Ask a Green Builder: What is a green solution for replacing fascia boards?

Fascialpsmartside_3Question: I desperately need to replace the fascia boards on my 1950’s Pasadena home as there is wood rot in about half of them. However, I am passionate about the environment, and I want a solution to replacing them that will: 1) have the least-negative environmental impact in terms of materials and hazardous chemicals, and 2) last a long time. I don’t understand why fascia boards should be made of wood rather than metal or some other material that won’t be subject to rot. Having to constantly replace wooden fascia boards is wasteful. Any ideas?

Answer: From Karen Feeney, Green Resources Manager, Allen Associates in Santa Barbara:

There are a number of non-wood fascia and trim board products on the market. The most popular and durable are the fiber-cement products including those made by CertainTeed, Louisiana Pacific and James Hardie, among others. These products require minimal maintenance and are nearly fire, termite and moisture proof when installed correctly. They have a wood look to them and come in a variety of widths and colors, which can be important issues in your decision-making process (as the width of fascia boards you will need depends on the design of your roof system).

There are also a number of vinyl products that offer durability, however given the fact they are petroleum based (creating a number of environmental and health issues), they are not the greenest option available.

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(Photo: Louisiana Pacific)