Understanding Aluminum soffit Systems
Aluminum soffit Systems
Aluminum soffit systems have become very popular because of their relatively low price and ease of installation. Your exterior roof soffit is typically the surface on the underside of the roof overhang. The roof overhang and soffit serves three basic purposes. First the aluminum soffit system moves the edge of the roof out beyond the wall so that water not caught by a drainage system like gutter will run off away from the wall foundation. Secondly it creates a shading overhang referred to as a shading coefficient helping to keep heat from the sun from directly hitting window surfaces. Lastly the overhang covered by an aluminum soffit system creates the perfect location for roof ventilation intake.
Aluminum soffit systems typically include 3 or four basic components. The system begins with a starter section which will be either an F shaped channel or a J shaped channel. The next piece will be the soffit panel. This panel will be either 12 inch or 16 inch wide and 12 foot long. The panels are cut into sections based on the width of the overhang. The last primary component of the system is the fascia cover. This will match the width of the face of the fascia board. If your system involves a corner where the soffit panels turn you will also need an H divider strip for this transition?
Aluminum Soffit Panels
When it comes to aluminum soffit panels there are three basic panel designs. Solid panels are used where you do not want ventilation to occur, center vent panels where only the center section of the panel is vented are the most common for typical eave venting. Full vented panels are used where a larger volume of intake ventilation is required.
Aluminum Soffit Installation
Aluminum soffit installation begins by installing the F or J channel along the wall parallel to the fascia board. The top edge of the receiver will typically be installed level to the bottom edge of the fascia board unless you are installing a raked or angled soffit system.
Next comes the soffit panel installation, if soffit panel will span more than 36 inches you will need an intermediate support as typical aluminum soffit is not designed to span over 30 inches without support. (Check manufactures specifications for recommendations) Soffit panel is installed in the receiver and the other end is stapled to the bottom of the fascia panel to hold it until fascia cover is installed.
The last step is to install the L shaped fascia cover so that it fits under the roof drip edge and over the soffit panel below. When nailing the fascia cover into place remember that the metal will expand in the heat. If you nail it too often it will buckle, but too few nails and it will blow off in the wind.