Tag Archives: fascia board

Aluminum or Vinyl for Fascia Boards?

Though considered as optional, fascia boards are important parts of a gutter system. It somehows acts as a “backbone” for gutters, giving them strong support. Most of the time, a fascia board on a house is typically made of wood which is usually made of pine then gets primed and painted. This prolongs the board’s life span, therefore a good attachment for the gutters to be put on. However, no matter how strong wooden fascia boards are, they’re still susceptible to decay and gets weaker over time.

Companies have tried alternatives to wooden fascia boards. Some of the varieties include vinyls and aluminum fascia boards. There are even types of wooden fascia boards which are coated with plastic, then gets primed and painted. But with the first two alternatives, which seems to perform better and is more durable?

Vinyl. It’s a very popular choice for homeowners especially if they are looking for the ones that don’t need any painting. They are affordable and lasts for a long time. Instead of repainting vinyls after a while, all they need is regular spray washing and will be good as new. In terms of colors, they are baked into the vinyls. The colors last and stay true for a long time and will not make any scratches very visible. Amidst the advantages that vinyl fascias have, there are misconceptions and some people rely too much on what others say about vinyls: they are durable and inexpensive. This isn’t always the case.

Vinyl fascia boards tend to trap moisture, making it a perfect breeding ground for mildew, and certain insects. The moisture will also seep through inside the house thus will spread the damage. When colors fade or change over time, vinyl fascia boards can be an issue in in terms of “matching” a new one’s color to the existing attachments. This usually forces the homeowner to change the whole vinyl fascia set up.

Aluminum. It’s also a popular choice for homeowners too. It really is durable and can even last as long as 40 years. Most of homeowners prefer to make repairs or changes to the exterior of their house down to a minimum, as that will mean savings. Though it never is painted at the time of purchase, a homeowner has the liberty of changing the color of their aluminum fascia as much as they want. They also act as a good insulator too. The issues one can encounter with aluminum fascia boards are corrosion, dents and bent parts. If left untreated, a corroded fascia will weaken and may make the gutter sag. Cleaning is also easy with aluminum fascia, you can just use a sprayer, and the mix of water and detergent.

Installing aluminum fascia is easy, and won’t require professional help as long as the homeowner have the right tools. Replacing a certain part of it won’t be hard compared to vinyls – you can change any part without having to worry about replacing a large part of it.

No matter what can be the pros and cons between these two types of fascia, it’s still up to the homeowner’s preference. Take your pick.


Fascia Board Cleaning

Fascia boards are small planks that are located at the edge of the roof. Together with soffits, they cover up the exposed edges of the roof and protects it from moisture and protects the house interior at the same time. The fascia board is also used as gutter attachments, to make gutters more stable. However, just like every part of the house – fascia boards are also subject to dirt and cleaning.

Fascia boards are commonly made from treated lumber, metal or vinyl. No matter what the materials are, it’s not that hard to clean them. You’ll just need materials such as:

Ladder. You won’t be able to clean fascia boards properly if you’ll do it by climbing on the roof. You’ll be cleaning “blind,” as you can’t see it that much. It’s best that you use an A-Frame ladder, so it’s more stable. If you’ll be using an extension ladder, have someone help you out by holding on to the ladder and making sure that it’s stable.

Water. The universal solvent. You can’t even make the dirt move without it. A hose is optional.

Detergent. This is helpful to loosen up the dirt, and make your fascia squeaky clean.

Soft Brush. Unless you want to ruin the paint, do not use a steel wool or a hard brush. A soft brush is good enough to get the stains off, if there are any.

Bucket. To mix the water and the detergent. You can also use a sprayer along with it so you don’t have to carry the bucket all the time. You can strap the sprayer to a utility belt so you can reach for it easily.

To clean up, mix water with the detergent. Use the sprayer as a good starter for the fascia board right before you scrub it. For those tough stains, you can mix 1/3 cup of vinger to 2/3 cup of water in a sprayer. This loosens them up and makes the stain easier to scrub off. Make sure that your ladder is secure and gently scrub the fascia board while either spraying it or dipping your soft brush in your bucket. When you think one part of the fascia is clean enough, rinse thoroughly then move on to the next one.

