Choosing siding is kind of like choosing shingles. You want something that fits the budget but isn’t going to blow off or get cracked whenever a storm brews. Or maybe you are tired of having sky-high utility bills. A gorgeous option for siding is fiber cement, a strong material with enough resilience to protect your home for many years. But just how long does fiber cement siding last?
About Fiber Cement Siding
Also known as Hardie Board when produced by James Hardie, fiber cement siding is also manufactured by Allura and Nichiha. Originally introduced to the market in the 1980s, fiber cement was meant to be an alternative to asbestos cement products. Since then, it has become a popular option, though there are still some myths surrounding it.
Fiber cement is a blend of cement, cellulose (wood) fibers, and sand. Prior to using cellulose, asbestos was used but then replaced because of health concerns.
The mixture of materials that go into fiber cement give it many positive qualities, including incredible durability. Because of a curing process during fabrication, fiber cement siding can last up to 50 years. Inspectors from the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors and the National Association of Home Builders both agreed that when fiber cement is maintained, it may even last up to 100 years.
Why Is Fiber Cement So Durable?
Few siding options are as resilient and long lasting as fiber cement. Here are a couple of features that add to the overall durability of fiber cement:
Insect And Fire Resistance
Did you know that some siding types, like vinyl siding, are not fire resistant? Fiber cement is neither flammable or susceptible to melting. Furthermore, while some siding will attract pests, fiber cement repels insects and vermin, keeping your home safer from infestation.
Fade Resistant Color
The rich colors that are available are baked into the product. Plus, those colors are face and UV-resistant, so your home looks brilliant for many years.
Because vinyl siding is about 0.03 inches thick, it can easily be dented when something impacts it. The hollow underside of vinyl siding also contributes to damages. On the other hand, fiber cement siding is about 0.5 inches thick and is rated to withstand impacts from debris and hail, as well as high wind.
These three defining features come together to create a siding that will not peel, warp, rot, swell, or fade and only needs minimal maintenance. That is why manufacturers offer a 30 year warranty for fiber cement siding. Stains or paint on the fiber cement often comes with a 10-year warranty.
Prolonging The Lifespan Of Fiber Cement Siding
If you want your fiber cement siding to last a lifetime, then you are going to have to do a bit of work. Don’t worry, it’s not the same amount of maintenance that’s required for wood siding. You only need to do the following to ensure your siding stays strong:
1. Clean The Siding Yearly
Removing any dirt and grime from your siding is essential. Avoid using a power washer, since that can damage the siding. Use a garden hose and a nylon bristle brush instead. Clean from the top of the siding down to the foundation.
2. Visually Inspect Often
While cleaning the siding, be sure to make note of any areas that could be damaged or have an issue. You will want to verify that the caulking is holding up. There should be no cracks, no gaping, and no soft spots where moisture is seeping in. If you do find problem spots while cleaning, you can fill gaps with caulk, or you can contact a professional contractor for aid.
3. Clear Gutters And Downspouts
As with any kind of siding, having buckets of water slosh down the house is going to deteriorate it faster. You want to make sure that your fiber cement siding isn’t getting saturated. So, clean out the gutters and downspouts regularly, especially in autumn when the leaves fall. Make sure water flows with ease and isn’t congested.
4. Repaint In 15 Years
While the paint on fiber cement will last a long while, it may start fading over time. For those with pre-primed fiber cement, you may need to apply another layer of color within 15 years to keep it looking fresh.
Want To Give Fiber Cement Siding A Try? Call Us!
Fiber cement siding is an excellent alternative to other siding materials. Strong and durable against weather and heat, fiber cement lasts an average of 30 years but may stick around for 50 years when well maintained. If you are considering purchasing fiber cement siding for your residence, give RGB Construction a call at 856-264-9093. Our friendly team can answer your questions or help you make a selection.