Finding An Experienced Roofing Company Can Help Your Roof Breathe

Posted on

Not only does a roof have to keep the water out of a home, it has to "breathe." Finding an experienced roofer that understands how soffits, fascias and roof vents work together can help your roof do just that. Below, you'll find descriptions of these roofing items, as well as a brief explanation of how a roof breathes.

Soffits and Fascias

A roof is much more that the covering that reaches from the center point to the edges. While it is important that this section be waterproof, it is equally important that the soffits and the fascias receive just as much care.

What Are Soffits?

In order to be effective, a roof extends beyond the wall line, creating the eaves. The soffits are located underneath those eaves. They give the roof a more finished look and close any gaps that would allow birds, bats or other wildlife to move in.

In vintage homes, like Victorians, traditional soffits are made of wood. In more contemporary designs, as well as in some renovations on older homes, soffits may be aluminum or vinyl. On older homes, it's not unusual to pair a wooden soffit with a vinyl or aluminum soffit vent.

What Are Fascias?

Think of a fascia as a vertical outline that runs along your roof edge. It is attached at the end of the rafters, and supports the gutters. The fascia frames the roof edge, covering up any uneven edges to provide a more finished look. This is a design feature of more modern homes, but a roofer can usually add a fascia to a vintage home when doing a remodel.

Fascias don't have any vent holes. Instead, a ventilation gap is usually left along the top of the fascia, where it joins the roof line. The soffit sits under the fascia. Both soffits and fascias may be made of the same materials.

Types of Roof Vents

Four types of non-powered roof vents are typically used with soffits and fascias.

How a Roof Breathes

When you combine the soffits, fascias and the various vents, you create the "lungs" of a roof. The most efficient breathing system uses the ridge vent. Remember, hot air rises because it is lighter than cold air. Think about hot air balloons. The propane burner heats the air that fills the balloon and sends it soaring.

The cool air enters the roof through the vents in the soffit and through the ventilation gap in the fascia. The cool, heavier air forces the lighter, hotter air to the top of the attic and out of the ridge vent. Even during the cooler seasons, the air brought in from outside is usually cooler than what is in the attic. The exchange of air may slow down, but it still happens.

For more information on helping your roof breathe, contact a professional roofing company like Home Advancement.