what you need to know about replacing your roof

what you need to know about replacing your roof

How To Replace Rotted Wood Fascia Boards

by Vanessa Lord

If you have wooden fascia boards, you will often need to replace them. Fascia boards are the horizontal boards attached to the ends of roof rafters. They get damaged over time because they are frequently exposed to the elements. You don 't have to be an experienced roofer to replace fascia boards, but it does require climbing a ladder or scaffold. Here are some tips to replace wooden fascia boards.

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • safety glasses
  • tall step-ladder or scaffold
  • utility knife
  • putty knife
  • screwdriver
  • hammer or small pry bar
  • reciprocating saw (optional)
  • epoxy
  • caulk and caulk gun
  • galvanized steel nails
  • primer and paint (optional)
  • plywood or replacement fascia

Set a tall step-ladder or scaffold on flat ground. An extension ladder isn't useful, since the top portion can't rest against the work area. Get someone to hold a ladder for you.

Inspect the damage. If only the bottom edge of the fascia is cracked, spread epoxy on it with a putty knife.

Remove Old Fascia Board

Loosen the gutter screws with a screwdriver; pull it out, and lower the gutter gently to the ground. If there's a downspout, loosen the screws, and lower it to the ground.

Measure the length of the board before you remove them. Run the utility knife along the seam between the soffit (eave) and fascia board meet to remove old caulk.

Use a pry bar or claw-end of a hammer to push the board from the rafters. Repeat across until the board is loose, then remove it.

Install the New Fascia Board

Use the measurements as a guide to buy new boards, If you can't find the boards at your local hardware store or home improvement center, mark the measurement on the new board, cut the boards to the size of the old boards with the saw.

If you prefer, you may prime and paint the board before or after installation. Mark the position for the new board below the soffit on the rafter tails.

Set the new board in place against the rafter on the marks, and hammer a galvanized nail through each rafter tail and at the top and bottom of the board. Add a layer of caulk using the caulk gun to the fascia board edges; press it with a putty knife to smooth. Let the caulk dry.

Reinstall the gutter and downspout. Your fascia board should look as good as new. Talk with a professional, like American Handyman Plus, if you don't trust your skill or if your roof is seriously damaged.


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what you need to know about replacing your roof

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