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Blue River Gutters

11 Things to Know When Considering Fascia Capping

1. You Can Not Cap Over Treated Lumber

Treated lumber can have chemicals in it that will emit gas when exposed to humidity. New treated lumber has a lot of moisture in it when it is installed. When humidity is introduced to treated lumber, it creates a gas. This gas can destroy the aluminum fascia capping from the backside. The capping will start to bubble and and look like the paint is missing.

It is only once this is noticed that people usually check the capping and realize that the aluminum has been essentially turned to powder and the capping is no longer functional. If you have treated fascia boards, you do not want to cap them with aluminum.

2. You Can't See Rotted Wood Behind Fascia Capping

Fascia capping is ideal for preventing water from penetrating through the wood. It doesn’t have to be painted and it can be put right on top of the fascia boards. However, here are a few ways water can get behind the capping.

  • Gutters are installed wrong
  • Fascia capping installed wrong
  • Roofing and shingles too short
  • Damaged roof

If any of these things happen the wood behind your fascia capping will eventually start to deteriorate. You can not see this happening. Once you put the fascia capping up, the wood behind it is no longer visible. If you do not actually do a visual inspection of your home in the rain observing where the water is leaking. You would never notice the issue until it was too late.

Fascia Capping SoffitA lot of people have their fascia boards capped and then 5-10 years later the system fails. They usually blame the gutter system until they discover the real problem. The roof is usually damaged, installed incorrectly,  or no drip edge was installed. These problems inevitably lead to water rotting the wood behind the fascia capping.

3. Fascia Capping Can Look Cheap

Fascia capping uses a thin aluminum sheathing that doesn’t always look structurally sound. If the fascia boards are really wide the capping can have a wavy look to it. The aluminum does not appear to be solid or have the integrity of a regular fascia board.

Since the capping is only a thin aluminum sheathing, it can diminish the grade of the home. Capping is done in 1 foot sections resulting in seams being visible. The 1/8 in stainless nails that are often used for capping are easily visible and are usually not visually appealing. A tough rigid fascia board painted with a premium finish looks much sharper than fascia capping.

4. Expanding and Contracting Due to Weather

Fascia CappingIn severe weather, the metal fascia capping will expand and contract as much as 1/4 in per 10 foot section. Extreme heat or cold can cause this to happen. When the expansion or contraction occurs, the nails will start to come through the capping and won’t be as strong. Using a ribbed nail can help solve this problem most of the time. 

Shorter sections for fascia capping can also reduce the amount of expansion and contraction from severe weather.

5. Vinyl Peeling and Finish Degrading

Aluminum painted surfaces usually last around 10-15 years from looking superior. After about 10 years the aluminum will begin to oxidize. When this happens the fascia capping doesn’t look as appealing. Sometimes you can repaint the surface and make it look better but it won’t return to how it looked when it was put up.

There have been problems with vinyl coatings de-laminating from the aluminum cappings. These are cases where the coatings have just all of a sudden came off of the aluminum leaving the home with a chrome look. Make sure you are aware of this issue when you choose manufacturers for vinyl fascia capping meterials.

5. Fascia Capping Protects Wood Forever if Installed Correctly

Other than expanding and contracting, aluminum is quite resilient against the elements. If the aluminum is nailed correctly to a solid fascia board, it can last virtually forever. If the seams are not exposed to water getting behind them and the roof is in good health, fascia capping can be great.

If someone gets on your roof or something else damages the integrity of the roof, you could have a problem. If you don’t have any of these problems, aluminum fascia capping can be very strong for protecting your home.

6. It Can Dress Up an Older Home

When vinyl capping was first introduced in the 1960’s, it was used on older houses. Houses were painted over and over again and the finish started to look worn and ragged. Roofers would put a capping over the scrapings, flaky paint or chopped out sections of wood. This made many homes look almost brand new in comparison to what they looked like before.

7. Fascia Capping Hides the Flaws of Bad Wood Construction

If you have fascia boards full of bee holes, knots, or unfinished you can cover it all up with a fascia capping. This is a cheap and quick alternative to spending time and work on fixing problems that can just be covered up.

Fascia Capping Rodents

8. Prevent Rodents and Insects From Invading the Fascia Boards

Bees, Squirrels and Woodpeckers can find a home or food in the fascia board of your home. This is common and rural areas and in homes near the woods. Capping the fascia with aluminum can send rodents and insects packing and keep them out of your home.

There are some examples of squirrels who have actually chewed through the aluminum. Usually in these cases, the squirrel already made a home inside the fascia board before the capping was installed. Squirrels can chew on the outside edge of the capping so make sure it is secured correctly with ribbed nails.

9. Change the Color of Your Home

If you don’t want to paint, you can install fascia capping using a wide variety of colors. There are probably 1,000’s of colors although they are all mostly shades of the same 15-20 colors. No need for brushes, paint, caulk, or other painting supplies. Just hire a professional or take a few hours and put up some aluminum cappings and your home with have a new maintenance free style.

10. Fascia Cappings Cover the Edges of a New Soffit Project

You might want to upgrade your soffit from just a plywood board. If you wanted a beaded board, tongue and groove or vinyl, you could nail up the new soffit over the existing one. Once you install your soffit, the exposed edge where it is finishes needs to be covered with a trim. You can use an aluminum fascia capping to protect this edge area. 

11. Fascia Capping Does Not Work Well With Large Fascia Boards

While working in Salisbury, North Carolina, a sub-divison wanted some craftsman style homes. This project included 115 homes that would have aluminum fascia capping installed. All the homes were wood exterior. 

The first problem was the sub-division wanted to use 12 inch fascia boards which are extremely wide. This size of board exposes the capping to extreme weather conditions. When the cappings were installed they looked wavy due to the size. 

The subdivision was trying to paint the homes to give them an older look. However, the fascia capping did not look appealing due to the size of the fascia boards. The subdivision was warned of this problem but still wanted to go through the with the plan.

Moral of the story, larger fascia boards are not ideal for fascia capping.

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