Fiber cement siding, also commonly known as James Hardie or Hardie Board siding, is a popular option in both residential and commercial construction. Specifically, this material has the appearance of wooden siding, but with much greater durability. Whether your home already has fiber cement siding or you're thinking about having it installed, there are some important maintenance tips to keep in mind. After all, while this siding is very easy to care for, there's no such thing as a totally maintenance-free siding material.
Take Care of Gutters
Fiber cement siding is very resistant to moisture damage, but it can still be prone to mold, mildew, and algae growth if the conditions are just right (or wrong, depending on how you look at it). This is why it's so important to maintain your home's gutters, which play a vital role in carrying water away from your home's roof and siding. Specifically, you'll want to make sure that you're cleaning your gutters at least once a year--and possibly even more often if you have a lot of large trees with branches hanging over your roof.
Inspect and Caulk Annually
When fiber cement siding is installed, waterproof caulk is applied around windows, doors, and other gaps to prevent moisture from getting behind the siding slats themselves. Over time, however, caulk can break down and may need to be reapplied. It's a good idea to inspect these areas of your siding at least once a year and to apply fresh waterproof caulk around windows, doors, and other joints as needed. Caulk can also be used to make repairs on cracked siding if needed.
Pressure Wash and Repaint as Needed
Keeping your siding clean will help to prolong its life while maintaining your home's curb appeal in the process. Have your home professionally power washed once every year or two to get rid of dirt, grime, and other debris that may otherwise dull the appearance of your siding. A paint job on fiber cement siding should also last for several years--but if yours is showing signs of fading or chipping, it's probably time to have your siding professionally repainted.
With the right care and maintenance, fiber cement or James Hardie siding can easily last for many decades before needing to be replaced. In fact, James Hardie siding even comes with a 30-year warranty for added peace of mind with your purchase. Just be sure to follow these basic care tips to keep yours looking great for many years to come!