The fascia is a vertical edge that is connected to the trusses or the rafters close to where the gutters are installed. The soffits are horizontal pieces that are located beneath the roof's overhang. Both are finishing edges that give a roof a more unified look, while protecting the underside of the roof from the elements. When certain vents are installed, the soffits also play a part in the ventilation system of a home.
Traditionally soffits and fascia were made from wood or aluminum, but vinyl and other composite materials are becoming more popular as of 2015 because of the low maintenance they require. Some of the vinyls are designed to look like wood. Both the fascia and soffits should be inspected at least once a year, at the same time the gutters are being cleaned. Make sure the paint is in good shape and that there are no holes where water or small animals can get into.
Soffit vents are installed flush with the soffit, either in one large strip or in individual pieces. These vents allow air to get into the attic space, keeping it well ventilated. The ventilation keeps moisture from settling in and possibly causing mold or, in severe cases, wood rot.