Everything You Need To Know About How To Replace Wood Fascia Boards

It’s common for a home’s wood fascia to rot. When rot accurses to a fascia board it is necessary to replace the boards in a timely manner. Neglected fascia with water damage can and will lead to further damage near the roof’s eve. Areas that will be affected by non-maintained fascia boards include the sub-fascia, soffits, and trusses.

This is a complete guide to learning how to replace wood fascia boards. So if you are looking to DIY or a seasoned construction pro this post is for you.

What Causes Fascia Damage?

All wood fascia decays with time but you will notice some areas will decay and show rot and damage quicker than others. Typical areas that need more frequent repairs include corners where gutters are hung, gables that are exposed to lots of sunlight, and areas where roofs slope are less than a 3/12.

Why Fascia Rots At Corners Where Gutters Are Hung

The number one reason fascia rot is because of gutter leaks. Gutters are installed with gaps between pieces, formed together with a miter, and are then sealed together using tripolymer sealant. This gutter sealant is extremely good at preventing leaks for long periods of time but still needs to be reapplied every 10 – 15 years.

Resealing gutters is often overlooked and as a result, the gutter will leak water onto the home’s fascia instead of caring the water to the downspout.

Tools Needed To Replace Wood Fascia Boards

The tools required to remove and replace a rotten or old fascia board are common and universal for many types of building projects. We have included a list of the hand tools and power tools you will need to complete a fascia replacement project.

  • Hammer
  • Flat Pry Bar
  • Cats Paw
  • Speed Square
  • Carpenter Pencil
  • Tape Measure
  • Oscillating Tool (W/Nail Embedded Wood Blades)
  • Framing Nailer (optional)
  • Hand-Help Circular Saw OR Miter Saw

Hammer

A hammer is the most utilized tool when replacing fascia. Your hammer will be used for removing the old fascia and replacing it. My personal favorites are steel 20 OZ hammers but any hammer laying around will do.

Purchase On Amazon

Cats Paw Nail Puller

Cats Paws can be used as mini pry bars but also serve a very unique and useful purpose when replacing fascia on a home. Cats Paws are used to dig out nails that are embedded in wood. Use a cats paw once and you will never let it leave your tool bag.

Purchase On Amazon

Carpenter Pencils

Carpenter pencils are a great tool that you can never have enough of. Pencils will be the driving force behind baking cuts in the necessary locations.

Purchase On Amazon

Tape Measure

It doesn’t matter the brand of a tape measure or if it has 1 million extra features we just need a tool that will give us precise measurements. A Tape measure that can measure 16+ feet is recommended.

Purchase On Amazon

Framing Nailer

Framing Nailers are an optional tool but make the job about 300 times easier and faster. I recommend the Milwaukee M18 battery-powered nailer because of its portability. If you are installing fascia on regular bases, I strongly recommend purchasing a good framing nailer.

Purchase On Amazon

Caulk Gun

A caulk gun and acrylic latex caulk will help cover seams in the fascia. This tool will help give your project a seamless and professional look.

Purchase On Amazon

Flat Pry Bar

Flat Pry Bars are used during the fascia board removal process. A Pry Bar is great for giving you leverage to get behind the rotted boards and pry them away from the sub-fascia and trusses. Flat pry bars are specifically the type of pry bar you want as they give you two sets of angles to pry with for different leverage points.

Purchase On Amazon

Speed Square

7″ speed squares are a necessity when working with a majority of building projects and wood fascia is no exception. The speed square will be used to help you make straight cuts while cutting the old fascia board as well as making the cut location and angles on your new fascia board. This tool will also give you the ability to figure out the roof pitch which will come in extremely useful when replacing gable fascia.

Though a 7″ square is required I have linked a multi-pack that includes both a 7″ and a 12″ speed square.

