Last Updated on May 13, 2020 by Jed Glover
We all have our “dream houses”. It might be a small house or a mansion. A two-story home or a simple loft type. Whatever our preference, the common denominator is – it’s a comfortable house. A place where we can relax, where our family can feel secure. When we already have our shelter, we do our best to take good care of that property. Taking care means giving each part what’s best for them.
In a house, the roof is a part that gives protection against sunlight, rain, snow, and extremes of temperature. It shields all the other parts of the house. Thus, it’s a must to consider its well-being as well. It protects us, we take care of it. But how? By studying its structure first.
Below the roof is our ceiling. It is the overhead interior surface of the entire room. The main purpose of it is to hide or conceal the roof structure or the rafts. We can see here some pipeworks and ducts run between the gap. Insulation and fireproofing material are also made here. Our house electrical and cable wirings are also in this top part. Imagine how messy this part is. Thanks to our ceiling which cap this entire part.
Now, if we go out of our houses, we can also see a covering underneath the roof. Soffit looks like a ceiling still, with a vented design on it to help the roof expel heat.
What is Soffit?
“Soffit” means “formed as a ceiling” in French. Yes, it is still a part of the ceiling, built lower than the area around it. The difference between the two is that soffit is the part we can see the underside of an arch, beam, cornice, balcony, a staircase, or vault. The ceiling is the surface that confines the upper limit of a room.
What is the Purpose of Soffit?
Soffit has two main purposes: Aesthetic and Functional.
- Aesthetic purpose since it conceals the eaves. Without it, we can see the skeletal structure- the rafting on the roof above when we walk outside the door. We don’t like that, do we? What’s good in this part is that we can style and color it according to our taste. This is a plus to the exterior part of our home. We can install lighting in this part and a security camera, to add security for the people living in it.
- The main function or purpose of the soffit is to protect the rafters from the weather elements. It allows our homes to breathe. When rafters are exposed, tendencies are molds will build up when it’s Springtime, dirt will accumulate on those beams and will rot it in a short span of time. This is not fun, nor it isn’t cheap. This soffit will save us from spending a lot!
What are the Different Types of Soffit?
There are different types of Soffits:
- Vinyl is the most common kind since it’s the most affordable option. This is available in different grains and textures. The very reason why you can customize this kind of soffit according to the look you want. It can withstand cracking, chipping, and rotting. Since this type is water-resistant, this is best for high moisture areas. Plus, it’s very easy to clean.
- Aluminum is a very flexible soffit. Like the Vinyl one, it is also resilient to cracking, chipping and rotting. Also recommended for those wet regions for its water resistance. Not only is it safe from water, but it is also non-combustible in case of fire. Aluminum does not need too much maintenance, the reason why a lot of homeowners choose this.
- Wood design is urbane and grand since it comes in different shades. Yes, we can polish woods, but this will not save it from decaying. This is not the best option for those who wanted to save in the maintenance.
- Steel is far more expensive than wood. This is the most durable type of soffit and they can stand the test of time. You can see this in mansions or huge buildings.
- The least-popular type is Fibre Cement. Like wood, this is also expensive.
Whatever type of soffit we put in our houses, may it be the cheapest one, what’s important is it will serve its purpose – to preserve our roof.
I’ve mentioned earlier that we can install lighting or even a security camera in our soffit. Now here’s the most challenging part now – how to run wires through soffits?
Electrical wiring is a tedious and delicate aspect of our house. If you’re not confident enough to do this yourself, call an Electrician. Okay, let’s give it a try!
Oops! Don’t forget to switch off the main breaker before touching any of the wires!
Wiring through Soffit
We will have an example of how to install an NVR security camera through a vinyl soffit. We need these materials before we start:
- Siding vinyl tool remover
- Of course, a ladder, since you need to go up that outside ceiling
- Fishing rod
- Electrical tape
- Eye protector
Here are the steps:
- Pluck off one panel of the vinyl soffit, enough for you to have access through the wire where you will be getting the power from. There are instances that your attic space got a lot of wood pieces that would block those wires. You will have a hard time fishing that wire you need if that’s the case. Then, you need to go up the attic and see how you can pull a wire out.
- In the attic, look for the Ethernet cable, tape it up to the tip of the fishing rod (using the electrical tape)
- Run it through where you desire to put your camera
- Go back outside, grab the fishing rod. Pull until you have the length of the cable or wire that you need.
- Fix the wire and install the camera according to the manual.
That’s it! The same goes for installing LED lights or Pot lighting in Soffits. The goal here is to have a wire behind the soffit where we can get the power for the camera or light to work.