What is a Fascia Board?
A fascia board is a finished wooden board on the eve of a home or commercial building. It’s often the mounting board for a gutter system. It is usually a 2×6 board and could be as large as a 1×10. Sizes vary depending on the building or why it is being installed.
This board is used to close in on Eve or box it in. It is used for aesthetics and can also be used to keep out pests. When a home is built, the Craftsman style often leaves the eaves open with exposed rafter tails. These exposed rafter tails usually do not have fascia boards installed out on the outer edge.
If you’re not doing the Craftsman style and you’re closing in the eaves, you install a sub fascia. A fascia board is then installed to close in the bottom using a soffit board. Fascia boards are used to cap the rafter tails’ ends and create a mounting board for your gutters. They make a finished, smooth flat look to the front of an eave.
How to Install a Fascia Board
To install a fascia board, the first thing is to measure and cut your boards to length. Traditionally, you’ll use a 45-degree angle on your cuts to lap one to another. This prevents water from seeping into the joints and creates a more finished look when caulking and painting the finished product. If your mounting rafter tails, measure for the seams so that they will land on the center of your craft or tails. This isn’t necessary if there has already been a sub fascia installed on the center of the rafter tails. Use a string from one end to the other, set to the correct height at the bottom, left and right of your fascia section that you’re installing. This string allows for the correct height linearly along the eave. If there is a rafter tail that is long, cut it to a more standard length and then continue on.
Common mistakes that you’ll see when installing fascia boards are improper fasteners. Using a nail is not always enough to hold the weight that will be installed on its face in the future or from the weight of the fascia board itself.
Finished nails can be attractive and simple when installing a fascia board, but if a heavy gutter system is going to be mounted, it is recommended to use a number eight spiral or screw nails or a rib shank nail hold the fascia boards on. Fastener count should be two to three fasteners every 16 inches minimum.
Fascia boards installed where they’re up and down and not straight linearly is another problem. Failure to use a string to line up one end of a section to another can cause it to be wavy. When gutters are installed, this imperfection will drastically show. This can also cause gutters to look poorly.
Installing a fascia board that is too thick won’t work. Doing this can cause the shingles to be shorter than they were originally intended. When replacing the fascia boards, often someone will use a thicker board going from a three quarter or one biomaterial to an inch and a half, which is considered a two biomaterial. This can cause the shingles to be three quarters, even up to an inch shorter than they were intended to be. Short shingles can cause water to kick back and rot the fascia boards.
After installing your fascia board, it is important to make sure that your roof projection, a roof overhang over that fascia board, is sufficient to prevent water from bleeding back onto the board. This prevents rain damage every time there’s bad weather. Be sure to use a string, proper fasteners and always make sure that it’s level from one end to the next. It is recommended to use a sub fascia to ensure that the board is fastened correctly.