Although many styles of fiber cement siding beautifully replicate the appearance of wood, wood siding requires a great deal of routine maintenance. Fiber cement siding is extremely durable, visually appealing and almost maintenance-free. However, a little maintenance can help keep your fiber cement siding looking its best and prevent potential problems.
Cleaning Your Fiber Cement Siding
Once or twice a year, you may want to wash down your fiber cement siding to remove any grass clippings, dirt or other debris. Clean one small section at a time, starting at the top and working down. Spray the siding with a garden hose, and then use a soft, nonmetal brush or soft cloth to clean the siding. Brush or wipe horizontally, following the direction of the siding. If your siding’s color was applied at the factory, you can use a mild detergent to help remove stubborn stains. If the siding was painted later, follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer of the paint.
High-pressure power washers are not recommended for use on fiber cement siding. If you must use a pressure washer, be sure that the pressure does not exceed 1500 psi. Choose a tip with a wide fan; the tip should be kept at least 72 inches away from the siding.
Caulking and Patching
Caulking should be reapplied as needed to prevent moisture from penetrating behind the siding. Although you may not need to apply new caulking annually, it is a good idea to check the caulking every year. Inspect the caulking at connections between the trim and siding, around any penetrations, at flashings and at any joints. Choose a sealant or caulk that is labeled as “permanently flexible.” Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply the caulk or sealant.
Chips, dents or other minor damage to the surface can be filled. Choose a cementitious patching compound that the manufacturer states is compatible with fiber cement.
General Exterior Maintenance
Some exterior maintenance procedures are not performed directly on the fiber cement siding. However, if they are not performed, they can have an indirect impact on the appearance and health of your siding.
If your home is not already equipped with gutters and downspouts, install them. Once they are installed, clean them out as often as needed to keep them flowing freely and prevent overflows. Water flowing from your roof could potentially stain your siding, and it could possibly find its way behind your siding.
Whether you have an automated system or use portable sprinklers, you may need to adjust your watering pattern. Do not allow sprinklers to deposit an excessive amount of water on your walls or keep the ground beside your foundation constantly wet.
Trim small trees, bushes, shrubs and other vegetation away from your siding. A general guideline is to allow room enough to walk between the vegetation and the wall. Do not backfill this area; be sure that there is at least six inches between the soil and the bottom of the siding.
Getting the most from your fiber cement siding begins with a professional installation.Alpha Roofing Industries is a roof contractor in Austin, Texas and we have the training, skills and knowledge to install your fiber cement siding and James Hardie siding correctly. We also offer asphalt shingle installations, skylight installations, metal roofing systems, roof repairs, moss removal, emergency roof repairs, flashing and roof inspections. If you have more questions about Fiber Cement Siding – Maintenance Needed?, or just need exceptional craftsmanship at reasonable prices, contact us for a free quote by filling out the online form or calling 512-777-1086.