Replacing Gutters, Flashing, Fascia, and Soffits; How to Maintain the Edges of a Roof

Replacing Gutters, Flashing, Fascia, and Soffits; How to Maintain the Edges of a Roof


A large part of roof maintenance is taking care of the roof’s edges.  So, when you decide to take efforts to improve your roof or monitor its condition, do not forget to look at the edges.  Gutters, flashing, fascia, and soffits are all vital to the function of your roof.  Therefore, you may need to replace them at some point.  First, what are these items and what do they do?


roof maintenance, replace flashing, replace soffit

Gutters:  Most of us know what gutters are.  We know they are the metal tube-like parts around a roof’s edge that carry water away from a house.   However, not all of us know that the reason why houses have gutters is primarily to protect the foundation.  Erosion can be devastating to a foundation.  If you have functioning gutters, then you will have fewer potential problems with your foundation.Flashing:

Flashing: Flashing is a metal strip that roofers place around chimneys, skylights, other adornments, and place in valleys in the roof in order to protect against leaks.  Flashing is malleable and easy to damage, so it is sometimes difficult to work with.

Fascia:  Fascia is the boards around the edge of the roof that protect the beams of the roof’s structure from weather damage.  It is important to keep fascia in good shape.

Soffits:  A soffit protects the underside of a roof.  Therefore, it is like a ceiling for a roof.  Soffits should have vents to promote circulation in order to prevent mold and mildew from forming.


Now that you know more about the edges and sides of your roof, you can look into replacing these parts if they are damaged.  Replacing these items when needed guarantees proper roof maintenance.

Replacing gutters:  The hardest part of replacing a gutter is assembling it.  What you need to do is measure the length of your roof and add half an inch.  That is the length of the gutter you need because you want some overhang on the gutter.  Next, install hangers on the gutter.  These hangers add strength, and so you should place them every few feet on the gutter.  For the downspout, you need a hole saw.  You drill where the downspout should go with the hole saw.  For the ends of the gutters, you crimp the end on.  Then, you use sealant and seal the end cap.  Actually attaching the gutter is simple.  You align the gutter with the roof and place it where you need the down spout and screw it in with a drill.


Replacing Flashing:  Replacing flashing can vary depending on what type of flashing you need to replace and where the flashing is.  In general, replacing flashing involves removing shingles carefully and attaching the flashing the way that that flashing requires.  Flashing is crucial to roof maintenance.


Replacing Fascia:

Remove old fascia.  Removing old fascia requires planing because you need to cut the old fascia in a straight line.  Typically, you pry the board from the roof and cut away a damaged section.  Measure the  fascia board to the length you need to cut and make your cuts.  Using two people, attach the fascia board with nails.  You can line it up and nail it spacing as needed.  Often, finishing nails are enough to hold fascia in place.  Use galvanized nails.


Replacing Soffits:

Replacing a soffit can be difficult and it may be best to contact a professional.  That said, in concept, replacing soffits is simple.  You saw out the area you need to replace and install a new piece of wood in the shape you need by nailing to the frame.


Replacing a roof is an expensive project.  Roofs come with warranties between 25 and 50 years.  To ensure you get your value’s worth, make sure to apply these maintenance practices regularly.

On the other hand, if you need a new roof, how can you tell?  Here is a quick guide on how to determine if you need to replace your roof.

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