clock menu more-arrow no yes

Roof Soffit Repair: Advice From a Pro

Need a soffit replacement? Here are pro-approved steps on how to rebuild your water-damaged roof edge, fascia included.

House With Repaired Soffit

Roof repairs typically involve replacing damaged shingles and rusted flashing, but the overhang of a roof is often the first area to succumb to rot, peeling paint and other weather-related problems. The good news is, unlike most roof repairs, you can fix an eave or gable overhang (rake) without climbing onto the roof.

Soffited eaves and gable overhangs are susceptible to water damage caused by ice dams, improper flashing, torn shingles, and faulty gutters. And once water has seeped in, the rot spreads quickly because the wood stays soggy inside the dark, dank space.

Damage is also caused by birds and squirrels nesting inside eaves. These animals have been known to chew or peck through a perfectly sound eave, but they're especially attracted to a water-damaged fascia or soffit, which offers less resistance. Bees and hornets also build nests in and under eaves. Call an exterminator if you notice bees or hornets congregating around an eave — even if you don't see the nest.

Soffit and Fascia Repair

1. Remove Shingle Mold

Man Removes Shingle Mold With Pry Bar To Repair Soffit

Pry the narrow shingle mold from the fascia using a flat bar. If it comes off without splitting, reuse it later.

2. Remove Rotted Fascia

Man Removes Rotted Fascia From Roof

Remove the rotted section of fascia. Be careful not to damage any nearby roof shingles or flashing.

3. Remove Old Soffit

Man Removes Rotted Soffit From Roof

Pull down to remove the old soffit. Note that a squirrel had built a large nest above the soffit shown here.

4. Remove Rotted Rafter

Man Removes Rotted Rafter From Roof

Use a reciprocating saw to chop out the rotted rafter. Cut a replacement piece from pressure-treated lumber.

5. Attach Cleat

Man Attaches Cleat For New Overhang With Nailer

Use a powder-actuated nailer to attach a 2x4 cleat to a brick chimney. The cleat helps support the new overhang.

6. Attach New Rafter

Man Attaches New Rafter To Chimney Cleat

Clamp a 1-by backing board in place and screw the new rafter to it. Screw the rafter to the chimney cleat as well.

7. Seal Replacement Soffit

Man Applies Sealer to Soffit

Protect the edges of the plywood soffit from water penetration with a waxy sealer, such as AnchorSeal.

8. Attach Replacement Soffit

Man Attaches Replacement Soffit

Fasten the plywood soffit to the underside of the eave or rake after priming both the top and bottom surfaces.

9. Replace Crown Molding

Man Replaces Crown Molding On Roof Beneath New Soffit

Replace the section of crown molding along the wall of the house directly beneath the rear edge of the new soffit.

10. Attach Replacement Fascia

Man Attaches Replacement Fascia To Roof

Slide the new fascia into place, then attach it with galvanized nails. Set the nails and putty the holes.

11. Attach Shingle Mold

Man Attaches Shingle Mold Along Top Of Fascia Of Roof

Attach the shingle mold along the top of the fascia. Use a tape measure to maintain a consistent reveal.


Tools