Roofing Exterior Details You Need to Know

Regarding your home’s exterior, contractors may speak another language. Brushing up on some basic terms can help you understand what the 5R Roofing is saying and get the job done right.


Knowing the difference between rake and fascia will make communicating with your roofing contractor easier. Learn about the other trim pieces that work together to create the beautiful home you envision!

Eaves are the edges of a roof that overhang beyond exterior walls, and soffits are the underside of those eaves. They protect a structure’s roof from water damage, deter pests, and provide ventilation. Depending on the needs of the building, soffits may also add a decorative element to a home’s exterior. Understanding the differences between eaves and soffits is important when tackling roofing or remodeling projects.

The main function of an eave is to prevent water damage, especially from rain, snow, and hail. It directs precipitation away from the house’s walls and into gutter systems. Eaves also help control the internal temperature of a building by shading windows from the sun, keeping them cool in summer, and decreasing heat gain in winter.

A soffit is an eave’s underside, covering exposed rafters and cavities. It can be vented or closed, and it comes in various materials. Wood, vinyl, aluminum, and fiber cement are all popular choices. In addition to being durable, soffits are easy to maintain, requiring little more than a regular cleaning of debris from under the eaves.

A soffit is often clad in the same material as a fascia board to create a cohesive appearance, and it can be either insulated or uninsulated. Insulated soffits are usually more energy efficient, as they keep the attic space cooler and help with air-flow management. A soffit can also hide utility wiring, ductwork, and a chimney. It can also be used to conceal structural beams or freeze boards. The latter are small pieces of trim that attach to the soffit and rafters, and they can be designed with a wide range of aesthetic options.

A roof fascia is a long piece of trim installed where the roof meets a home’s walls. It is typically made of wood or uPVC and helps protect homes from rain damage and other elements. In addition, it provides a finished look to the area around the roof.

Unlike the soffit, a fascia board runs parallel to the wall rather than at an angle and is fixed to the ends of the roof rafters or trusses in the eaves. It also covers rafter tails to protect them from moisture and rotting. Fascia boards are available in a wide range of materials, including perforated vinyl and aluminum, which are inexpensive and easy to install. Vented fiber cement and wood are more durable options that offer a more premium aesthetic.

The rake is an angled portion of the roof with a low slope from the ridge to the eaves. It protects the roof’s edges and directs rainfall to gutters or downspouts. In many cases, a rake is covered by a fascia board and nailed to the joists’ top edge. The posts are then covered with shingles, which complete the roofing system.

Like the soffit, a rake is one of the most important parts of a roof. Without it, a home would be prone to leaks and other moisture problems. In addition, a sloping roof would be difficult to walk on and could become unsafe. A soffit and fascia protect the structure from animals, insects, and other intruders, which might otherwise cause damage or enter the home. Fortunately, qualified VA installers can install several types of durable and attractive materials for both a soffit and fascia.

Drip edges are an important roofing detail that protects your soffit and fascia boards. These metal pieces redirect water away from vulnerable parts of your roof and house and funnel it into gutters, where it can be safely drained to the ground or evaporate into the sky. Without a drip edge, water can collect along the edge of your roof, causing wood rot and other moisture damage. Drip edges are also a good way to prevent pests from entering your home through the “carpenter’s gap,” the space between a roof deck and the fascia board.

There are a few different types of drip edges, each with its own specific advantages and disadvantages. A classic style is a “Type C” drip edge, which is L-shaped and designed to lie under the roof decking. This is the most basic version of drip edge, but it still offers effective water runoff. Other drip edges are more complex and designed for certain kinds of roofs. A hemmed drip edge, for example, is intended to deter water from moving upward using capillary action and is primarily used with metal or standing seam roofing.

The best kind of drip edge for your roof will depend on the style and material you choose, as well as your budget and roofing project specifications. You’ll also want to consider whether you’re looking for a color or finish that matches your roof or the overall style of your home’s exterior. Having a cohesive cover will boost your home’s curb appeal and make it easier to maintain and repair. You’ll want to keep it clean and free of debris, sweep regularly, and paint or stain as needed to protect against sun damage.

