Which Type of Soffit is Best to Use?

For many buildings, soffit plays a hugely important functional and aesthetic role.  Used to connect the roof overhang and the side of a property, it protects the rafter beams making up the roof structure from the elements and limits the amount of dampness entering the building.  The soffit also fulfils an aesthetic purpose, adding a touch of style around the perimeter of a building’s roof.

There are several different types of soffit to choose from – ranging from aluminium soffit to uPVC hollow soffit board – and each of these different types has several advantages and disadvantages.  Below are some of the reasons you may decide to invest in one particular style over the other.

One of the most common types of materials for soffit boards is uPVC.  This vinyl material has a range of benefits; not least, it is pretty inexpensive compared with other materials.  Whether solid or hollow plastic soffit board, the affordability of uPVC makes it a popular choice for many homes.

Another critical advantage of the uPVC soffit board is that it is the most insulating option for a home compared with other materials.  If this is a concern for you, a uPVC solid or hollow soffit board may be the right choice for you.  Despite the lower price tag, it is also a resilient material – it will generally not crack, chip and rot.

The fact that uPVC does not rot is due to its excellent water resistance.  This makes this type of soffit board a fantastic choice for locations with high rainfall.  It is also a straightforward material to clean and maintain.  uPVC soffit generally comes in three types: solid, vented and hollow soffit board. Again, each of these has pros and cons.

The uPVC solid soffit board is the most common type used due to its affordability and ease of installation. It should be installed over soffit disc vents or fascia ventilation to maintain a good level of airflow in the roof area. The vented soffit is like a solid board except with pre-drilled ventilation holes to keep air flowing in the roofing system.

The hollow soffit board is the final option, which has very similar features to the uPVC solid soffit board, although it is generally slightly cheaper.  This type is also easy to install and is regularly used for wide soffit applications.  All uPVC soffit comes in various styles, making it very easy to find an aesthetic that suits any building.

The disadvantages of uPVC soffit are that it can become brittle when exposed to sunlight and discolour in the heat.  It is also more challenging to cut and bend to fit varied spaces than other soffit materials.

The main alternative to uPVC as a soffit material is aluminium. Again, this type of soffit has its unique pros and cons. The first of the plus points is that similarly to uPVC soffit, aluminium is highly durable; this material will not chip, crack, or rot.  It is also highly water-resistant, another good choice for buildings with a lot of rain.

Also, similarly to uPVC soffit, aluminium soffit is easy to clean and maintain.  It is, however, more expensive than uPVC, and costs can quickly add up if covering a large area.  It also does not insulate as well as uPVC does.  That said, aluminium is a highly malleable material, making it perfect for fitting into varied spaces under a roof.

There are several different types, from durable aluminium to inexpensive uPVC hollow soffit board.  The ultimate choice should be based on budget, durability, aesthetics and what kind of weather conditions the building in question is subject to regularly.

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