How to Repair Rotted Soffit and Fascia – Part 3

This project is continued from How to Repair Rotted Soffit and Fascia – Part 2.

The scaffold is positioned at the corner of the roof so I can easily reach the corner of the roof to pull off the fascia board. I arranged the aluminum scaffold planks as shown so I could reach the corner of the roof from the upper plank or walk onto the roof from the lower plank.

Soffit and Fascia Repair: Scaffolding

Soffit and Fascia Repair: Scaffolding

Also, if I slipped off the roof the scaffold would catch me – at least that’s theory!

How to Repair Rotted Soffit and Fascia

Remove the Rotted Fascia Board

Having removed the gutter, the rotted end of the fascia board where it rests on the roof is now in plain sight:

Rotted Fascia Board Resting on the Roof Shingles

Rotted Fascia Board Resting on the Roof Shingles

Looking down the fascia board toward the corner of the roof. Notice the open end of the gutter at the corner:

Replace Rotted Fascia Board

Replace Rotted Fascia Board

I’m sitting the ladder that I laid on the roof against the 2×6 board and roof brackets. I wouldn’t want to be doing this job without the scaffolding!

Rotted Soffit and Fascia Board Repair: Scaffold, Ladder and Roof Brackets

Rotted Soffit and Fascia Board Repair: Scaffold, Ladder and Roof Brackets

And the view from the porch deck of the scaffold and ladder.

View of Scaffold and Ladder Arrangement from the Deck

View of Scaffold and Ladder Arrangement from the Deck

Remove the Rotted Fascia Board

I began by cutting caulk lines between the fascia and soffit with a utility knife.

The fascia board was surprisingly easy to pull off the house while standing on the scaffold. I tapped the corner-end of the fascia with the hammer and used the pry bar to wedge it free. Then I worked the end of the fascia board to pull the entire length free.

Remove the Rotted Fascia Board

Remove the Rotted Fascia Board

Remove the Soffit Plywood

I climbed the ladder on the roof to inspect the soffit. The soffit was full of hickory nuts from the squirrels:

Rotted Plywood Soffit Repair

Rotted Plywood Soffit Repair

Plywood soffit, 2×4 lookouts (“lookouts” are horizontal framing the soffit is nailed to) and roof rafters:

Plywood Soffit and Debris from Squirrels

Here’s another example of the incompetence of the carpenters: Notice the extra 2×4 blocks nailed beside too-short lookouts so the ends would be flush for the fascia board. There’s a reason why the company that built my home went out of business shortly after it was finished. Good thing this is not structural work.

The soffit was fastened with two inch staples to the 2×4 lookouts. The lookouts provide a nailing base for the soffit. I removed the soffit by working the pry bar between the 2×4 lookouts and soffit. Hickory nuts, saw dust and fossilized squirrel droppings rained down!

This is the water damaged 2ft x 7ft section of plywood soffit:

Plywood Soffit Repair: Old Plywood Soffit and Water Damage

Plywood Soffit Repair: Old Plywood Soffit and Water Damage

Notice the rain water stains at the bottom right where the soffit contacted the roof.

Install New Soffit and Fascia

I bought a 4′ x 8′ sheet of 3/8″ thick Georgia-Pacific Plytanium® sanded plywood for the soffit and an 18 foot long 1″ x 8″ TUF board® Trim­board for the fascia and cut each to the size of the original members.

TUF board® is PVC plastic product with a light wood grain one side and is smooth on the other. TUF Board is waterproof and rot proof with a lifetime guarantee, can be cut and nailed just like wood and is paintable. This is just what I needed for direct contact with the roof shingles! TUF Board appears to be sold exclusively by Home Depot, which is convenient for me.

I measured and cut the plywood with a circular power saw. I used my Dewalt Compound Mitre Saw to cut the TUF board. The TUF board required two cuts:

  • Miter cut to mate with the 45 degree angle of the other fascia board at the corner of the house.
    The miter cut at the bottom of the next photo. Make this cut first!
  • Measure the board length to make the 2nd cut to match the 12/12 roof pitch.
    For simplicity I used the old board to mark the angle, which for a 12/12 pitch roof is 45 degrees.
Soffit Repair: New Soffit and PVC Fascia Board

Soffit Repair: New Soffit and PVC Fascia Board

I’ll rehang the original gutter section as well.

