are available in a number of different materials including wood, UPVC and aluminium. Wood is the material that has been traditionally used for fascia and is still commonly chosen whilst uPVC and aluminium are increasingly becoming more popular as they offer a longer lifespan with little maintenance needed.
We’ll look at the different advantages and disadvantages of wood, uPVC and aluminium fascia boards below.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Wooden Fascia Board?
- Wood fascia is favoured for its beauty. The traditional choice among homeowners, many people prefer its aesthetic, particularly when replacing old wooden fascia on period homes.
- Wood fascia boards are available in a number of different types of wood including spruce, pine, fir, redwood or cedar.
- Wood fascia is simple to install, and cost-effective. Typically, you can expect to pay anything from just £15 for a 5m wooden fascia board, right up to £45. And in general, wooden fascia board has an approximate life expectancy of 10 years as long as you keep up with regular maintenance.
- Wooden fascia boards require regular maintenance to ensure they remain water resistant. They need to be treated with a preservative coating prior to installation to prevent water ingress and this may or may not have already been done when you purchase the boards so it’s important to check.
- Your wooden fascia board will need to be re-painted during its lifetime, as failing to do so could lead to the wood absorbing moisture, leading to swelling or cracking – which can invite insects to call your fascia home and cause further damage.
- Wood fascia also needs to be inspected for mould and moss, as these can lead to rot which affects its performance and can lead to further damage to your roof and property.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of uPVC Fascia Board?
- You shouldn’t need to do much maintenance work to UPVC fascia’s in their lifetime other than perhaps wiping them over with a damp cloth every few years if you wish.
- UPVC is the material used for modern plastic doors and windows and it’s resistant against moisture so there is no risk of degradation, rot or mould.
- They often come with a 20-year guarantee.
- The aesthetics of uPVC fascia boards have improved vastly over the years and it is now possible to purchase ones that realistically resemble wood.
- They are lightweight which helps to speed up the installation process and makes it a simpler task for homeowners.
- They aren’t eco-friendly like wood or aluminium
- Although there are some very close replicates, they still fail to hold the same beauty as wood.
- In comparison to aluminium uPVC is not quite as strong and has a slightly shorter lifespan.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Aluminium Fascia Board?
- Aluminium fascia boards are the strongest of the three types of fascia board, they are incredibly resilient and have an expected lifespan of 25 years.
- Typically, aluminium boards will come coated in a polyester powder on purchase to prevent any rust from forming.
- Aluminium is considered a renewable resource and many aluminium fascia’s will be produced from upwards of 80% of recycled aluminium, they are also 100% recyclable after use too.
- The price point of aluminium, however, tends to be higher than both wood and uPVC and you can expect to pay upwards of £50 for a 3m length board.
- Aluminium also isn’t as good an insulator as wood or uPVC so you might lose more heat from your roof with aluminium boards, but the difference would be minimal.
What Sizes Do Fascia Boards Come In?
Fascia boards come in a range of different lengths and widths although you will typically find fascia boards for sale in lengths of 3 or 5 metres and in a range of widths from 150mm to 250mm.
Are There Different Types of Fascia Boards?
There are five different types of fascia board available:
Flat: Flat fascia boards are the standard type of fascia board and, as the name suggests, have basic flat edges along with the lip
Square: Square fascia boards are very similar to flat ones, but they have a slightly longer lip
Bull-nosed: Bull nosed fascia boards are rounded on one edge and are chosen to give a more decorative finish to a building
Ogee: Ogee fascia boards are another decorative option, and along with a rounded edge they also feature an additional ornamental groove
Reveal Liners or Cap Over Fascia: Cap over fascia boards are a very flat and simple type of fascia board that has a direct right angle at the lip rather than any form of hook shape. They are usually chosen if you are planning on simply covering your old fascia boards rather than removing them first, this is a technique that is quicker to implement but carries with it some risks and so is not always advised.
How Will I Know If My Fascia Boards Need Replacing?
It’s worth regularly checking your soffit boards, a good time to do this is when you’re clearing out your gutters which you should do a couple of times a year. Some key signs of wear and tear to look out for are below:
- Peeling or cracking paint; this might mean that they simply need re-painting, but it might also be a sign of age so check the condition of the wood as well
- Soft patches of wood are a sign of age or water ingress
- Claw, bite marks, nests or small holes are signs of damage from animals or animals setting up home
- Water or dampness is a sure sign that water is getting in somewhere or there is damage to your boards or guttering
- Condensation forming or a lack of ventilation, could mean that there isn’t sufficient air flow, this could lead to rotting of your roof structure
- Moss or mould growth, this could lead to rotting of your fascia boards
- You should also keep an eye out for any sign of asbestos used here
If you do spot any of the signs above, then you should seek the opinion of a professional and you may need to replace your fascia boards. It’s important to remember that damaged fascia board can have a significant impact on your property’s structure and so it’s a job that should be undertaken sooner rather than later.
How Difficult Is It to Fix Fascia Boards?
The process can be carried out by a seasoned DIYer however it is advised (unless you are very confident of the procedure) that you enquire the help of an experienced contractor. The procedure includes the removal of the old fascia boards as well as the first row of roof tiles in order to access where the new boards need to be. You will also need to remove and re-install the soffit and guttering onto the new fascia boards and re-install the tiles that you removed.
What Is a Soffit and Do I Need One?
Soffits are an additional layer of protection for your roof space, which are fitted underneath your fascia boards. It’s vital that they allow adequate airflow into your property to prevent condensation build-up, which is why we supply a popular range of vented soffit boards. Soffits also help to bridge the gap between the house and fascia boards, which prevents birds, large insects and other intruders from entering your roof space.
What Fascia Fixings and Trims Will I Need?
There are several fixings and trims that you’ll need when installing fascia boards, including the following:
External and Internal Corner Trims
These are available in a choice of colours to match your fascia boards and they will protect and cover the corners to give a neat finish.
These are also available in a selection of different colours to match your boards and, similar to the corner trims their purpose is to give a neat finish by covering any joints.
Fixing pins are used to install your fascia boards and they come in a range of colours to match your chosen fascia boards.
This is used to support the roofing felt and to prevent rainwater from getting behind the guttering, without them rotting the felt and then the fascia boards could occur.
A finial is fitted over the apex joint of the gable fascia to give a neat finish and there’s a range of different looks and styles from plain to decorative and fancy.
Eaves Comb Filler
A comb filler is often used in the space between the felt and the tiles, along the top of the fascia board, above the felt and it is used to prevent birds and large insects from getting into the space.
Over Fascia Ventilator
It’s very important to allow air to flow into your roof space for ventilation and the over fascia ventilator does exactly that allowing air to move into the roof space between the felt and the fascia board.
Find out more.
Continuous Eaves Vent Strip
This is another product that allows ventilation and it is fitted on top of the fascia board, ensuring air flows into the roof space.
Find out more.
Conclusion and Further Information
Hopefully this information will have provided you with a good overview of Fascia boards, their purpose and the advantages and disadvantages of the different materials that you can get them in, but, if you do require further information please contact our friendly customer services team on 01295 565565, via the live chat on our website or at [email protected].
You can also find all of the products mentioned in this article, and many more, here at Roofing Megastore.
Please note: This guide 'What is a Fascia Board?’ has been written for information purposes only and we therefore take no responsibility for any purchasing decisions you make or installation processes you follow as a result of reading this article. Whilst we act as a retailer, we are not experts nor qualified in the installation of fascia boards or any other roofing material. We therefore recommend that you refer to your manufacturer's guide and, if appropriate, consult a qualified professional.