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I was helping a friend with her house, and it turns out there is a pretty sizable gash in her fascia board right above where the gutter is nailed on. It's oval-ish, about 6 to 8 inches wide by 2 to 4 inches high, roughly. It is apparent that it is related to water damage.

They want to caulk it, but I think it's something that should get replaced immediately. Is caulk an OK solution for a temporarily fix?

What is the proper procedure for fixing the fascia board?

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If it's water damage, then the problem has likely spread beyond what's visible. Cut out the problem section, leaving half a rafter to attach to on each side. Replace with a new board (or try one of the new PVC based products). I prefer finish screws for reattaching trim work. However, if the gutter isn't attached to something structural, then go for a stronger screw. They have a small square head that counter sinks itself, easily covered by a bit of spackle. Make sure any drip edge above or below is maintained. Since you're next to the soffit, I don't believe you need to be air tight, but you do want to be very careful to prevent water intrusion. Caulk the joint between the boards, and paint.

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You have to look underneath it.

The problem with water is that it doesn't just "gash" things, it goes through them and soaks what's behind them, and then it rots it. Take it down, inspect behind everything until you find all of the damage, FIX IT, put it back up. By caulking it, you're just sealing the water in and helping the rot.

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