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creamaster 07-12-2008 07:55 PM

What type of wood is used to replace soffit and fascia board?
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I am going to be replacing the soffit and gutter fascia board this summer. Please refer to the pic I attached. I am assuming that items 1 and 3 are made of the same wood type, what type of wood should I use? The soffit material, #2, I am assuming can be construced out of plywood? If so what type should I use? Please correct me if I am wrong on any assumptions here. I plan on oil priming and latex painting all these materials with Sherwin Williams primer and paint for a nice looking and water resisitant finish. Thanks for any input.:thumbsup:

Termite 07-12-2008 09:06 PM

The fascia and the rake board can be painted red cedar, but my choice would be LP SmartTrim. It is wood grained, and the face and edges are pre-primed. It has some borate in it, and is made specifically for exterior trim.

The soffit can be AC plywood. The A face will paint up nicely, and the C face will be concealed.

Nestor_Kelebay 07-12-2008 10:29 PM


What would be the purpose in treating a wood meant for use as exterior trim with borates? To prevent it from being attacked by wood boring insects, maybe?

If that wood doesn't get wet, then any borates used as a wood preservative would be wasted. If the wood does get wet, any borate treatment in or on it will soon be washed out of it, rendering it "non-borate treated" fairly quickly since borates are highly soluble in water.

If such a case, wouldn't it be better to use whatever wood is readily available, like standard construction grade spruce or fir, and just apply a paintable wood preservative to it before priming? Or, are the borates in there to discourage wood boring insects?

Alkyd primers penetrate deeper into wood than latex primers, and that results in better adhesion, so good call on the primer. However, my personal feeling is that latex top coats work best on wood that gets wet as part of it's job, like window sills where condensation on the glass results in water in the wood. These boards won't be getting wet internally unless there's a roof leak. My advice would be to use an exterior alkyd paint on this wood over your alkyd primer.

And, if it wuz me, I would use a dead flat alkyd so that you get excellent adhesion between coats next time you paint over it wif another dead flat exterior alkyd. If you use a glossier alkyd, you'll have people telling you to sand it to roughen it for the next coat to stick. This way, it dries rough enough for any subsequent coat to stick well without sanding.

Termite 07-12-2008 11:35 PM

LP SmartTrim is perfectly suited to outdoor use. It must be painted however. It is very consistent, stable, and is available in long lengths. Most (not all) homes in this area have SmartTrim on them somewhere.

Here's from LP's website Nestor...
Each piece of engineered LP SmartSide Trim & Siding is fortified throughout the material with our proprietary SmartGuardŽ process with zinc borate to resist fungal decay and termites. Since 1996, LP SmartSide strand products have been tested in Hilo, Hawaii. Hilo's climate is ideal for testing and evaluating fungal decay. See the durability tests yourself.

Here's the site link...

Borate treatment isn't ok for weather contact. But, this stuff is factory primed, and should be backprimed in the field, and painted. Borate is gaining in popularity in areas where termite damage is common. We often see borate treated sill plates, and of course corner trim close to the ground is a good application for LP's product.

MikeT 07-15-2008 09:54 PM

Why do you prefer LP Smartside over something like fiber cement?

Termite 07-15-2008 11:20 PM

For siding, I love fiber cement. I wouldn't use it for a fascia, just because attacment of the gutters would be complicated. If there were a subfascia, that would be less of an issue. Installation of fiber cement is a bit more challenging, but nothing that a competent DIYer can't handle.

I'm not trying to pitch the LP product more or less than other similar products, but do feel that they're often a better option than dimensional lumber. I'm not a card-carrying environmentalist (I was a lumber salesman for years), but LP's product is much more environmentally friendly than dimension lumber. There won't be issues with warping, checking, drying out, etc with an engineered lumber product. Plus you get the benefit of borate treatment and factory primer.

MikeT 07-16-2008 01:20 PM

I guess I got lost in the overall discussion of trim and forgot what the original post was about. I do see your point about the fascia.

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