Purchase On Amazon

Oscillating Tool

Oscillating tools are by far the best and only way you should go about removing an old fascia board from a house. My preference is the Milwaukee non-fuel Multi-Tool. These tools are easy to control and take up a very small footprint making them perfect for getting in and around objects like drip edges and soffits without damaging them.

Purchase On Amazon

Circular Saw OR Miter Saw

Maybe the most important step to replacing damaged fascia is cutting the new boards to length. For this job, it’s best to use a hand-held circular saw or a miter saw if a circular saw is not available. Both of these tools will do the job perfectly the only difference is the mobility of a circular saw will save you time and effort from walking back and forth to a cut station.

Purchase Circular Saws On Amazon

Purchase Miter Saws On Amazon

Best Caulk For Filling Seams Between Fascia Boards

When replacing fascia it is common to have small seams where two boards meet up. It is not required to fill these seams from a functional standpoint but it is a personal touch that helps create a seamless appearance. The best caulk for covering fascia seams is Alex Plus Fast Dry in the color white.

Purchase On Amazon

Best Nails For Fastening Wood Fascia Boards

3″ Hot Dipped Galvanized Nails

Purchase On Amazon

Best Oscillating Tool Blades For Removing Old Wood Fascia & Sub-Fascia

After testing many different oscillation tool blades we have found that the absolute best blades for replacing wood fascia are the Diablo Nail Embedded Wood blades.

Purchase On Amazon

Replacing Sub-Fascia Boards

The framing that can be found behind both wood fascia boards and aluminum fascia covering is known as sub-fascia. Sub-Fascia is made up of larger less appealing boards that are usually 2″X4″ or 2″X6″ and are the structural support that holds both the outer fascia and the gutters to the home.

The reason a sub-fascia board will rot is that a large amount of water damage has already occurred on the fascia. When the fascia rots it then allows water to flow behind the fascia boards and rest between the fascia and sub-fascia. If sub-fascia damage occurs for a long enough period of time water will then make its way behind the sub-fascia and begin to damage the trusses and soffits.

The video embedded below explains how to remove an old rotted sub-fascia board and replace it with a new board.

Steps For Removing Sub Fascia

Step 1. Remove all nails and fasteners that are holding the sub fascia to the home

The tools that will help you accomplish this task will be the hammer, cat’s paw, and oscillating tool/multi-tool.

Step 2. Pry the sub fascia out of position

This can often be the most challenging task when replacing sub fascia on a home. It is common that you will run into additional fasteners that you missed in step one. It can also be extremely difficult to find proper leverage to pull the sub fascia out without damaging the roof’s drip edge or soffits.

Look out for:

  • There is a very high chance that the sub-fascia board is fastened from the roof. These nails that go through the roof are hidden under the shingles. Use your Multi-Tool to cut these nails.
  • The drip edge and soffit can easily be damaged during this process. Utilize the tools you have and stay well aware of these areas throughout the removal/demolition process.
    • Wood soffits can get minor cuts in them as you can fill the cuts with Alex Plus caulking and repaint them for a like-new finish.
    • The drip edge can be bent slightly. Be careful not to overbend the drip edge as it can result in non-formal aesthetic appeal issues. Overbending the drip edge can also result in a gap between the sub-roof and the drip edge when gutters are re-installed.

Step 3. Measure, Cut, and install the sub-fascia board

The most important area of focus while re-installing sub-fascia boards is to always align/butt two boards in the middle of a truss. This will allow the boards to align evenly and give you the opportunity to place two nails through the end of both boards.

Typical boards used for sub fascia include:

  • 2″X4″ non-treated boards
  • 2″X4″ treated boards
  • 2″x6″ non-treated boards
  • 2″X6″ treated boards

Though homes are built with non-treated sub-fascia boards it is worth it to install treated boards to replace old rotten ones. This is because if the boards have rotted out once there is a strong chance that moisture will find its way back to the sub-fascia in those areas again.

Ready To Hire?

Get pricing & schedule service online.