Fiber cement siding is a highly sought-after home exterior material. Not only is it more durable than other forms of siding (such as vinyl and aluminum), but it also allows homeowners to achieve the look of natural wood without the risk of rot and termite damage. Fiber cement siding is made out of durable composite materials and is one of the lowest-maintenance siding types you can buy. Still, as there's no such thing as 100% maintenance-free siding, there are some tips homeowners should keep in mind to prolong the life and appearance of this type of siding.
Power Wash Annually
Dirt and debris can build up on any type of siding throughout the year, and algae is a common concern is areas of the home that are exposed to moisture and sunlight. While you may be able to spot treat some areas of your siding with a simple warm water and gentle dish soap solution, an annual power wash is the best way to remove set-in stains and keep your siding looking like new. You can either rent a power washer from your local home improvement store or hire a company to handle this project for you.
Caulk as Needed
When your fiber cement siding is installed, the installer will caulk along all areas where the siding meets the home, doors, and windows. Over time, however, caulk will break down and will need to be touched up in order to maintain that moisture barrier. Once a year, take a walk around your home and touch up any areas of caulk that need it. This will not only protect your home from moisture damage, but could also improve energy efficiency.
Know When to Repaint
Fiber cement siding often comes pre-painted for convenience, and that paint can be expected to last anywhere from five to fifteen years. Still, owners of fiber cement homes should prepare for the fact that at some point, it will be necessary to re-paint the siding. This can be an expensive project, but on the bright side, it also provides a wonderful opportunity to give your home a bit of a cosmetic makeover.
Keep an Eye Out for Cracks
If you have fiber cement siding installed on a new construction home, be aware that areas of the siding may develop hairline cracks over time as your new home settles. This is because fiber cement isn't as flexible as other siding materials, such as vinyl. Your siding contractor should be willing to repair or replace these pieces as the cracks occur, or you can caulk over the cracks and repaint them yourself.
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