How To Repair Rotted Wood Fascia On A Home

Many homes built before the year 2000 had eves that were constructed using wood materials for fascia and soffit. Naturally, water makes its way off the roof and onto the fascia boards. Over time these boards rot and will eventually need to be replaced. This is how to repair and replace wood fascia boards that have rotted out.

Why Fascia Boards Need To Be Replaced

Fascia boards that have been exposed to water over extended periods eventually begin to rot. The rotten boards become soft, hotbeds for mold and mildew, and eventually crumble apart.

Fascia that is exposed to this type of damage long enough can affect a home’s esthetic and structural integrity.

Esthetic: What Kind Of Esthetic Issues Come From Rotten Fascia Boards?

Damages on any part of the home siding including fascia due to water damage lead to many esthetic issues. Crumbling wood, difficulty in painting, mold growth, and uneven surfaces are just a few.

Structial: What Kind Of Structial Issues Come From Rotten Fascia Boards?

When fascia on a home rots the boards become soft and crumble into pieces. Over long periods of neglect, fascia rot can lead to sagging roof lines, holes in the soffit, and gutters falling off the home.

Many homes are built with a 1″ x 6″ cedar board “fascia” with a 2″ x 4″ structial “sub fascia”. The underside of the eve is called a soffit. These soffit panels are commonly constructed with a 3/8″ sheet of plywood.

When the fascia board rots out fully it then allows water to make its way back into the sub-fascia and the soffit. If the damaged boards are neglected long enough damage to the rafter tails can also occur.

Rotted sub-fascia leads to structural damages such as sagging roofs and gutters falling off the home.

Rotten soffit leads to holes in the underside of the eve. This exposes the attic to the elements as well as easy access to animals like squirrels and birds.

How To Repair Rotten Wood Fascia On A Home | Supporting Video

Watch the official Masterclass on how to replace wood fascia and sub-fascia presented by Chappell Gutter.

Removing damaged wood fascia

The first step to any facia or sub-fascia repair is removing all the rotted wood you will replace.

Repairing fascia on your own can be quite dangerous. Removing old fascia boards alone can present many hazards. Hazards you will need to protect yourself against include mold and mildew, rusty nails, screws, and metal, splintering wood, and saw blades near or face.

To remove the damaged boards you will need a hammer, prybar, cat’s paw, oscillating saw, and gloves. It is also beneficial to have a mask and eye protection to help protect you from splintering wood, metal, and mold.

There isn’t much secret to removing the old fascia. The most important part of completing the project is having the right tools to get the job done. As long as you have all the tools I listed try different methods to remove the fascia boards. Get in a rhythm and remove all the wood from the damaged areas.

Replacing Old Fascia Boards With New Ones

Once all of the rotten fascia materials have been removed and you have cleaned the area of remaining nails and screws it’s time to install your new materials.

The most important factor to keep in mind while replacing wood fascia is the type of wood you are using. The exterior fascia on a house should only be installed using organic cedar or synthetic materials such as LP Smart Trim or James Hardie Board.

The best material to use in most cases is cedar but due to the cost of cedar and your unique circumstances opting for a synthetic material is fine.

DO NOT USE organic wood materials that are not rated for exterior water contact. Many DIYers make the mistake of using more affordable interior decorative boards. Though these boards are cheaper to purchase they will rot out quickly even after being painted or sealed.

The tools you will need to install new wood fascia include a hammer, 3″ long galvanized framing nails, a saw to cut the wood, tape measure, carpenter pencil, and a tape measure.

Caulking & Painting Your New Fascia Boards

The final step to replacing rotted or damaged wood fascia board is caulking and painting.

Caulking is not required but is a nice touch to ensure that all gaps and nail holes are filled and smooth before painting. I recommend Alex Plus Fast Dry caulking WHITE. This caulking applies smoothly, is rated for exterior use, sets up/drys, and is paintable in 15 minutes.

Once you are ready to paint the fascia boards just simply cover all exposed sides of the board with two or three coats of high-grade exterior paint. I recommend using Behr Ultra or Behr Marquee paints as you can purchase these paints and any Home Depot, they apply smoothly and look great for years.

Watch The Shorts

Example of a rotted fascia board
Nailing up a cedar fascia board using a nail gun
What type of paint to get for replacing wood fascia

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