Facing Damage To Your Gutter, Soffit, And Fascia? How Should You Prioritize Repairs?

Posted on: 31 January 2016

If your home has recently weathered a storm, fallen tree, or other natural disaster that has damaged the outermost portions of your roof (like your gutters, soffits, or fascias), you may be wondering about your next steps. After assessing damages and notifying your homeowners insurance company, you'll want to quickly restore your home to its pre-accident condition before future inclement weather causes long-term structural problems. What factors should you use to determine whether these parts need to be replaced, and how should you prioritize replacement? Read on to learn more about tackling damage to these protective components of your roof. 

How do you know if these parts of your roof require replacement? 

Because your gutters, soffits, and fascias are designed to help keep rainwater and any debris that may land on your roof away from your windows and other potentially vulnerable areas, time is of the essence when you're looking at damage repair. In some cases, the damage to these parts of your roof can be minor enough that you'll be able to perform some repairs to the affected areas yourself or make a small patch rather than perform a full replacement. For example, if a length of the gutter has been torn away from the roof but is not otherwise damaged, or if a small area of the soffit or fascia has been dented by hail, you may be able to tack the gutter back into place or remove and replace only the damaged portion of soffit or fascia. 

However, if your gutters, soffits, or fascias have been completely removed by winds, smashed by a falling tree, or otherwise damaged beyond easy repair, replacement may be a more cost-effective option. Even if you have to pay a contractor to order supplies and arrange installation, this can often wind up being less expensive than purchasing the tools and materials needed to repair significantly damaged parts of your roof (as well as the potential cost of unsuccessful repair that later leads to moisture issues within your home). Depending upon the severity of the damage to your roof, your homeowners insurance company may even require professional repair and disallow any later claims that could be seen as directly related to do-it-yourself repair.

In addition, if your soffits and fascias are an unusual or unique color or made from a hard-to-match material and require some patching, replacement may be in order. Patching or filling in hard-to-match materials can often lead to visible defects that may reduce the resale value of your home, making it harder for you to later sell your house or take out a home equity loan.

How should you prioritize repair or replacement order?  

When you're facing damage to several intertwined areas of your roof, you may wonder whether there's a specific order in which you should replace these parts. In most cases, you'll need to remove your gutter in order to access the adjacent soffit and fascia. As a result, it makes more sense to save the gutter replacement for last rather than having a contractor replace your gutters, then remove them to access and replace the soffit and fascia. If your gutters don't require replacement (but your soffits or fascias do), you may be able to save some money on the cost of contractor services by removing these gutters yourself rather than paying for someone else to do it. 

If your home was underinsured and you're not able to afford to replace all these components at the same time, you'll also want to prioritize the soffit and fascia replacement over gutter replacement. While gutters are ideal at capturing water and debris and funneling it away from your home, soffit and fascia are designed to help protect the most vulnerable parts of your roof and siding, and damage to either of these parts can have fairly instant and long-lasting consequences.