Choosing the right type of siding for your home is a decision that should be carefully considered. Many factors must be decided before a conclusion is reached. Cost, material, durability, color, finish, and appearance are just a few considerations. Home renovations should bring value to your home and be worth the investment.
There are many siding options on the market such as wood, stone, brick, or stucco. If you are searching for a durable material, one that lasts for years, increases the value of your home, and is fire-resistant, fiber cement siding is what you need. It complements traditional or modern exterior home designs. A variety of textured or smooth finishes can be accomplished using fiber cement siding.
No matter what climate you live in, fiber cement siding can withstand most weather conditions. If you live in areas that experience harsh winters, fiber cement siding can handle the snow and cold temperatures. Building a home on the coast? The salt-air is no match for this material. Fiber cement siding can even withstand hurricane-force winds.
What Is Fiber Cement?
Fiber cement is made of water, sand, portland cement, and wood pulp or fiber. When mixed, a durable material is created that can be molded into different textures. The water is used to dissolve the wood fibers, activate the cement, and help it harden.
Wood pulp keeps the fiber cement siding planks flexible. Sand is mixed in to give the cement a thicker texture. The cement binds all the ingredients together. Once a slurry has formed, the mixture is put into molds that form planks. The molds are dried and durable boards are created.
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Why You Should Choose Fiber Cement Siding
There are many benefits that fiber cement siding offers. It’s the top siding chosen by homeowners in the United States. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Low maintenance. Fiber cement siding doesn’t have to be cleaned as often as other types of materials. Any dirt and debris can be removed by simply spraying it with your garden hose and using a soft cloth, sponge or brush to wipe clean. No harsh chemicals or power washing are needed or recommended.
Since there are no seams that overlap, dirt and moisture will not accumulate in the crevices. This also provides your home with a layer of protection from the growth of mold and mildew.
2. Aesthetics. There are many colors available to coordinate with your home’s exterior color palette. It comes pre-painted and can significantly improve the curb appeal of your home.
Fiber cement siding is available in a variety of styles. Fiber cement planks can simulate the appearance of wood grain or with a smooth modern finish. Some of the style options include:
- Shake and Curved Shake
- Vertical Plank
- Wood shingle
3. Durability. Fiber cement is a material that does not warp, crack, or dent easily. It can withstand very hot and sub-freezing temperatures. Fiber cement siding holds up against heavy rain, hail, sleet, snow, and windstorms. It can even withstand hurricane-level storms.
Fiber cement siding pre-paint option is baked on and has a greater resistance to fading from UV rays, chipping and cracking. This provides an even coverage and vibrant color that will last for years.
You receive a long-term solution when you choose fiber cement siding for your home. It can last for at least 30 years and comes with a 25-year warranty.
4. Energy Efficiency. Fiber cement siding will help seal your home due to its ability to resist warping and other external damage. You can keep cool air in during the summer, and warm air in during the winter.
You can also supplement fiber cement siding with insulation. The gap between the fiber cement siding and the walls can be filled with foam insulation to help keep your energy costs down.
5. Fire-resistant. The composition of fiber cement siding is mostly inflammable. It won’t be affected by directed flames or extreme heat. Its noncombustible properties make it a favorite choice for insurance companies who offer discounts to homeowners whose home is protected with fiber cement siding.
6. Pest-proof. It also protects against rotting and pest infestation. Unlike wood, fiber cement is not susceptible to termites and vermin. Nothing will find habitation in this product.
7. Increased Home Value. Installing fiber cement siding is a wise investment that yields a good return. Buyers will be thrilled to see this type of upgrade on a home. Fiber cement siding will make your home the envy of the neighbors.
Styles of Fiber Cement Siding and Other Products
Fiber cement siding is widely known for horizontal boards that imitate other finishes such as wood or brick. There other styles and ways construction companies use this versatile product.
- Shakes and curved shakes are available as individual pieces and panels. They come in various shapes such as octagons or half-rounds. Shakes are also manufactured with straight, wavy, and thatched edges.
- Vertical planks can have a rustic finish or a clean look for a more modern style.
- Horizontal lap siding is the most common style used for residential siding. The long pieces are thicker at the bottom than they are at the top. They are installed to overlap the previous panel, starting from the bottom. Lap siding is available in a variety of widths. The edges of lap siding can be straight or beaded.
- Soffits cover the underside of porch ceilings and roof eaves. They protect the edge of the roof and are important for attic ventilation. Fiber cement siding manufacturers offer soffits in the same durable material for a uniform look.
- Tile underlays or backer boards are needed to protect tiles in wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. They typically come in one-half inch or one-fourth inch thickness. They prevent the tile and grout from breaking. Backer boards can be used on walls too. Fiber cement works well in this capacity due to its resistance to moisture and rotting.
- The fascia is the area of siding directly above the soffit. It is also where the gutters are placed. Again, fiber cement is used to manufacture these features to give the home a more uniform appearance.
Fiber Cement vs. Other Siding Materials
There are other siding materials to choose from. Overall, fiber cement siding gives homeowners the best value long-term. Before you have any siding installed, always weigh the pros and cons.
- Brick and stone siding are resistant to rotting, fire, and insects just like fiber cement siding. The downside is that it’s heavier and more costly than fiber cement siding.
- Vinyl is a decent choice, but not the best. Although it is lightweight and low-maintenance, vinyl melts in fires. It also cannot withstand high winds.
- Aluminum is easy to maintain and resistant to rotting. On the other hand, it dents easily on impact.
- Stucco is a cement-based material that is fire-resistant and very durable due to its thickness. However, it is vulnerable to water damage if not kept moisture-free. Stucco requires a special process to clean and repaint.
- Wood siding is lightweight, visually appealing, and easy to cut. However, it is vulnerable to fire, insects, splitting, and rotting.
Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Siding
Along with your roof, your siding is critical to protecting your home from the elements and protecting the integrity of your home. The following are signs that it may be time to replace your siding:
- Rotting: If you have wood siding, look for sections that have begun to crumble. This is a sign that moisture has penetrated your siding. If left untreated, the rot will lead to further decay.
- Warping: Examine your home from multiple angles to check if there are portions of your siding that are no longer flat. Serious damage may be present underneath the surface.
- Cracking: Visible cracks on any siding material create entry points for moisture and pests. You may want to consult a professional to inspect the severity of your cracks to determine if total siding replacement is necessary.
- High Energy Bills: A surge in your monthly utility bills may indicate that air is passing through your home. If you don’t find leaks in windows or doors, your siding is the most likely culprit.
- Interior Moisture: If you find traces of moisture, mold, or mildew inside of your house, be sure to investigate the condition in the same area on the exterior.
Ready to Get the Best Fiber Cement Siding?
If your old wood, vinyl or aluminum siding is showing signs that it needs replacing, choose fiber cement siding. James Hardie is the manufacturing leader in fiber cement siding. Offering many products, colors, and styles, James Hardie uses testing and research to improve its siding materials.
Banner Construction is a preferred James Hardie Contractor. We know how to properly install fiber cement siding and give our customers the best workmanship possible.
At Banner Construction, our experienced contractors can assist in the style and color of fiber cement siding for a coordinated look. We use the #1 brand of fiber cement siding, James Hardie.
Contact us today for a free consultation.