When you think about checking your home's roof for damage, you probably look at the shape of the structure and the condition of the shingles. However, another important part of the roof includes the soffits, which is the area underneath the edges of the roof.
Usually covered with vinyl, the soffits do more than just improve the appearance of your home. They also provide a barrier to protect the decking and shingles along the roof's edge line. If the soffits start to crack or are otherwise damaged, there are a couple of problems that can arise if they are not repaired by a professional.
1. Edges of the Roof's Wooden Decking Stays Wet and Will Eventually Rot
One problem caused by damaged soffits is that the edges of the roof's wooden decking will be exposed to excess moisture. As part of their job, the soffits shield the decking edges from rain, snow, and ice to help keep them as dry as possible.
However, if the soffits are damaged, the decking will stay wet, which can eventually leak to the rotting of the wood. This deterioration can spread up the decking, which can compromise your roof's structural integrity. If the damaged soffits are not repaired when you first notice them, you may be faced with more costly roofing repairs or even the need to replace large sections of the roof.
2. Roof's Edge Line Becomes Vulnerable to Infestations from Insects and Other Pests
Another part of the soffits' function is to provide a barrier against pests. When intact, they keep insects such as termites away from the decking as well as prevent birds and rodents from making their homes under your roof.
When the soffits are cracked or broken, these pests will find the open areas and can cause damage to both the decking and the shingles. They can even find their way into your home if the soffits are not fixed.
While the soffits underneath the edges of your home's roof may seem to be there only for decoration, they serve to protect the roof's decking from moisture that can lead to rapid deterioration of the wood. When intact, they also keep insects, birds, and rodents from invading the area and causing damage to the roof. If the soffits are cracked or large portions are missing, contact a contractor who offers roofing repair services. They can inspect the areas and fix both the soffits and any edges of the roof that have been damaged.