Downspout Maintenance

The downspouts are undoubtedly an integral part of the gutter system in anyone’s home. They redirect the water collected by gutters and prevent them from seeping through the soffits and fascia boards. Having a downspout working properly will save the house from being soaked and be weak at its very foundation. We all know that once the ground just below the house gets soaked, soil erosion starts and will slowly “bring the house down.” The downspouts that one needs depends on the amount of water that’s expected to be received by the gutter on a regular basis, and also the type that will work perfectly – metal or vinyl. Though it’s the gutters that usually get all the attention, your trusty downspouts deserve some loving too.

Whenever you’re doing some gutter cleaning, make some downspout maintenance too:

Fascia Boards. Always make sure that the fascia boards are securely attached to provide a sturdy base for your drainage system. Replace any damaged or rotten parts immediately to prevent further damage.

Downspout Sections. The connected parts of the downspout should always be securely attached. The tapered ends should be in good condition and as much as possible be fastened with screws. Anchor straps should be securely attached to the wall as well.

Debris. The downspout needs to be cleared of debris all the time. A plumber’s snake can get the job done, especially for the hard to reach parts. A pressurized hose is an excellent tool for flushing it out. The best time for cleaning is when autumn comes, as there will be a lot of leaves and twigs falling. Over time, these debris break down and form a layer of muck which can accumulate into a cause of clogging. Gutter guards will help a lot in minimizing these debris so don’t hesitate to look for the right type for your roof.

Elbows. These are attachments in downspouts which enable redirection of water. Always make sure that it’s attached properly to prevent leaks.

Water runoff. When water comes out of the downspout, splash blocks are a good addition to make sure that the water is directed away from the house. Downspout extenders also do the trick to make sure no water comes through the house foundation and cause soil erosion.

How Fascia Boards Get Damaged (video)

Here’s a very good video on how fascia boards get damaged and rot. This also shows how to spot incoming damage to the fascia boards, and the whiteboard drawings explain things better. Enjoy!

Gutter Critters

When thinking about the usual issues with gutters, most of the time it’s the debris that we can all think of. The hassle of cleaning up gutters (not unless the gutter covers are doing a great job) is one thing that most of the home owners hate the most when it comes to house maintenance. Bunch of leaves, seeds, twigs, small stones and lots of muck – who wouldn’t hate the cleaning part? However, there’s another culprit of the gutters and they can’t be simply removed by just picking them up and throwing it to the bin or the garbage bag – insects.

These critters may look harmless, but wait when they increase in numbers and give way to worse problems. Here are some of them, and the dangers they bring about.

Mosquitoes. When a gutter gets clogged up, a pool of water is formed. When a pool of water is formed, the mosquitoes will come and enjoy the moment. The blood suckers – the female mosquitoes – will waste no time in laying their eggs in the pool of water. The eggs hatch within a day or two, then turn into “wigglers”, turn into pupae after 7-10 days, then hatch as mosquitoes. What’s next? More mosquitoes lurking around your house, and even get inside. Malaria is one of the diseases that they bring, and is highly contagious. One bite from a carrier and that’s it.

Hornets, Wasps and Bees. Just because you haven’t seen one in a few days doesn’t mean you can relax now. These insects will build their hive on your gutters without you knowing, and when the cleanup time comes, you’re in for a surprise. Chances are you might find a hornet’s nest in one corner and when you accidentally disturb them, you’re in for a wild chase. For you, they’re the “gutter invaders,” but they’ll think that you’re invading their territory. How will they let you know that they’re disturbed? A nasty and painful sting. Not good, for real. A single sting of a wasp is extremely painful, and being stung while on a ladder is extremely dangerous.

Earthworms. Impossible? No. Earthworms amazingly find their way into reaching your lovely gutter system. There are instances where paid gutter cleaners would show to home owners a bucket of soil with big, beautiful worms amongst the debris. How did they end up there? Some speculations include: leaves and twigs falling to the roof might have eggs, a bird eating a worm passed by and the latter dropped the eggs, or most probably an earthworm crawled its way up through the downspout.

Roaches, Ants and Termites. Roaches are a big nuisance. Ants and Termites slowly eats up your fascia board, gutters, and finds their way to the ceiling and other house parts.

Others. Being exposed to moisture makes the gutter a breeding ground of fungus, mildew, moss and mold. Slowly growing these life forms crawl their way to the fascia board, the gutter and gradually the house walls causing paint damage.

