Soffits

All about outside your bungalow.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2003 2:11 pm
What are the purpose of soffits? When my roof was replaced approx 3 years ago, the PO added metal fascia and soffits that now cover the once showing rafters. The quality of both is questionable (and look terrible over my front door). Now, I have discovered a flying squirrel/mouse problem in my expansion (its been a wonderful week) attic/bedroom area. In taking a closer look at the soffits, many of them have been pushed up or have buckled.....leave countless little nooks &amp; crannies for my new friends to chew their way into my walls all the while nicely protected from the elements by the soffits. <br> <br>My question......can I remove these soffits? I understand that there may be wood in poor condition underneath. Is there any reason I would want to keep the soffits in place because of weather (I live in the VERY cold midwest)? I've driven through my neighborhood and see that most of the houses have a set-up similar to mine, but there are a few with the rafters still showing. Is this an expensive/elaborate/DIY process? <br> <br>I've hired a guy to tighten the soffits next week (upper floor, winter and beyond my newbie skill level) in a ever expending attempt to rid myself of my rodent roomates. Does it make sense to have him check the condition underneath......and at some point just remove them? <br> <br>All opinions/advice greatly appreciated.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 5:59 pm
The purpose of soffits is to cover ugly rafters. <br>If your rafters look good and were meant to be exposed, then hire a guy to yank the soffits off. <br>They are bent and buckling because of poor installation. <br>Your installer put them on too tight. <br>The metal expands and contracts with tempurature changes. <br>Your wood roof does too, but at a much different rate...therefore the metal bends. <br>The guy you hired to "tighten" the soffits should actually "loosen" the soffits. <br>
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 7:55 pm
BeenThere, <br>Love the name!!
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 8:33 am
The rafters of my house were originally exposed. If they are like every other house in the neighborhood, they are plain rafters, nothing fancy.....but nice looking uncovered. I'm not sure what mine look like underneath as my house has had a somewhat abused/neglected past. Right now I don't have the $$ to deal with what possibly might lie beneath. But I have an arched entryway/stoop that is currently muddled in metal that I'd love to uncover first. <br> <br>I suspect my soffit problem is brought on by two issues. As you mention, improper installation (thanks for the quick lesson).......aggravated by animals. I've discovered a healthy squirel and mice problem in my attic/soffits (yuck). They chew through what they can to get in and wiggle around the other stuff. <br> <br>So, for now....I will have the soffits put back into place.....with the long range plan of removing them. Am I correct in gathering that the soffits do not play a role in protecting my house from the snow/cold of our midwest winters? It seems to me that it would be less complicated to take care of with that added layer gone. I'd love the hear from anyone that has removed theirs....or if my assumptions have huge errors......
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 12:13 pm
We had exposed rafters on our arts &amp; crafts bungalow in Spokane, Washington. Bet our winters (east of the Cascades and two hours from Canada) had yours beat! I think what matters is the insulation in the house, not the outside. Our home was quite comfortable.
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Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 4:03 am
The previous owners of our house put aluminum siding on, with soffits covering the rafter tails, and they just hacked off the ... what do you call them, the brace thingies? And there was originally a "waistband" so to speak, a contrasting color bar on the siding, and clapboards of two or three different widths, a classic bungalow look... all covered up by metal now. Someday we will fix it. <br> <br>Anyway, pigeons started nesting in the soffits. And running around at high speed, starting at dawn. Now, these soffits being metal... pigeons running around in them is darned LOUD. Not to mention the constant cooing, and the amounts of pigeon poop on the porch roof. <br> <br>What's worse is that pigeons are, well, homing pigeons, basically. Once a place is their home, they will continue to return. They were producing multiple batches of babies per year, and it was just getting worse and worse. <br> <br>We finally had to get up there and physically block off the hole that they were using to get in. They still come sit on the porch roof sometimes, but not being able to get in the nest discourages them. So they sit on the neighbor's roof instead, and we still have to hear them coo. <br> <br>I didn't even think about just removing the soffits. I don't suppose that would be a problem, would it, if the rest of the siding remains for now? <br> <br>(BTW, the picture you see by my post is my house in 1934. [img]/ubbthreads/images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Predating the hack job the aluminum siding installers did.)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2003 10:19 pm
Suzanne, I am presently building a new Bungalow with most of the old features. I, too had difficulty with the soffit issue because I wanted the exposed rafters. I ended up installing soffit material between the rafters. Once I convinced the installer that it could be done it went very well and looks really good. So I get the advantage of sealing the space to prevent animals and the material is no maintenance. I went to your web page and saw your house, looks great. Try to replace the brackets. <br> <br>Jim <br> <br>jmcintee@uniserve.com
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2003 10:39 am
Coincidental that you should post :-) In an ongoing effort to find out where Rustle, my bat (you know the animal has been around way too long when you start calling it "yours" and name it) has been entering, I took down a section of soffit last week. <br> <br>The area underneath is in surprisingly good condition - at least in the 4 foot section I was able to see. There are plain rafters that come out and meet the fascia, but no brackets. I've been touring my neighborhood and this seems fairly common, although some of the more fancier houses have nice brackets. The area will need to be scraped and repainted, but I didn't see rotting wood. I can't see any place that animals could roost, if I decide to take down the soffits. I've been thinking it would actually eliminate a place for animals to live. BUT, I am a little nervous that removing the soffits will lead to some problem that I can't forsee (I'm not sure I quite clear on what their purpose is). I'm also a little afraid that I will pull down the soffits and end up with a big, expensive project that I can't afford right now. <br> <br>In the house entryway the fascia was covered in aluminum strips...they had to be clipped in order to fit the rounded shape. This has created a waterfall over the front door area whenever it rains or snow melts. I can only imagine the moisture that the aluminum is hold in. I think this is the first place I will start. <br> <br>Thanks for the compliments on my house. After living here for 5 months, I'm getting attached to the place. I'm bring in a roll of film today of some of the projects I have completed.....will post them soon. <br> <br>Wow, what a long....and somewhat cathartic post :-) <br>
PostPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2003 10:11 pm
Soffits are installed to allow ventilation for the attic space while protecting against Rustle. That's why soffit material is perforated. This ventilation is to prevent rotten roof rafters and sheathing. <br>I made all the overhang brackets myself (14 of them). I have a 3 foot overhang and it sort of helps support the roof. We live in British Columbia and get quite a lot of rain. <br>If I can figure out how, I will try to post some pics. <br> <br>Jim

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