How to Repair a Soffit

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A soffit is the horizontal eaves panel that extends out from the face of the wall to the back of the fascia. Keeping it in repair is essential for the longevity of your roof. There are two main types of repair. Damaged paint is one. A soffit is painted with latex house paint and will need to be touched up and recoated from time to time. The other main repair is replacing individual soffit panels with new plywood.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire brush
  • Sander
  • Primer
  • Disposable paintbrush
  • Latex paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Utility knife
  • Pry bar
  • 1/4 inch thick plywood
  • Table saw
  • Staple gun
  • Caulking

Paint Repairs

  • Inspect the damaged areas to ensure that the damage is in the finish and is not an indication of rotted panels. Probe the damage with an awl. Rotted fascia can be poked through fairly easily. If this happens, proceed to the replacement section.

  • Scrape loose paint with a wire brush. Sand the damaged area with 100-grit sandpaper on a random orbit sander to smooth the edges of the damaged paint.

  • Apply a coat of primer to the damaged area with a disposable brush. Cover an area just a little larger than the damage on all sides. Allow the primer to dry to the touch.

  • Use a soft bristle paintbrush to apply two coats of latex paint to cover the primer. Allow the paint to dry for two hours before applying the second coat. Feather the edges of the new paint into the surrounding surface to blend the repair into the surrounding surface.

Panel Replacement

  • Cut along the edges of a damaged panel to cut old caulking and paint. Pry the edges of the panel down with a flat pry bar and hammer. Work around the edges to pry the panel loose and remove it.

  • Inspect the rafters underneath. If moisture or damage are present inspect the roof to determine if repairs need to be made to prevent future damage.

  • Use the original panel as a template. Trace it onto a sheet of 1/4-inch thick luan. Cut the luan out with a table saw. Fit the panel into the hole left by the original. Staple it to the bottom of the rafters.

  • Caulk along the edges of the new panel to seal it. Allow the caulking to dry for one hour. Apply two coats of latex paint to the new panel with a paint brush. Allow one hour between coats.

References

  • The Complete Guide to Roofing, Siding & Trim; Creative Publishing International; 2008
  • Roofing & Siding; Time-Life Books; 1989
  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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