The Brothers that just do Gutters
What is fascia board? Sometimes also called soffit board, fascia is a board running horizontally under a roof edge that covers the openings between the rafters of the roof. Typically consisting of wood, wood substitute, or metal, the fascia board along with the soffit, encloses the attic space of the home. Soffit is the layer of wood, vinyl or aluminum that extends from the bottom of the fascia to the top piece of your wall board. Together, they protect the rafters from weather, moisture, and allow air to flow through soffits and vents. Airflow is important in the enclosed attic space to keep the temperatures equal. The fascia is commonly used to help hold up, and stabilize gutters.
Fascia can be found on many of today’s modern homes, however, older Colonial or Victorian homes with ornate rafter tails will not have fascia boards. These older homes were originally created without fascia because it was believed that the big roof overhangs, created by these ornate rafter tails, were adequately large enough to repel water far enough away from the foundation of the home. Although this is often the belief, it is not always true, and water can still find a way back into the foundation of your home. This water can also damage siding, paint, windows, and doors.
One of the biggest concerns with a gutter install is whether the fascia board was damaged throughout the seasons that the gutter system was hanging on the house. It is often difficult to tell if the fascia is rotted without first removing the gutter itself. However, if water has been running between the fascia and gutter for some time, then there is a high probability of rotted fascia. A rotted fascia board cannot properly support a gutter system designed to withstand the heavy snow accumulations.
In the cases where a home has no fascia, the Brothers that just do Gutters are able to install a gutter without the fascia, however, we don’t often recommend it. Here are a few reasons why:
• Fascia provides a layer of strength to help stabilize the gutter.
• Fascia allows a place for the soffit to attach and close off the attic space
• Soffit is vented which prevents winter ice, water from entering the home, and keeps the home cooler in the summer months.
• Open rafter without fascia get screwed into the end grain of the available wood which is not as strong as screwing it into the perpendicular wood of the fascia board (more strength and stability when you are able to screw into grains of wood that run horizontally).
• Open rafters with no fascia often allow for insects and animals to find their way into your home.
If your home does not have fascia, or it is damaged, it is recommended that you install/repair it prior to gutter installation. Symptoms of damaged fascia include peeling paint, warping, stains and crumbling wood.
If installing fascia is not an option for you, or your home, we offer roof straps, as a way to hang your gutter system without fascia. The roof straps attach to the hidden hanger inside the gutter and secure right onto the roof. If the roof is older, it is not recommended to lift up the shingles to insert the strap. This can damage or break shingles. In most cases the roof strap must be secured on top of the shingles. Installing a gutter system using this process is strong, but is not often as strong as installing with a fascia. Roof hangers are also not as aesthetically pleasing. If your home has a slate, tile or cedar shingle roof, it is highly recommended that you do not use the roof strap method.
In this case, it may be best to build out the overhang and install fascia, before installing the gutter system, which The Brothers can do for you.