Columns are one of the most distinctive architectural features in your home. They are often structural but can also be decorative. Columns are usually round in shape and have a capital that sits atop a base or pedestal. They are commonly seen as part of the entablature of classical architecture. Columns can be built in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and materials depending on the desired aesthetics and needs of the project.

A column is a compression member that transfers the weight of the structure above it through the material into other structural elements below. They are commonly used to support beams, arches, and roofs but can also be decorative. Columns are designed to resist lateral forces and can be designed for seismic or wind loads.

Many design details can be incorporated into columns to give a room a unique look and feel. For example, the shaft of a column can have fluting and fillets. The width of the flute changes as it goes up the post on tapered columns and stays the same on non-tapered ones. There are also many different shapes that a column can be designed with, 

HB&G offers various manufactured and wood porch columns in multiple sizes, styles, and materials for exterior use. Synthetic columns, made from cellular PVC, are a durable option as they can resist moisture, pests, and rot. They come in a wide range of predesigned styles and can be easily installed on existing structural columns. They are available in square or Craftsman style in plain, fluted, or recessed panels.

Corner posts are an important part of the fencing system, providing additional strength and stability. They can also be a design element, adding to the overall look of a home or building. Corner post trim offers styles that complement traditional, classic, or contemporary looks. For example, hand-carved details in ornate patterns create gorgeous dimensions.

Depending on soil type, fence height, and livestock type, the fence system may need to be braced using H-braces. These are usually installed between the ground and the first upright on the fence line or at the base of the corner posts. Coastal carries a complete line of fence supplies to accommodate these variable requirements.

The blanking panel on a corner unit must be moved backward to install these. This is done by undoing the four screws holding it and sliding it back. It should then be screwed back into place once the corner posts have been positioned. This will leave a service void that must be filled with the appropriate insulation.

To prepare the site for installation, clear the area and level it as required. Dig your holes for the posts, and check the post height is correct against a batter board, as well as the distance from the corner of the building to the next upright along the fence line. To do this, mark the good with a pencil to the face of the corner post and use a level to establish the distance from the corner of the building to that post. Use this information to mark the location of your H-braces and ensure they are installed properly.

The Importance of Roof Maintenance

5R Roofing saves thousands of dollars over the long run. Small repairs or defects caught during a routine inspection prevent major problems.


Building personnel should walk the roof at least twice yearly, preferably in the fall and spring. A roof system historical file should be maintained. That should include the original plans, specifications, warranties, and thorough documentation of maintenance and repairs.

The flashing is a vital part of the roof system that protects vulnerable areas like chimneys, vent pipes, dormers, and valleys. It is made of water-proof aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel. It is shaped to fit around each penetration, sealing the joint and preventing water from getting into the house. It is a good idea to check it regularly to ensure it is secure and well-caulked. Leaking is a common problem with flashings, but it can often be a simple fix as long as the flashing is properly installed in the first place. However, if the flashing has been damaged, an expert roofing service must have it repaired promptly to ensure the leaks are stopped before they get out of hand.

A professional inspector knows how to identify the problems that can occur with the flashing, including corrosion. Corrosion is usually a sign that the flashing is deteriorating and must be replaced soon to prevent moisture intrusion into the home. Other warning signs include discoloration on the walls near where the flashing meets, leaking around windows and doors caused by missing flashing sections, and increased exterior noise due to air entering through gaps in the flashings.

In addition to examining the flashing, a professional inspection should also read the field of the roof for any cracks, deterioration, and general wear and tear. A professional will also be able to identify potential areas where leaks may be originating and will be able to recommend the best course of action for repairing them.

During a regular maintenance visit, the roof will be inspected to look for any cracks in the surface and deterioration of the shingles and other components and to clean out drains and gutters. The maintenance crew will also prune any branches touching the roof that may need to be trimmed back, and all areas of the top will be re-flashed where necessary. In addition, the crew will re-caulk any areas that need it and re-secure any loose or missing shingles.

Clean gutters remove water from the home’s structure, foundation, and siding. Gutter cleaning isn’t the glamorous of home maintenance tasks, but it helps prevent costly damage and keeps the house looking nicer.

