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You may need to repair the eaves of your house at some point because of various issues, including rotting wood. Rots in the eaves can be caused by many factors, including chewing and pecking by squirrels and other birds.
However, the good news is that you can always fix this yourself with the right tools and by following these simple steps. So, if you need to fix your rotted eaves and you are not ready to spend so much on hiring a professional, this article is for you. Here's how to repair the eaves on a house.
How To Repair The House Eaves
Step One: Dismantle the gutters and roof flashings
Remove the gutters and roof flashing if necessary. To get access to the eaves, you may need to first dismantle the drainage structures that cover them. Disassemble the gutters at the brackets, then take out the nails that fasten them in place and carefully drop them down.
Do the same with the flashing where it overlaps the overhang's edges. Also, set up a ladder right beneath the part of the gutter you're removing and get a teammate or volunteer nearby to support it while you work.
You may also consider renting and installing a whole scaffolding system around your roof if you are working on a big project. Scaffolding is safer to work on and does not require any additional support.
Step Two: Take out the shingle mold
Insert a pry bar into the small upper portion of the shingle mold, starting at one edge of the roof. Then, push the mold away from the roof a few inches at a time, and then pull the whole thing off at once. If the old shingle mold is still good, keep it and reuse it later.
Step Three: Take out the rotting fascia
Pull the fascia (the vertical boards that frame the outside of the eaves) apart by hand after removing the shingle mold. It should be easy to remove in its degraded condition. Don't throw away the old fascia just yet; it will be helpful when measuring the new fascia.
Then, use your pry bar to loosen portions that are now stuck or jammed. Get a large rubbish bin or similar container nearby to dump all the decaying roofing materials into when you're done with the whole job.
Step Four: Take out the old soffit
A soffit is a wide horizontal board that covers the eaves' base. A deteriorating soffit, like the fascia, will be soft enough to take off by hand. Hold the uncovered edge of the board and pull it down sharply to remove it.
Expect the soffit to break apart as you try to pull it away. Waterlogged boards are frequently spongy and brittle. Exercise care because behind these walls, when dismantling the old soffit, birds, squirrels, and bugs like bees and termites have been known to build their nests.
Step Five: Take out any rotten or damaged rafters
Examine the rafter's condition (the thick beam running the length of the overhang). If it is still good, you can leave it in place while installing the new materials around it. It must be removed with a reciprocating saw if it shows signs of rotting, water damage, or other wear.
Cut the rafter into 1–2-foot sections to make removal easier before ripping each section off individually. You'll need to take them down and put them back up one at a time to keep your roof from falling apart if your eaves are held up by more than one rafter.
Step Six: Collect materials for the new eaves
At your local home improvement store, you can buy boards to repair the worn-out soffit and fascia. It's critical that the new boards have the same width and thickness as the old ones—you can trim them to the correct length later.
It would be highly beneficial if you could bring a small piece of the previous material to use as a reference. Aside from wood, you can choose cellular PVC, fiber cement, aluminum, or galvanized steel for your new eaves.
These materials will be more robust, last longer, and stand up to the weather better than regular boards. If necessary, you can also buy extra pressure-treated timber to cut new shingle molds and rafters.
Step Seven: Measure and cut your new timber for the rafters
Saw the new beam to match the previous one if you need to replace your supports. Only use pressure-treated timber for the rafters. It will withstand dampness and stress considerably better.
Step Eight: Replace the rafters
Clamp the new beam to the wooden backboard at the back of the eave enclosure to keep it in place. You should use 4" (10 cm) wood or screws to secure the rafter. You can start removing the next one when you've successfully replaced one rafter.
The rafters are an essential part of the system that holds up the eaves, so they need to be in good shape before you start putting in the new eave parts. Press on the newly set beam to ensure it is firm and secure before moving on.
Step Nine: Install the new soffit
Measure and cut the new material to the correct size, using a part of the rotten soffit as a pattern. This may be done with a handsaw, but a circular saw or table saw will produce the most exact and efficient results.
The soffit should ideally consist of only one or two boards to avoid leaks. If you don't have enough undamaged soffit to use as a template, measure from one side of the home to the other and record the dimensions on the new board.
