Problems with cap over or overclad fascias and soffit boards
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Painted timber fascias and soffit boards
Paint flaking to fascias and soffits boards
Surveyors generally note where the paint is flaking on a fascia and soffit board, as this means there are problems with the guttering. It normally means the fascias and soffits boards have rotted away as well, as they tend to be made from cheaper soft wood in the more modern properties (by modern we mean in this case after the war years).
No more maintenance with plastic fascias and soffit boards!
Often marketed as no more maintenance required, plastic fascias and soffits boards seem to be the answer to the need to re-paint the awkwardly positioned (usually two storeys up) fascias and soffits boards, which in reality very rarely get painted, due to people's fear of heights, or just lack of looking up.
It can sometimes be carried out on its own, more often it is carried out as an afterthought when gutters and downpipes are replaced, or the new windows are put in the property, or even when a conservatory is added.
It looks the same but overcladding or capping is very different to having it done properly
Overcladding is basically where thin plastic is put over the top of the existing timber. It doesn't resolve the problem at all, what it does is merely hide the problem. In fact, it can be argued that it makes the problem worse as it traps in any moisture, which can cause the timber to rot much quicker.
How can you tell it's overcladding?
The answer is it really is very difficult from the ground and you have to literally get a ladder up to it and have a close look. You can unscrew a fixing and see whether there is timber beneath, or even move a little bit, as it is often glued in place. Alternatively, you can drill into it to see if there is timber beneath. Unfortunately, there isn't an easy answer. It has been said that you can push it and it doesn't give as much as fascias and soffit boards.
The real plastic fascias and soffit boards
Unfortunately, often this is not used as it is quite a bit more expensive than the overcladding or capping of fascias and soffit boards. This is for two reasons. Firstly, the product is thicker and double layered and has integral strength and secondly, whoever is doing the work has to take off the old timber fascia board, as well as the guttering that is normally attached to it, and then fix it to the bottom of the rafter feet. These are the common rafters, the ones that form the pitch of the roof.
So, you can see it is a far bigger job and is far more labour intensive, which in turn means it is a lot more expensive, and means lots of people just don't have it done.
Problems we have seen with overcladding
We have recently come across a problem that is quite unusual, with a noise problem within a property that had been going on for a few years, which kept the owner's child awake. Upon further investigation it appeared to be coming from an area of overcladding where the timber beneath it has rotted away and when the wind blows at the right strength, in the right direction, it allows the relatively thin plastic to vibrate. This in turn causes the noise that keeps the child awake.
A request for help from surveyors with regard to problems with overcladding
If any surveyors are reading this and have literally come across problems themselves then please contact us, as we will add your comments to the end of this article.
Please see our other article about fascias and soffits:
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If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at www.DilapsHelp.com and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site www.DisputesHelp.com .
We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have put is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).
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