Wood Soffit Replacement: 5 Tips

Soffit replacement becomes necessary once the feature is extensively damaged. Many homeowners install wood soffits to seal the open space between the roof edge and adjacent wall or siding. It helps to protect the home from the elements and makes the interior of the house more comfortable. In most cases, wear and tear of soffits is caused by prolonged exposure to the elements. When damaged, it increases the risk of moisture infiltration, lowers energy efficiency and also allows small animals entry into your home. Wood soffits have a higher rate of wear and tear than other materials. It is best to replace them as soon as possible as it helps to make your home more secure. It also ensures that your home remains in good condition for longer. Below are 5 replacement tips.

1: Preparation Tips

Some preparation on the adjacent surfaces is necessary before you remove wood soffits. Remove the top siding because it makes it easier to extract the damaged wood without obstructions. You also need to remove the molding which secures the soffit in place. Be careful as you remove these items because you will need to reinstall them after the soffit installation is complete. It may also be necessary to remove trim pieces in the adjacent areas to enable easier installation.

2: Soffit Removal Tips

Extract the soffits in complete panels. You can then use the panels as a template for the replacement panels. It is easier to begin work at the seams. In most cases, a finish is applied over the seams to give the soffits a uniform appearance. Trace the seams and mark along the length with a chalk. You can then cut through the caulking with a sharp razor knife. Once you’ve cut through all the seams, you can extract the soffit with a pry bar. Use a nail puller to remove nails in the rafters.

3: Wood Type Tips

It is best to use plywood, or engineered wood, for soffits. Plywood is a more affordable choice, Engineered wood has a higher resistance to damage because it is treated and has a higher resistance to fungus and termites. It also does not warp or shrink. Prime and paint the replacement boards before you install them.

4: Installation Tips

Be sure to attach the soffits securely. There should be no gaps between the panels because it spoils the alignment of the entire section and reduces energy efficiency. However, for soffits with a width that exceeds 24 inches, use a nailing strip between the panels. This helps to secure the seams tightly together. Once you’ve installed all the panels, caulk along the seams to give the surface a neat appearance.

5: Vent Tips

Wood soffits have a higher susceptibility to damage than other materials. This is because they don’t hold up well to prolonged exposure to moisture and temperature changes. They also tend to attract insect. It helps to install vents in the soffits in order to improve air circulation. Adequate circulation of air in the soffits helps to keep the wood dry and discourages insect habitation.