Fascia board is the sheets of wood attached to the ends of the rafters. They are not the wood sheeting under the roof shingles. Fascia boards can become damaged from improperly installed drip edges on the roof, from termites and other wood boring insects or just from exposure to the elements. Replacing these boards is not a difficult task and is something the average do-it-yourself homeowner can perform.
Step 1 – Preparation
The first step in replacing wooden fascia boards is to do an inspection of your house to determine which boards need replacing. The bad boards will be easy to spot; they will probably be split, cracked or showing signs of rotting. If you have enough fascia board to replace, you might just want to replace all of it at once. Otherwise, you can just replace the rotting boards as necessary.
Measure the width of the current fascia boards and purchase new material of the same width. You can prime and paint the fascia boards before cutting and installing them or you can install them first before priming and painting. Either way is acceptable.
Step 2 - Removing the Bad Fascia Board
Place your ladder securely against the roof of your house near the area where the bad fascia boards are. Take the claw end of your hammer and pry the damaged board away from the rafters. Measure the length of the board to be replaced and transfer this measurement to the new fascia board and cut the new board to length.
Step 3 - Installing the New Fascia Board
Place the new fascia board against the rafter ends and tight against the roof line. Be sure the new board is butted tightly against any adjacent boards. Drive a nail into the top and bottom of the fascia board and into the rafter. Drive nails in the same manner into any rafters that the fascia board contacts.
Step 4 - Finishing the Installation
Apply a bead of silicone caulk to the top edge of the fascia board and also to any joints where two boards meet. Next you need to prime and paint the new boards if you haven't already done so prior to installing them. Pay special attention to any exposed edges as these are the most exposed to the elements.
Tips and Warnings
- Always wear safety goggles when working overhead and when using power tools.
- If you can't find fascia board at your local hardware or home improvement store, you can use plywood sheets cut to the proper dimensions. Just make sure the plywood is rated for outdoor use and it is properly primed and painted to seal it against the elements and insects.
- If the ends of your rafters are too damaged to support the fascia boards, you can cut new sections of the two-by-fours and nail them to the existing rafters.