Sloped roof edges always overshoot the top of the exterior walls, resulting in an overhang covered by soffits. In today’s post, Wortham Brothers Roofing shares a look at what soffits do, and how roofs benefit from them.
Roofs require a ventilation system to prevent damage caused by hot and humid air. Since hot air rises, it tends to collect in the attic. A sloped roof ventilation system consists of two parts. Exhaust vents located at the ridges release hot and moist air. As it evacuates the roof, it creates negative pressure that pulls cool air through the intake vents at the soffits.
It’s important for a roof repair and installation contractor to calculate the size of the soffit vents relative to the ridge vents. Soffit vents that are too wide can result in weak air currents in the attic, while vents that are too narrow won’t allow enough fresh air to sustain air circulation.
With the exception of home styles like Craftsman style, which utilizes mortise and tenon roof decks, exposed rafter tails need to be covered by soffits to create a clean look. Soffits usually match the trim and molding colors, but you can use a different one depending on the exterior color palette. You have to make this choice before installation if you’re choosing vinyl or other materials with factory-applied colors.
In addition to vinyl, soffit can also be made from aluminum, wood, and fiber cement, all of which can be painted after installation. When choosing the soffit material, keep in mind that soffits are exposed to the same outdoor conditions as your roof and siding, therefore you should choose something as durable.
An open overhang can allow dust and airborne debris, as well as small animals, into the attic. Another purpose of soffits is to prevent unwanted things from getting in. Soffits also create a barrier that protects the roof from high winds.