Mounted at the roofline, fascia boards and soffits cover exposed sections of roof trusses over the sides of a house. Nailing these boards to the rafters creates a barrier that bars entry of water and animals, or heat and cold loss. Similar to gutters and siding, fascia boards accumulate dirt, debris and dust, causing them to wither and appear in need to replacement. However, thorough inspection and maintenance at least once a year increases their lifespan and allows you to save on excess replacement costs. Use a sturdy ladder to access the fascia boards.
Cleaning Fascia Boards – Mix a small amount of mild liquid detergent to water in a plastic bucket. Pour the mix in a spray bottle. Spray an even amount of the detergent solution over the section of the fascia board in front of you, until covered. This practice helps loosen accumulated dirt and grime so it is easier to remove.
Saturate a soft-bristled brush in the solution in the bucket and scrub the fascia board with it, moving your hand in a circular motion. Continue to clean the area until it appears clean. Wipe away the soapy solution residue from the cleaned section of the fascia with a clean rag. Move the ladder to the adjacent side of the fascia and repeat the process of scrubbing it with a brush. Continue this process until the entire fascia board is cleaned.
Repairing Fascia Boards – Inspect the fascia for cracks along its span. Load a tube of caulk in the caulking gun and push a nail through its tip to break the seal. Release a thin bead of caulk into the crack, and then run your wet finger over it to work it into the crack. Allow the caulk to cure for the time specified on the label’s directions.
Pry off severely damaged or split fascia boards using a pry bar, or loosen and remove the nails holding it in place using a claw hammer. If only a section of the board is damaged, cut it using a reciprocating saw. Remove the loose or cut section from the house.
Cut a new fascia board to the same measurements as the removed section. Lay this section across a pair of sawhorses and apply a coat of exterior-grade primer over it. Allow it to dry before applying two coats of paint over the surface. Allow each coat of paint to dry.
Place the new board up against the roof’s rafters. Hammer nails through the fascia and into the rafters at the top, middle and bottom. Fill gaps between the new fascia and existing fascia using a caulking gun and silicone caulk.
Repainting Fascia Boards – Scrape off loose or peeling paint from the wooden fascia using a flat, chisel-edged paint scraper. Wedge this tool under sections of loose paint and separate it from the wood.
Sand the surface of the fascia board with a palm sander and 80- or 100-grit sandpaper, moving your hand in a circular motion. Continue sanding the surface of the fascia until you remove leftover paint and prepare it for fresh paint.
Apply an even coat of exterior-grade primer over the fascia using a roller. Allow the primer to cure for the time specified on its label’s directions.
Apply two coats of latex-based exterior-grade paint over the board, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly. Exterior-grade paint protects the board from harsh weather, increasing its lifespan.