Soffits are the panels found under the overhangs on your roof, often made of wood, vinyl, or aluminum. These panels bridge the gap between your exterior walls and the roofline. Many homeowners are finding that wooden soffits on their homes rot and need to be replaced over time. When it comes time to replace these soffits, many homeowners debate whether they should replace the bad sections with matching wood, or replace all the soffits with vinyl?
Wood soffits fail over time for a variety of reasons, including leaks that cause the wood to rot, wind damage, ice damming loosening nails, and fungi that can cause dry rot. Wood soffits, especially those near gutters, should be inspected regularly.
Traditionally, soffits were made from wood, but with modern advancements, more homeowners are choosing vinyl soffits for their durability and simplified maintenance. Vinyl soffits do not require regular painting and are available in a wide variety of textures and styles to compliment your home.
Before you make a decision about whether to replace your wood soffit with vinyl, you should ask these five key questions.
Five Key Questions to Ask
1. What are the short-term and long-term costs of replacing wood soffits with vinyl?
While there are short-term costs to replacing wood soffits with vinyl, in the long-term, you’ll see reduced upkeep and repair expenses. While painted wood peels over time, the color on vinyl soffit is embedded in the material, so you will not need to repaint the soffit. These long-term savings make up for the increased initial cost of replacing wood soffit with vinyl material.
2. How can ventilated vinyl soffits reduce energy costs?
Due to increased energy costs, New Jersey homeowners are looking for ways to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Many homes constructed decades ago featured unventilated wood soffits. Today, the importance of a well-ventilated attic and roof system is better understood.
Modern ventilated vinyl soffits improve airflow through your attic, allowing hot, humid air to escape. During these warmer months, a well-ventilated attic acts as a buffer between the conditioned air in your living space and the air outside, thereby reducing the load on your cooling system and reducing cooling costs.
3. How can vinyl soffits positively impact health?
Wood soffits are often the victims of mold, mildew, and fungus, due to roof leaks. These could potentially cause respiratory and other health issues due to spores in the air. In addition to mold and mildew, fungi can break down the fibers in the wood, leading to the wood crumbling, known as dry rot. Because vinyl soffits are very water-resistant, they do not suffer the same issues with mold, mildew, and fungus, so you can rest easy.
4. What about soffits and insects, animals and nests?
While wood soffits may rot over time, allowing animals like bees and squirrels to build nests in your eaves, vinyl soffits do not provide a place for insects and animals to live. Additionally, rodents are less likely to chew through tough vinyl than rotting wood, ensuring your soffits continue to protect the roofline and keep animals out of your house.
5. Will the appearance of my home change if I replace wood with vinyl?
Crisp, clean vinyl soffits are often a plus in the eyes of prospective homebuyers, as vinyl retains a “like-new” appearance for many years, and requires less upkeep than wooden soffits that require frequent repainting and repair.
Recommendation from a Certified Contractor
It’s often easier to make a decision to replace wood soffits with vinyl after getting expert advice from a certified roofing contractor that serves your area on a regular basis. Factory-certified contractors meet rigorous standards before they are factory-certified by leading roofing manufacturers like GAF and Owens Corning.
Since these companies require that such contractors meet rigorous customer service standards, it’s easier to trust their recommendations.
Contact CRS Today
Contact CRS if you’d like an expert recommendation on whether to replace wood soffits with vinyl. Since 1977, we’ve addressed every NJ roofing need imaginable, from routine maintenance to emergency repairs, and periodic inspections to complete roof replacements. We also update roof ventilation, install drip edges and more.
CRS is proud to be a GAF Master Elite Contractor and an Owens Corning Preferred Contractor. This puts us in a position to offer the very best manufacturer warranties in the business.
We’d welcome the opportunity to earn your business, whether you live in Bergen, Essex or Passaic counties or beyond. Please contact us, and we’ll arrange to send our certified roof inspector to your property.