5 Reasons Why You Should Never Cap Over Fascia Boards

Welcome to Daniel’s Roof and this excellent guide to fitting fascia boards to a roofline.

To compliment this page, you will find additional photos over at the photo gallery.

Below you can find the 5 reasons why I never recommend capping over the existing fascia and soffit boards, I also feel you should think twice before trying to save money by having the work done this way.

In all honesty, I have only ever “capped” a board twice. The first time was because the customer insisted on it as he was selling his house and wanted to improve its appearance on a budget.

The second time was because we were unable remove the existing boards, it was an unusual situation where there were severe access issues, it was decided that there was only one option – to cap over the original boards. We did put extra long nails into the capped board and the customer agreed that it was the best course of action given the unusual circumstances.

 

Below is a selection of photos I took after discovering a project carried out by a less able installer, note the reduced tile overhang that has led to rot. It’s not unusual on “capped” fascias.

Photo shows timber fascia being capped with plastic, note the rot and reduced tile overhang.

You can see many more roofline images in the photo gallery

 

Here is another view of the same capped fascia:

capped and overclad fascia board

See more from this set in the photo gallery

 

Here is a close up of the rot:

 

Anyway, below is my list of 5 reasons why one should replace rather than cap:

1) Nearly every cowboy roofer in the United Kingdom will recommend capping over the existing boards. It’s a fact that these morons are too stupid to construct something from new so they simply cap over and hope for the best. In 15 years of installing roofline products I have seen many roofline disasters, almost all of them from “cap over” cowboys. It is incredibly easy and quick to cap over a board while replacing them does involve a lot more work.

2) Rot – Timber will rot over time if it is subjected to moisture, possible causes would be from overflowing (or splashing) gutters, condensation or via a broken roof tile. Cowboys that are too dumb to do the job correctly will not tell the home-owner about any rot they discover, instead they will just cap over it and send the bill. Once it is capped it is impossible to see the rot that will of course spread over time.

Rotten timber fascia boards

Rot to top edge is hidden by guttering – more pics in the gallery

 

Example of rotten fascia board

Rot to top edge of fascia board – see more examples here

3) Guarantee – The guarantee that is typically offered with a fascia installation will not cover the sub-structure, ie the old fascia that the new plastic is secured/nailed to. Hence why it’s best to just remove and replace it and then fix directly to a solid and reliable structure such as a roof rafter.

4) Reduced roof tile overhang – By capping over the boards the guttering will be set slightly further away from the roof tiles, this may cause rain water to run behind the gutter rather than into it. This is a known issue that is directly caused by capping over the fascia instead of doing a proper job and replacing it. The reduced overhang is even more of any issue on old fascia boards that are warped and buckled – it’s best to remove them.

5) Obstruction – Try fully opening a window near the existing fascia boards. How much gap is there between the window and the existing fascia? If another fascia was “capped” on top of this existing board, would the window still fully open? Or would it catch/jam on the new fascia? Professional fascia installers are trained to *ALWAYS* check the window openings during an installation and to leave an allowance that takes into account settling (that’s where the timber roof drops by an inch or two after construction – due to the weight of the tiles ) If the window can’t fully open then this is an issue as it may be needed as a fire escape in an emergency. I have seen three (yes three) homes where the designated fire escape window has been obstructed this way.

See More Photos

The photos below are just a selection taken from the photo gallery:

 

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