Choosing the right soffit material will keep this essential part of your home trouble-free as it does its job of protecting your home. Also known as the eaves, the soffit is the gap between the roofline and the siding. Soffits may project out a few inches and contain vents for moisture control and attic ventilation.
Choosing the Right Soffit Material
On many homes, soffits are made of wood, which is considered warm and natural. The problem is that wood rots over time, which makes soffit replacement an ongoing expense. With many other alternatives available that will blend with any style of home, many smart homeowners are turning to other materials that require less upkeep.
Two of the most popular types of soffit material these days are vinyl and aluminum. Neither type will rot, rust, or disintegrate, which makes them long lasting. How do the two types compare?
Vinyl Soffits for a Customizable Look
Vinyl is an affordable product and is very customizable to your home. You can buy it in a variety of colors, textures, and grains to make it match or contrast with the rest of the building. Once in place, it is easy to clean and resistant to chips and cracks, so it looks great for the long run. Since it is resistant to water, it works well in high moisture area. As a bonus, it is also a good insulator.
Though vinyl is durable, there are a couple downsides. Installation can be tricky, as the material is hard to cut, bend, and fit into spaces near the roofline. In high heat and intense sunlight, it can discolor and become brittle. If not properly vented, mold can develop on vinyl. For some homeowners, the biggest disadvantage of vinyl is that they view is as a “cheap” material.
Aluminum Soffits for Long Term Value
The other main contender for soffit material is aluminum, which is more expensive but easier to install, even in cold weather. Very malleable, it allows you to make a sharp bend in the soffit material; is easy to install even on roofs where the rake changes; and on an attic or gable end of the roof, it can produce a more air-tight seal. It is non-combustible and resistant to rotting, chipping, and cracking. It is very easy to clean and maintain. You can buy it painted and vented for optimum air flow.
Aside from cost, the main disadvantage of aluminum is its ability to dent under force. Also, it is not a good insulator like vinyl.
Should you choose vinyl or aluminum soffit material? Mountain States Windows and Siding, a contractor with experience installing both, can help you decide what is best for your home and then install your material of choice for long-lasting good looks and performance.