What is a soffit

Written by Let It Flow Exteriors 

Soffit is a material used on the underside of many features of the home. It is typically found on the underside of the roof overhang, but can also be found underneath decks, arches, or even stairs. Soffit seals the otherwise open space which gives it a proper, finished look. Soffit also helps to keep out insects, the elements, protecting your home. Wood, Vinyl and aluminum are three widely used materials for soffits. Some knowledge of the pros and cons of each of the materials can help you make a good choice.

What’s better Wood, Vinyl or Aluminum Soffits?

Wood Soffits

Wood soffits have been around for many years, being the original material used for soffits. They have a grain and texture that makes them visually appealing, especially for cabins or log type homes. Wood soffits can come perforated, non-perforated or can have vents placed in them. Like wood siding, wood soffits will eventually get soft, rot and can have insect activity.

Wood soffits need to be primed and painted regularly in order to prevent this from happening. This can be costly as the paint will begin to delaminate and peel over time, so it will need to be scrapped, primed and painted frequently to keep it looking its best and to help prevent future rot. This results in a costly recurring bill in order to keep your home properly protected and looking its best. For this reason, wood soffits are considered outdated and not up to current standards for most buildings and therefore are not recommended.

Wood soffit

Vinyl Soffits

Vinyl soffits are affordable and low maintenance compared to wood. They stay in a visually appealing shape for a long time. While they do not need to be painted, vinyl soffit typically needs to be washed off once or twice a year, or as needed to keep it looking at its best. Vinyl soffits come perforated and non-perforated and can have the appearance of a wood grain. However, since vinyl soffits are in fact plastic, they look like plastic they are susceptible to both heat and cold damage, deforming in hot temperatures and cracking in the freezing cold. Therefore, they may not last as long as their counterparts. Vinyl soffits can also become brittle when exposed to sunlight. Mold can also develop on vinyl soffits, especially in damper climates. All of these issues result in the potential for added costs due to the need of cleaning and replacement costs.

Aluminum Soffits

Aluminum soffits have been around for decades and is another alternate to wood and vinyl soffits. They are the preferred material for new buildings and renovations as they are resistant to rotting, chips, cracks, insects and as they are also flame retardant. Aluminum soffits are also not susceptible to issues with heat and cold as vinyl is. They are available in either a solid color, simulated wood grain pattern. Perforated or non-perforated depending on your ventilation needs.

Aluminum soffits conceal any imperfections better than vinyl or wood. They are not very impact-resistant, denting if met with force, although this isn’t a huge issue as soffits are not taking a beating as gutters or your shingles would be. The low maintenance requirements of aluminum soffit appeal to homeowners. It does not attract dirt easily, cleans easily with water, and will not rust since it’s made out of aluminum. Aluminum soffits typically cost more than vinyl, but the upfront costs of aluminum soffits vastly outweigh the long term costs of vinyl or wood as they truly are a lifetime product, while the others are not.

Aluminum soffit

Let It Flow Exteriors

At Let It Flow Exteriors we always recommend aluminum soffits above all else. We believe the slight cost difference up front is well worth the money and time you will save in years to come. We offer over 40 different colors, and multiple grain patterns of aluminum soffits to meet all your needs. Whether you want to match an existing colour or add a new splash of color to your home we have exactly what you need. Proudly serving Parkland County and surrounding rural areas we offer 5” & 6” continuous aluminum eavestroughing, soffits and fascia, siding, and faux Stone. Contact us today at 780-932-2810 or visit our website at Let it Flow Exteriors to find out more.

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