Fiber cement siding is one of the most durable siding options available today, combining the strengths of concrete and wood without either material’s weaknesses. Siding panels start out as an ordinary combination of sand and concrete, but once cellulose fibers are added, they gain impressive durability. Will fiber cement siding be perfect for your home? Knowing what to expect from the siding material will help you decide.
Getting fiber cement siding on your home is anything but a DIY project. Although fiber cement is easier to install than wood and concrete siding, it’s still recommended that you get professional help to avoid damaging the panels during installation, ensuring that they are put up according to manufacturer specifications. Improper installation keeps you from enjoying fiber cement siding’s full benefits, compromising protection for your home.
Fiber cement siding is more expensive than vinyl, but in most cases, on par or even cheaper than wood or concrete installation. This is because it still takes less time and labor to put them up. Furthermore, fiber cement panels are considered more energy-efficient than either wood or concrete, allowing you to rake in savings by helping reduce your energy bill in the long run.
Fire- and Water-resistance
Unlike wood siding, fiber cement panels are fire-resistant because it’s mostly composed of non-combustible cement. This makes the siding material an excellent choice for homes close to other buildings or trees or where forest fires are a threat. At the same time, fiber cement’s non-porous surface makes it immune to moisture-related damage, such as rot and rust stains.
Fiber cement siding is available in a variety of colors, textures, and finishes. Popular finishes include surfaces to imitate concrete or stucco, and wood grain to simulate the appearance of wood clapboard. The siding material also holds paint well so you can go seven to 15 years without repainting. Keep in mind though that fiber cement has to be painted within 90 days of being installed. Don’t want the trouble? Opt to have the siding material factory-coated instead.
Durability and Lifespan
Fiber cement is remarkably better at withstanding impacts that could have otherwise dented metal and vinyl siding. And because it does not expand or contract when the temperature changes, it doesn’t get warped or distorted over time as well, helping fiber cement outlast other siding materials.
Fiber cement requires very minimal maintenance. Most of the time, it will involve nothing more than a quick visual examination and getting rid of dust buildup. Of course, like with any other siding material, checking fiber cement panels for damage after severe weather is highly recommended. If you don’t know what to look for, don’t hesitate to call on a professional for help.
Like what you’ve learned about fiber cement siding? Make sure you make full use of the material by having it installed by a reputable contractor. Good luck with your siding project!
Nate Wheeler is a home exterior specialist with more than 15 years of experience in general home improvement projects. When he’s not angling during weekends, he likes to share handy tips and talk about home projects at the 1st Choice Home Solutions blog.