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 structure of the roof from the elements and limits the amount of damp entering the building. Soffit also fulfils an aesthetic purpose too, 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 type 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 the fact it is quite inexpensive when compared with other materials. Whether solid or hollow soffit board, the affordability of uPVC makes it popular choice for many homes.
Another key advantage of 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, uPVC solid or hollow soffit board may be the right choice for you. It is also a resilient material despite the lower price tag – it will generally not crack or chip and will not 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 very easy 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.
uPVC solid soffit board is the most common type of soffit 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. Vented soffit is like solid soffit board except with pre-drilled ventilation holes to keep air flowing in the roofing system.
Hollow soffit board is the final option, which has very similar features to the uPVC solid soffit board although it is generally slightly cheaper in price. This type is also very easy to install and is regularly used for wide soffit applications. All uPVC soffit comes in a range of 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 a lot of sunlight and can discolour in the heat. It is also more difficult 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 own 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 that get 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.
From durable aluminium to inexpensive uPVC hollow soffit board, there are several different types to choose from. The ultimate choice should be based on budget, durability, aesthetics and what kind of weather conditions the building in question is subject to on a regular basis.