The new section of plywood is fastened to the 2×4 lookouts with 1-1/2″ exterior wafer head screws. The most difficult part was holding the plywood in place until I could set the first screw. Notice the sanded side of the plywood is facing down for the best presentation:

Replace Rotted Soffit: New Section of Plywood Soffit Installed

Replace Rotted Soffit: New Section of Plywood Soffit Installed

The TUF board PVC fascia is attached to the 2×4 lookouts with 2-1/2″ stainless steel exterior wood screws:

Replace Rotted Fascia: TUFF board PVC Fascia Installed

Replace Rotted Fascia: TUFF board PVC Fascia Installed

Remember to apply a small bead of caulk to the end of the fascia board at the 45 corner joint before attaching it to the lookouts. This is to protect the original wood fascia along the front of the house.

This project is continued in How to Repair Rotted Soffit and Fascia – Part 4.

Take care,

Bob Jackson

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7 Responses to How to Repair Rotted Soffit and Fascia – Part 3

  1. MrT61 August 26, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    I need to do some soffit work on my daughters house. All 4 corners have weather/water deterioration. My question is this: What is the best method for cutting the old soffit (on the center of a 2×4 lookout) in a clean, straight line, so that the new material will butt up to it well and both “ends” can be nailed to the existing 2×4 lookout?

    Have circular saw, reciprocating saw, miter saw, table saw, dremel tool…just not sure which is best for cutting and removing the old there on the center of a 2×4?

    • Bob Jackson August 26, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

      The challenge will be making the shallow straight cuts in the existing plywood soffit for the new panel butt joint over the 2×4 lookouts. Holding the saw upside down overhead with sawdust raining down on you is fun, too!

      What I’d do is mark a straight line on the old soffit centered on the 2×4 lookout, screw a 1×2 guide strip or similar to the soffit that is offset so the circular saw blade is centered on the line. Adjust the circular saw blade for a shallow cut just a bit more than the thickness of the soffit plywood, and cut as much as you can of the soffit before the saw bumps against the fascia or wall.

      Move the guide strip to fit the Dremel tool with a straight 1/8″ router bit and finish the end cuts.

      ——————-

      It may be less aggravation to remove the entire section of old soffit and replace it instead of trying to cut overhead butt joints. This is what I chose to do for my repair.

      • MrT61 August 30, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

        Thanks for the reply Bob. I appreciate the idea of a 1×2 guide strip – excellent idea. Your final remark about removing the entire piece HAD crossed my mind and I believe I may look at that as a real possibility. Thanks again for replying to my inquiry. P.S. Replaced her dryer belt earlier this aftternoon. Gotta love home ownership – especiallly when it’s one of your children’s home! LOL

  2. Irene January 4, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    I had several sprinkler heads act like a geyser going through my soffit. I am ignorant on this issue. What I see is the aluminum soffit and do not know if there is wood above it. The soffit is attached to my gutters.

    • Bob Jackson January 6, 2016 at 9:25 am #

      The soffit is attached to wood framing members called “lookouts“. The geyser can work it’s way into the soffit vents and perhaps inside the exterior wall. You should have the sprinkler heads fixed right away. Typically the sprinkler head is missing or broken when water is shooting up like that.

  3. Dianne July 15, 2016 at 7:55 am #

    My handyman replaced a 4′ piece of soffit that had a air grille, he did not put the air grille back, should I be concerned about reduced air flow. I do not have a ridge vent. Thanks

    • Bob Jackson July 16, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

      The soffit vent should have been replaced. A single missing vent won’t make big difference but many homes tend to have insufficient attic ventilation so a missing vent only makes it worse. Suppose the missing vent is the only intake for that section of the attic; now you have a hot spot that can accelerate shingle aging.

      > I do not have a ridge vent.
      Your home should have box vents and gable vents.

      Use the GAF Attic Ventilation Calculator to determine if your home meets the minimum ventilation requirement. The soffit vent intake area should equal the box/ridge/eave vent exhaust area.

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