Ah, summer in Minnesota - great for getting outdoors and soaking up the sunshine, taking road trips and vacations.

But summertime is also the perfect time for a soffit and fascia shape-up.

08aug06a1a15Many homeowners are not sure where soffits and fascia are at on their houses. At the roof's edges, the soffit is what covers the underside of the overhang, or the eave.  The edges of this area are covered with fascia boards. (See the illustration at right.)

While they might not look like it, soffits and fascia are actually parts of your roof.  Serious problems can happen when these important elements of the roof are overlooked and not maintained properly. Be sure yours do the jobs they are meant to do.

Use vs. Appearance Rafters and beams that are exposed have gone from being considered just a structural element to an integral part in a scheme of decorating. This is especially true for homes that have a country feel.  Beams that are exposed can create an outdoorsy, woodsy feel that some homeowners are looking for.  They can be great inside your home. However, when they are part of the roof and outdoor structure, you do not want those rafter or beams exposed. Why? Protection Is Vital The most important reason why is that when left exposed to all the Minnesota weather elements, those beams and rafters will not last long.  Of particular concern is windswept rain, which is wood's  enemy. Even if the wood is pressure-treated it will only last a certain amount of time, so your rafters need to be protected from snow and rain.

It is true that fascia and soffits are made often of wood themselves, but replacing these is easier than replacing rafters, so one thing to look for is evidence there is wood rot in any roof components. Also, look for paint missing or peeling, or cracked sealants or caulk. If any of these situations exist on your soffits and fascia, mildew and mold growth could be hastened and rot developed.

Materials Lasting Longer Than Wood Today there are many homeowners that choose to have vinyl or metal fascia and soffits to avoid these moisture damage problems.  Another plus is that these materials are virtually maintenance free.   Wood needs to be checked regularly for cracks or warping or any other degradation, and it will require regular repainting, restaining, and caulking. Keeping Critters Out Fascia and soffits perform another function - keeping critters out of your home. Real estate that squirrels, mice, raccoons, and other pests like is attics. Keeping fascia and soffits secure shows them they are not welcome.  So when the weather is warm, give your roof edges a good inspection to make sure that you don't have any loose or missing sections.  Like any element in your home, if you see any damage with your soffits and fascia, repair or replace when necessary. For all your roofing needs, including soffits and fascia, contact Quarve  for expert service.  We are a licensed MN exterior home improvement company, and we've been helping homeowners in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area keep a roof over their heads for over 30 years.  We can do the same for you.