Your eaves are an important part of your roof and they consist of several parts. The fascia is the area that faces outward, arranged perpendicular to the top of the roof. The underside of the roof overhang is called the soffits. Inside the soffits are vents, which are a necessary part of your home's airflow system. Issues with any of these components can compromise your roof.
The eaves can be made from vinyl, aluminum, or wood. Wood eaves, in particular, can develop cracks or holes due to outside damage. Vinyl eaves can sometimes become cracked as well, such as by hail. Openings in the eaves are a major issue because water can seep into the roof. Another problem with cracks and holes is that they provide entrances for animal pests, such as squirrels, rodents, birds, wasps, and even raccoons.
Some wood damage can be patched and repainted, while more severe damage will require a replacement of the damaged board. Vinyl is typically not easily repaired so replacement is a better option.
Rot only affects wood eaves. It typically occurs when the paint on the eaves begins to wear off, or if there is a crack in the wood. Moisture is able to reach the wood in these instances, which sets the rotting process in motion.
If caught early, the rotten portion can be removed and the boards repainted to seal them against future issues. Otherwise, the entire rotten portion will require replacement.
The vents on the underside of the fascia can become blocked by nesting birds, insects, and debris. The vents should be equipped with screens to keep pests and debris out.
Inspect the underside of the eaves often so that you can remove any debris before it builds up. If you notice missing or damaged screens, call a roof repair service to replace them.
Gutters can be considered an accessory on the eaves. They should be installed at the proper distance so that water doesn't run behind the gutters and down the eaves. This repeated water exposure can lead to rot.
Check your gutters during a rainstorm to make sure water isn't running out the back or otherwise leaking. If there is overflow, try cleaning the gutters first. If this fails to fix the problem, you may need the gutters adjusted.
Contact a roof repair service if you suspect eave problems with your roof.