Fiber cement siding as a very low-maintenance material, especially as compared to wood boards or shakes. Due to its special curing process, this siding absorbs less moisture than other materials, meaning that it’s less prone to cracking or breaking.
“low-maintenance” doesn’t mean “maintenance-free,” so you definitely do need care for it here and there. The biggest thing is that, after a number of years, fiber cement boards do need to be repainted. But that’s not the only way to keep your siding in tip-top shape. Here’s a quick briefing in cladding care so your home can look its best.
That makes it extremely durable. And the cement mixed into the boards helps it withstand strong winds, storms, hail, and other weather events. It’s also fire-resistant, and generally doesn’t experience damage from insects and rot. However, just because it’s extra strong doesn’t mean it could use a little love every once and awhile.
Cleaning your siding is about more than merely keeping up appearances. Mold and mildew thrive on siding that isn’t washed regularly—and that can degrade your paint eventually, or put the health of your household at risk.
To give your fiber cement siding a good, thorough cleaning, rent a pressure washer from a home improvement store, or use a high-pressure hose if that’s not an option. Spray from the top of the siding down. If the dust and debris is really bad, use a little dish soap to help get it clean.
Unlike vinyl, aluminum, and other siding materials, if you choose to install fiber cement cladding, be prepared: you will have to repaint it eventually. While a paint job on fiber cement siding lasts longer than wood—usually anywhere between five to fifteen years—it will eventually need to be redone.
However, the life of your paint job typically depends on the type of fiber cement you purchase. For instance, if you go with a pre-painted option, where the boards come colored by the manufacturer, many will guarantee their products against chipping and peeling for around 15 years. On the other hand, primed fiber cement, which allows you to choose your own individual paint color, obviously doesn’t come with the same warranty. However, the fading of the boards over time may make you decide to paint it, in either case—and most warranties only guarantee against fading if it’s very, very evident.
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