Soffit is the material that forms a sort of ceiling from the top of the outside wall of your home to the edge of the roof. It can be ventilated in order to cool attic space or it can be unventilated. The word soffit is derived from the Latin word suffigere, which means “to fix underneath”.
It is important to pay attention to your soffit areas because they are more prone to weather damage than any other part of your home. If you have torn shingles the soffit can be soaked with water repeatedly and the material will rot. Small animals like squirrels can damage it when they nest behind it; bees, wasps and other insects can make their home there, too.
Ventilated soffits can actually improve your energy consumption. They help keep attics cool in the summer as cooler air is pulled through the soffit vents. Your attic will be drier and you won’t have condensation forming inside the roof to damage the roof and rafters.
Soffits can be quite attractive as well as functional. They also provide an early warning system to let you know if your roof may be having problems. They are easily replaceable should an animal damage them in order to nest inside. Soffits used to be made of wood but today are made of uPVC, a non-toxic plastic material that is completely recyclable. It comes in all colors and even in faux wood finishes.