What are facias?
A fascia is a board that runs along the edge of the overhang of the roof and creates a clean and aesthetically pleasing finish. It can also be known as a “transition trim”. The fascia protects the roof and allows for ventilation to run in and out of the home.
Older homes may have originally been built with wooden fascia boards that over time have degraded and weakened the structural integrity of the house and therefore they may need to be replaced by more modern UPVC.
UPVC is a very popular option in recent years as it looks fantastic and is low maintenance, making it ideal for homeowners. Unlike wood, UPVC doesn’t need to be repainted every year with a little bit of soapy water and scrubbing to refresh it.
Things to bear in mind before replacing wooden fascia boards?
Primarily, you need to be careful. Please do not attempt to do this job whilst standing on a ladder as you may fall and injure yourself. Instead, we recommend erecting scaffolding so that you and safely and stably remove the wood and apply the new UPVC fixtures.
Are there different types of fascias?
When replacing the wooden fascia it is worth remembering that this means your home could be around 20 years old or at least the current fascias have been there for at least two decades. To ensure the durability of the new UPVC option, you will need to check the roofing felt under the tiles at the eaves. Felt can deteriorate after many years and consequently may also need to be replaced. When fitting the new felt, ensure that it hangs 3 inches over the fascia and is also fitted under any existing felt that remains. This will make it more water-resistant, as water will run off the new felt rather than under the degrading older material.
How to fit the new UPVC fascia
Several steps are needed to successfully fit the new UPVC fascia and replace the wooden ones. Before fitting the new YPVC fascia you should clear the side of the building of any guttering and then connect a horizontal strong line. This will ensure that all sections of your new boards will be level. Remove the existing wood to avoid any moisture getting trapped and then remove the two bottom tiles of the existing roof. This will allow for tighter and easier installation.
The quality of a project is heavily impacted by the quality of the tools used and for this reason, we suggest using stainless steel nails. They will securely fasten the UPVC fascia and provide longevity and durability. Other nails can discolour leading to the fascia appearing less attractive.
When fixing the new fascia you should leave a 5mm gap. This needs to be done for expansion. Leaving no buffer could mean the environment causes the fascia to expand and the structure of the building may be damaged.
It is vital that you wait until the soffits have been fitted before attempting to attach the fascia. These two elements go hand in hand and if the soffits haven’t been done or haven’t been done correctly you risk creating huge problems.
Why can I not just clad the older wooden fascia with UPVC?
Some professionals suggest that you use the UPVC to ‘clad’ over the existing wood. Naturally, the argument here is that it can save time and energy however we strongly urge you to avoid doing this. By cladding the wooden fascia in the new UPVC you are potentially putting your home in jeopardy both what you live there and also if you are planning on selling. Cladding the fascia could cause moisture to build up or leak and this will cause the wooden fascia – which supports your new UPVC fascia to rot. This could cause structural damage that will be expensive to fix and ultimately may lead to having to replace the wooden features anyway and start over from scratch – potentially with new costs for the UPVC. If you are speaking with a professional who is urging you to take the cladding approach we suggest you contact another prospective candidate for a second opinion.
Finally, if you have any questions about cladding or wider questions about UPVC or fascias in general please contact the BC Profiles support team who are friendly and efficient in providing answers for you.