Step Ten: Measure and cut out the fascia
Prune the fascia boards to the proper length in the same manner as you did the soffit. To make sure the boards fit well together, cut the edges of the boards where they will meet at 45-degree angles. You may need to measure and mark these characteristics on the fascia board before cutting to ensure that everything lines up correctly.
This is especially the case if your home's eaves have any unusual angles or projections. Some materials, typically aluminum or steel, may need to be cut and measured in the store by a professional before you can take them home and put them up.
Step Eleven: Weatherproof with a layer of sealer
Make sure they can handle the weather before putting the new parts on the roof. The easiest method to achieve this is to apply a wax or resin finish on them. Brush the sealant carefully onto both sides of your materials before setting them aside to cure completely.
The sealant should dry to a functional finish in about one-two hours. Once the sealer is put on the wood, it will keep out water, mildew, dirt, and other messes, stopping the wood from getting worse.
Step Twelve: Install the new soffit
Align the soffit board with the eave's underside so that its edges are flush with the rafter. Then secure it with nails. Bury a nail four to six inches long for a stronger grip. You can also use wood screws with a diameter of 1.5 inches. It may be helpful to have a helper hold the board in position as you secure it.
Step Thirteen: Apply caulk along the soffit borders
Fill in any cracks, gaps, or dips you find in the new soffit with a caulk gun. This will give further protection against moisture and insect infestation. Allow the filler to cure before making any changes to the soffit. You may also use rooftop cement or wood glue for typical caulking.
Step Fourteen: Install the new fascia
Replace the boards over the rafter and fasten them with galvanized nails or 2.5-inch wood screws. Repeat this procedure for each portion of the roof where the eaves are beginning to deteriorate.
Cover the nail holes and paint the boards to match the rest of your home's trim after installing the new fascia. Your new overhang will be strong, watertight, and able to withstand a heavy downpour or a nesting squirrel family by the end of your project.
Cleaning Your Eaves Is Important
Cleaning out the eaves troughs is never a pleasant chore, but it is an unavoidable part of house upkeep. Failure to flush your troughs and keep them clean of waste can result in gutter corrosion, and roof damage, not to mention that rotting plant matter in your eaves can stink and discolor the sides of your property.
Cleaning out your eave's troughs twice or thrice a year will reduce damage to your property and make the work easier to do. The eaves trough, which is also called a gutter, is meant to keep water from your roof and away from your house. This helps to avoid standing water around your property and reduces the amount of damage caused by water during the rainy season or even the spring thaw.
When these troughs get blocked, water may stagnate in them and eventually lead to rusty eave troughs and a leaking roof, neither of which is fun to fix. If you remain on top of it, this work will be quick and almost austere.
How To Clean Your House Eaves
Using a trowel
There are various methods for cleaning eave troughs. Some companies sell gutter rakes and eave trowels, but a simple garden trowel can also do the job. You'll also need a robust and dependable ladder, some rubber gloves, and a garden hose, preferably with a spray and stream adjustable nozzle (you will want to turn it to stream).
Some people will recommend using a power washer. However, this is not recommended since it is not only risky to use a power washer from atop a ladder, but you also risk damage to your property owing to the angle you would have to spray at.
Start at the drain pipe running down the side of your house. This drain pipe typically leads to where the water is emptying. Check that nothing is blocking the end of this pipe and that it is draining to a safe location where you will not be strolling. After you've cleaned, spray water down your pipe with everything out of the way.
Keep doing so until the water flows clear out into the ground. When it has done so, you are free to proceed. Scoop and scrape any material from the eave's troughs using your trowel. Slowly work your way back from the drainpipe. It is strongly recommended that you have someone with you on the roof to assist with supporting the ladder.
Take your time and avoid overstretching. It's far simpler to climb down and relocate the ladder than trying to scratch an itch while wearing a body cast. The priority should always be safety.
Hire A Reputable Roof Maintenance Company
Eaves are an essential part of the roofing system, and without a doubt, the information in this article will help you fix your eaves whenever needed. This article provides a detailed guide on how to repair your eaves.
However, if these steps are too complicated or you just don't have the time to do the work, hire a reputable roof maintenance company. They will assist you with replacing damaged eaves or any other roofing challenges you may have in your house.