In keeping these critters out, regular cleaning is a must. When seeing a hive or a nest on the gutter, seek help from a professional cleaner to see what can be done to have it removed. With insects, it’s also recommended to use an insect spray to have them killed immediately. Seek help for pest control services too for addtiontial help.

Do Gutter Covers Really Work?

Over the years, companies have been finding ways to keep a gutter system working well amidst the challenges of nature. Nature has this knack of being unpredictable – sudden rain, strong winds, normal up to heavy snowfall – the possibilities are endless. A house is not just to be considered as shelter, nor just a place of rest. It should be a fortress – a place that will keep you safe. So it’s imperative that every component of the house is in top condition no matter what.

A gutter system acts as a drainage system for your roof, so it collects water and redirects it to a spot where it protects the surroundings of your house from flooding and making it soaked. We all know what will happen if the gutter system isn’t well maintained: soaking up the ground surrounding the house weakens the foundation, a clogged gutter makes itself a dam (which can be a haven for insects such as mosquitoes), and having a pool of water on your gutter will make the liquid seep through your fascia then go inside the house. Repairs can be done, but expect to shell out a lot of money – house repairs ain’t cheap if the damage is severe.

Gutter covers have been used way, way back in the 1900’s. The purpose is simple – water in, debris out. The earliest form of gutter covers simply apply surface adhesion, in which the cover is a reverse curve in which the water flows towards the gutter and the debris stays out. Then one by one other designs emerged – the slits, wire mesh, brushes and even sponges. But the big question is this: do they really work?

A lot of tests have been done to test the performance of the varieties of covers that are currently sold in the market. All of them have particular flaws i.e. with a gutter brush, the debris stays on top of the latter but gradually builds up and clogs if not cleaned regularly. With the slit type covers, certain types of seeds get through the holes and eventually clog the gutter as well. Other types may keep the debris out for some time, but will gradually have other debris building up and can cause clogs and muck as well.

Actually, they all work. Depending on the surroundings of a house, a gutter type is almost perfect for it. As long as the home owner knows what kind of debris the gutter covers will be facing then it should be no problem when it comes to choosing on what type will perform well against these elements. The promise of some brands like “you’ll never clean your gutters again” is a cliché. That is impossible. A gutter cover will do whatever it takes to keep the debris out, but you must do your part as well. Regular checkups, regular cleanups, and even learning to do repairs yourself will help a lot not only in preventing problems but saving money as well.

Do gutter covers work? Yes, they do.

Fascia Board Replacement

The fascia board is another important part of the house. It’s where the gutters are installed, and serves as a layer for the edge of the roof and outside. Aesthetically speaking, fascia boards also give that added touch to the roof. It also serves as a shield against weather damage that the roof and house interior can have, so it is important that it is kept in top condition. However, no matter how good your maintenance is, gradually the board will start to wear out, slowly rot and get damaged. It’s actually normal for boards to wear down, as exposure to weather elements make them vulnerable to damage. What if a part gets damaged? Do you have to consult a professional right away? You can when the damage is serious, but what if it’s just minor damage? You can surely do it yourself as long as you have the right tools.

The most common causes for damage or issues in your fascia board are: termites, wood borers, and Mother Nature herself. If you spotted any damage on one spot of your fascia board, look for more. It’ll save you money if you change a whole part rather than portions of it. The materials needed will be: ladder, fascia board, tape measure, primer, galvanized nails, paint, caulk and caulking gun (should be silicone), reciprocating saw (for old nails), hammer and a circular saw.

Measurement. It’s pretty straightforward why you need to have it accurate. If you’ll just be replacing a portion, make sure it’ll match the old installation to make it even and look like nothing happened.

Primer/Paint combo. When installing fascia boards, take note of the paint used before to match the color to make it look natural. Apply the primer, then the paint, then cut away the damaged fascia board piece. Same goes to the replacement.

Removal. Make sure your ladder placement is sturdy so you can safely pull the damaged fascia board with your hammer, and place the new piece. Secure it firmly with nails, and check the current boards if you need to put some new nails to it. Nail it against the raft. Of course, remove your gutters as well. Just be careful in doing so to prevent damage.

The Caulk. Use the caulking gun to seal off the attachment of the new piece to the remaining board, and also check if the joints needed to be resealed. The caulk can be irritating to the eyes, so wear protection too – and the face mask.

If you get used to doing this kind of repair – you might be able to do a full replacement by yourself!