Fiber Cement Siding: What you Need To Know
When choosing a siding for your home exterior during a new build or remodel, you’ll find that there are many types of siding materials. Wood, vinyl, metal, and fiber cement… How do you choose? Durability is the most common concern when choosing a siding.
After all, a strong siding on the exterior keeps your home’s interior safe. It’s also important to take into account other factors such as climate, cost, and maintenance.
Fiber Cement Siding is considered to be one of the most durable siding options for protecting homes and other buildings. What exactly is fiber cement? What are the benefits of fiber cement over other materials? Are there any known problems with fiber cement?
These are all common questions when considering fiber cement for your home design. While there are many benefits such as weather and insect resistance, cost and maintenance also should be considered.
What Is Fiber Cement Siding?
Fiber cement is a durable siding option for your home exterior. This siding type has been around for several decades. Over the years fiber cement has evolved and the boards are now made of sand, cement, and cellulose fibers.
It has become a popular siding due to its low maintenance and resistance to fire, weather, and insects. It can replicate many other material types such as brick and stone. It replicates real wood so well that it is often mistaken as it.
Who is a good candidate for Fiber Cement Siding?
Many homeowners would benefit from the durability of fiber cement siding, particularly those in cold and damp climates. The weather resistance of fiber cement is also recommended in areas that experience harsh winters with snow and freezing temperatures.
What makes this siding material a good choice for cold climates?
First, fiber cement does not absorb moisture whereas other siding types, such as wood, certainly will. Homeowners won’t need to worry about rot in their home’s siding thanks to this.
Second, when weighing the differences between fiber cement versus vinyl siding, it’s important to note that unlike vinyl, fiber cement will not crack in freezing temperatures.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Fiber Cement Siding?
Whether you’re looking to replace existing siding or building a new home there are several aspects to take into consideration. Fiber cement siding has many benefits, but as with any other siding type, there are some important factors to be aware of.
Pros of Fiber Cement Siding
Below are a few key benefits of fiber cement siding:
- Does not absorb moisture preventing rot and warping
- Insect resistant, including against termites
- Fire resistant
- Weather-resistant against damage from wind and hail
- Durable even during freezing temperatures
Cons of Fiber Cement Siding
Important factors to be aware of before choosing fiber cement for your home’s siding:
- The material and installation can carry a higher cost than other siding options
- It isn’t recyclable
- It’s a heavy material
- Cutting fiber cement generates dust that is dangerous to inhale
- Will need to be re-painted
How can I handle issues with my fiber cement siding?
With maintenance, homeowners should encounter few, if any, issues with fiber cement siding. The best fiber cement siding has a life span of up to 50 years with proper maintenance.
What kind of maintenance does fiber cement siding require? A key piece of routine maintenance is washing the siding periodically to remove dirt and other residues. This can be done by using a garden hose and a light detergent such as dish soap on tough spots. Routine washings also prevent the buildup of mold and mildew, both of which can cause the siding’s paint to wear out more quickly.
Fiber cement siding will eventually require repainting. Homeowners with fiber cement on their home exterior typically will choose to repaint their fiber cement siding after 10 to 15 years.
How do I install Fiber Cement Siding
When it comes to installing fiber cement panels you’ll first need to choose a color and style. The siding is typically painted and comes in a variety of style options such as wood, cedar shingles, and stucco.
Once you’ve chosen a style, you’ll need to learn how to install fiber cement siding. Siding protects your home, so proper installation of any siding is important. Most homeowners hire a contractor, but some handy homeowners may opt to do it themselves.
Whether a contractor is handling the installation or your doing it yourself, you’ll want to wear a mask if exposed to the cutting of panels. When cut, the dust that is created can be dangerous to breathe in. Due to the heavy nature of the siding, it should be handled by at least two workers.
Once the siding has been mounted, caulking should be placed around windows, doors, and trim to seal the small gaps. If the siding was installed unfinished, it should be painted within 90 days.
Tips For Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding can be more costly and difficult to install than other siding options.
However, it is also one of the most durable, long-lasting options for many homeowners, particularly those in cold, damp climates. Another consideration that is often overlooked, is the environmental impact.
Though fiber cement isn’t recyclable like metal siding, it is more environmentally friendly than vinyl. The manufacturing of vinyl siding generates nearly twice as much carbon dioxide as the production of fiber cement. Throughout its lifetime vinyl siding continues to release gases – whereas fiber cement does not.