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What is Fascia Board?

Fascia board is both decorative and utilitarian.
Fascia board.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 April 2014
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Fascia board is a type of roof trim that is commonly used on houses. It is mounted on the exposed ends of rafters or the top of exterior walls to create a layer between the edge of the roof and the outside. In addition to serving an aesthetic function by creating a smooth, even appearance on the edge of the roof, it also protects the roof and the interior of the house from weather damage. Not all styles of home design feature this trim, but many do.

In cases where the edge of the roof is flush with the edge of the walls, the fascia board may include soffits for venting, while in other instances, soffits may be hidden under the eave, invisible behind the board. It also provides a point of attachment for the gutters of the house, along with the drain pipes, facilitating drainage from the roof and ensuring that water does not pool around the house during the rainy season.

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This section of the roof trim may require periodic repair or replacement. The boards can be vulnerable to water damage, which leads to rot, and the rot can spread to the rafters and roofing materials, which is undesirable. If fascia boards appear to be rotting away or they become detached, they should be replaced. It is usually not necessary to replace the entire length of board; instead, people can cut a fresh segment to replace a damaged one, taking care that the seams of the boards meet on a rafter so that they can be firmly nailed in place.

Replacing these boards is a very easy task that can be accomplished with a ladder or scaffolding, hammer and nails, saw, and board of the appropriate width and thickness. It also helps to have paint or stain so that replacement segments can be painted to match the existing trim; if the paint on the older board is especially faded, people may prefer to paint all of the boards so that the new segment will not stand out.

When replacing fascia board, people should take care to lift any shingles that overlap the board carefully, and they should take the opportunity to inspect the roof and flashing as long as the boards are removed. People can prolong the life of this part of the roof trim by cleaning the gutters regularly to avoid water buildup around the edges of the roof, removing moss and chunks of material that become wedged between gutters and fascia boards, and engaging in regular maintenance, such as painting, to keep trim materials in good condition.

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Discuss this Article

anon285856
Post 6

Always go with a treated wood for your board, and keep it painted well. This will ensure the longest lasting and least problematic board.

anon154456
Post 5

Roofing maintenance, including fascias, is important no matter what material you use. Timber fascias will last for a long time as long as they are maintained, but in bad weather areas, I would stick with UPVC fascias. I live on the coast and the salt air makes mincemeat of timber cladding and fascias if it is not maintained pretty much constantly. I bought my fascia board online. It is UPVC with a timber effect and, in all honesty, you can't tell the difference between it and real timber.

anon146917
Post 4

Fascia timber should last decades! If correctly installed, primed and painted,regularly maintained there is no reason why a timber fascia shouldn't last the lifetime of the building. The environment does come into play, but again maintenance is crucial.

My house is 50 years old and still has mostly original fascia (bar a few sections replaced due to rot-lack of maintenance on my part!) Recently painted and looks great! Get advice from a contractor as to the correct paint system and what the maintenance schedule should be for your environment.

anon122309
Post 3

Should the length of fascia board be pieced together or one solid piece? is it right to have any kind of seam?

gregg1956
Post 2

@googlefanz -- Congrats on the new house. Fascia board usually lasts for a few years at a time, depending on the material used and the environment that your house is built in.

For instance, if you live in an area that is very wet or has a lot of rainfall, your boards are obviously more prone to moisture damage and may not last as long.

You should consult with your contractor to see what material works best for fascia board in your area (wood, fiber cement, etc.) and they can tell you how to care for it, since each material needs different care.

googlefanz
Post 1

My wife and I are building a house and have decided to go with fascia trim. Is there any way that is particularly good to keep fascia wood in good condition, or is it one of those things you just sort of have to replace after a few years?

Does anybody know how long fascia board usually lasts, and how to keep it in good shape for a while? Also, is there a type of wood that is best for fascia board? Thanks!

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