St Louis Roofing: Article About Soffits, Fascia and Eaves, Oh, My!
There is a lot more to St Louis roofing jargon than hips and gables. By learning the lingo, conversations with roofing contractors flow much more easily when discussing a new roof, retrofitting an old one or having a roof repaired.
Among the simplest roof structures are the eaves. These are simply the edges of a roof that hang over the faces of the walls and project beyond the sides of the building. Their main function is to guide water clear of the walls. If they overhang far enough, the eaves can provide a dry pathway around the house and reduce rain splatter on the lower walls.
Fascia is another term associated with roofing with which most people are familiar, yet not everyone knows what it means. Fascias are simply the long, straight boards that run along the lower edges of a roof. Generally made from wood but occasionally from sheet metal, the purpose of the fascias is to provide support to the bottom row of tiles and to carry the guttering.
Rafters are essential because they support the roof decking in addition to the roof itself. Typically made out of wood, rafters are sometimes left exposed to achieve various decorative effects.
There are some strange sounding terms associated with roofing; one of these is soffit.
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A soffit is a board that lies beneath the fascia. It can perform a valuable function in ventilating a roof to prevent the formation of condensation in the warm, humid summer months and keeping ice dams from forming in the wintertime.
A bargeboard is a length of board that runs along the edge of the gabled end of a house. Its purpose is to conceal the exposed ends of horizontal timbers and to prevent wind and rain from finding their way into the house. Bargeboards may be simple or they may be highly decorated and ornate.
Soffits, bargeboards and fascias are all fastened to a structure called the box end. The box end brings all these elements neatly together at the corners of a house with gabled ends.
A cornice is another structure that most people have heard of but few would be able to identify on a diagram. This is simply a decorative horizontal molding over a door or a window. Cornices are also found on furniture. The term is derived from the Italian word meaning "ledge."
Now, when the conversation at backyard barbecues turns to the topic of roofing, one will be able to join in with confidence.