How to Repair a Fascia Board
Fascia boards are located along and under the roof’s edge. They usually bear the weight of the bottom row of the tiles and the guttering system. These boards are usually at a high risk of water damage due to this positioning. For this reason fascia boards rot far quicker than any other wood structure in the house.
Repairing these boards sometimes entails removing entire sections and disassembling gutters. All this while standing on a ladder. This is with a doubt a dangerous task and it will demand a lot of patience and caution to do.
To repair a damaged fascia board you will need the following; lumber, a chisel, a circular saw, wood filler, caulking, a ladder or scaffolding, glue and some paint. A reciprocating saw is a much safer option compared to a circular saw regardless of its inferior performance.
An extension ladder may not be ideal for this project since it would be difficult to position it against the boards. Instead a tall stepladder will be more stable for this scenario. Always place the ladder on an even and level surface for stability.
Remove the Damaged Part
The most vulnerable points of the board are at the seams and at the connecting sections to the rafters. Always check the board at points where there are gutter leaks for signs of rot. If the only damaged parts are the lower edges of the fascia board then epoxy wood filler will be enough to repair the damage.
To remove larger sections of the board begin with detaching the guttering system in that section. It is always safer to remove the whole board if a large part of it is damaged, however for smaller sections cut off the section using the either of the saws mentioned above. Maintain a straight and if possible cut along the seams as it is usually the line of least resistance.
A hammer and a crowbar can help remove the piece if it’s still firmly held by nails. Pry away the affected section in small increments to prevent damaging other components. Use a drill with a No. 2 Phillips bit to remove the board if it is screwed in. A cat’s paw tool is also great at prying boards off without much hassle.
If you intend to repurpose the less damaged sections of the fascia board, it will be very crucial that you pry it off carefully. Any protruding nails can be pulled out later and the gaps filled with caulking or any other wood filler.
Replacing the Boards
Clear out any remaining rot on the damaged part using a chisel and then cut your lumber to size. For extra protection make sure to prime the lumber before nailing or screwing it into place. Using 16 penny nails may cause cracking or splintering of the boards, instead go for galvanized finishing nails (8 to10 penny).
Use epoxy wood filler to repair the ends of the rafters and any other gaps or cracks that may have been left. Glue or caulking can also be used to fill in the gaps and join the seams. Before reattaching the gutters make sure to give the fascia board a new coat of paint for aesthetic and waterproofing reasons.
Other Preventative Tips
If you notice that the paint is peeling off of the fascia boards even though the wood is in tiptop shape, then it’s definitely time for a new paint job. Sand the boards and repaint them to a color of your liking.
When doing your initial inspections also check for signs of damage on other roofing components such as roof shingles, soffit and so on. For a damaged soffit you can use it as a template or take the necessary measurements before prying it off. The same goes for when you are dealing with damaged corners and other oddly shaped sections.
Fix or replace any broken or chipped shingles to prevent further water damage in the future. Installing a drip edge can also be an ingenious way to fix this issue as the metal strip pushes water away from the fascia boards.
Gutters tend to collect dampness over time if they are not channeling water in the right way thus posing risks of water damage to the fascia boards. Addition of extra spouts coupled with regular cleaning of the gutters can help ease this problem.