Clogged gutters can cause water to overflow from the roof and into the walls or ceiling, creating mold, mildew, rot, and other problems. It’s best to clean the gutters twice a year — once in the spring and once in the fall, or both if you live in a rainy area.

First, set up a ladder a few feet away from the house to clean the gutters so you can comfortably reach each section. Wear work gloves and safety glasses, and make sure the ladder is secure. Start at one end of the roof and use a gutter scoop or hand trowel to remove the leaves and debris. Continue until the entire gutter is empty, and then move the ladder over a few feet and repeat. After all of the waste is removed, turn on a garden hose at a medium flow and use it to flush out the gutters. Please start at the end of the channel opposite the downspout and work toward it to ensure that all of the gunk is being pushed down and away from your home.

If the gutters are stained, a solution of white vinegar, cream of tartar, and water can be used to scrub them. That will also help break up stains and deodorize the gutters.

While some homeowners prefer to climb on the roof to clean the gutters, it must be safer and more practical. Staying on the ladder and following good ladder safety practices is better, especially when leaning out over the roof’s edge. It may be safer to climb on the top using a specialized gutter guard system with heating elements, which can melt snow and ice dams and keep them from blocking your gutters. Gutter guards are also available with a retractable arm that extends from the top of the channel to clear the eaves when needed.

Tree limbs that hang too close to the roof can damage the shingles during a storm. In addition, the branches can fall onto your home, creating a hazard to people and pets. Regular trimming can prevent this and keep the shingles from weakening.

Following proper pruning techniques when removing branches is important, even if you are not a professional arborist. For example, before cutting, you should locate the branch collar – a raised area of bark where the branch meets the trunk. This spot may be hard to find on some trees, but you can generally recognize it by its shape. You should never cut through the collar if removing a large branch. Instead, you should see off a stub two to four inches long. That will protect the trunk and encourage the growth of a callus around the wound, which helps to prevent rot.

Other important pruning procedures include removing diseased or dead limbs and thinning the crown. Thinner branches provide more resistance to wind damage and reduce the risk of limbs falling during storms. However, it’s important not to remove more than one-fourth of the canopy at a time, as this could put unnecessary stress on the tree.

When thinning a crown, you should remove crossing or rubbing branches and limbs growing at an odd angle from the trunk. That will help the tree grow more evenly and prevent limbs from becoming too large and breaking off. It’s also a good idea to remove suckers, weak and weedy-looking growths that form at the base of a tree. These steal energy from the more desirable limbs and can also attract pests.

You should also remove the lateral branches that hang low, as these can scrape your roof in strong winds. Finally, you should maintain a two- to three-foot clearance between your house and the top of the nearest tree. That will minimize the risk of damage from falling limbs and increase the enjoyment of your yard.

Caulking is a crucial element of roof maintenance. A good caulking job will prevent moisture penetration, leading to problems, including mold and rot. It will also improve the energy efficiency of your commercial property. If you notice signs of caulking deterioration, removing and replacing the old caulk before it causes further damage is important.

The most common sign of caulking deterioration is the formation of cracks and gaps. It is also important to look for missing beads and areas where the caulking has started to peel.

To remove the old caulk, first prepare the surface. Clean the area using a non-chlorinated cleaner and a non-flammable solvent such as denatured alcohol. Put the alcohol on a rag and rub over the caulk. The solvent will loosen the caulk and remove it easily without damaging the roof. Once the old caulk is removed, the area should be thoroughly cleaned to ensure any residues are removed, and the surface is ready to implant new sealant.

When you are ready to install the new caulking, ensure the temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are working on a metal roof, it is best to use a stainless steel blade tool to avoid tearing the metal membrane.

The new caulking should be applied in a bead about the width of your finger. That will help to provide a more even and attractive finish. After using the dot, you should smooth and level it with a tool or finger. That will help ensure the new caulking is not too thick or too thin.

Inspecting the flashing is another important part of the roof maintenance process. Your roofer will check for areas where the flashing has been damaged and is properly sealed. They will also look for signs of corrosion or rust that may indicate that the flashing is eroding and needs to be replaced. They will also inspect the flashing around any vents or pipes to ensure they are properly sealed.