A wooden soffit is prone to moisture damage and therefore could rot in time. Due to this, some homeowners seek to replace it with vinyl counterparts. Vinyl soffits are impervious to moisture and are a better option if the house uses other vinyl materials such as sidings, flooring, and roofing. Replace a wood soffit with vinyl using the simple steps below.
Step 1 – Remove the Wood Soffit
Locate the nails securing the wooden soffit material to the attic, the wall or the fascia. Pull each of them, but be careful not to drop them to the ground. Use a flat bar to pry the wooden pieces away and set them aside.
Step 2 – Measure the Entire Soffit Area
Use a tape measure to measure the entire area to be covered with the vinyl soffit material. Keep in mind that vinyl soffit panels come in lengths of 12 linear feet, whether they are vented or solid. As soon as they are assembled, the area to be exposed is equivalent to 12 inches in width. To ensure that the vinyl has enough room for expansion, cut each panel ½-inch short of the whole length. Use tin snips for this purpose.
Step 3 – Install the Receiving Channel
There are various ways of installing the receiving channel. Check the vinyl kit if it has F channel or J channel types. The installation method will depend on how the roof was constructed. Check the installation manual to find the best method for installation for the receiving channel. Nail the channel to the wall and space each nail 12 inches away from each other. The nails should go through the correct nailing slot or center.
In some cases, the J channels are provided with screws. Since vinyl usually tends to contract and expand depending on the temperature change, it is best to install each screw in the center of each screw slot to avoid any side movement that may damage the panels. Use a drill to create the screw holes. Ensure that the J or F channel runs through the whole length of the wall without having any gaps.
Step 4 – Install the Soffit
Cut the soffit panels to size and at least ½-inch shorter than the intended length. Insert one end of each panel into the receiving channel and screw or nail the other end to the fascia board. Make sure that the nails or screws secured to the board properly, but never let the screw or nailhead go too deep to allow space for expansion.
Step 5 – Install the Trim
Cut vinyl or aluminum fascia trim to hide the fascia board and the secured panels. The trim should have a height equal to the height of the fascia board plus 1 or 2 inches more. Position the trim over the board and nail it in place. The nails should be spaced at least 12 inches from each other.