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Fiber Cement 101: What You Need to Know About the Best Siding Material on the Market
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Fiber Cement 101: What You Need to Know About the Best Siding Material on the Market

When choosing siding for their forever home, homeowners want the best without sacrificing style or budget. Sometimes choosing the best siding can be difficult when there are so many types to choose from, with wood, steel, vinyl and fiber cement among them. However, whether building or remodeling a home, fiber cement siding is always a great choice. 

We’ve compiled this fiber cement 101 guide to help empower current and future homeowners with the knowledge necessary to make the siding material choice that is right for them. 

What Is Fiber Cement?

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Many homeowners feel at a loss as to what questions to ask of retailers, designers and builders when it comes to the best siding options. You may have heard that among exterior siding options, fiber cement is one of the best. But what is fiber cement? 

Fiber cement is a composite building material that is made of cement reinforced with cellulose fibers. Manufactured in sheet form, fiber cement is easier to install than other siding materials. It is used for many different siding styles as it can create a wood siding, clapboard siding or shingle, along with designs that look like brick or stone.

That fiber cement offers low maintenance and a long lifespan is well established. 

Fiber cement exterior siding panels are easier and cleaner to install over other architectural cement choices. As it can be ordered in either factory pre-cut sizes or cut to custom specifications, on-site cutting is minimal. To make it even easier, Nichiha has a simplified installation process due to their Ultimate Starter Track and Ultimate Clip System. It also doesn’t require specialized installers, like some other sidings. 

This clip system and starter track create a rainscreen that provides drainage and ventilation. It significantly reduces the risk of water damage and mold, too. (Learn more about Nichiha’s hardware and accessories here.)

What Are the Benefits of Fiber Cement?

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Fiber cement has many benefits to homeowners, putting it as a top choice for siding options. Let’s look at the top four benefits you get when you choose fiber cement.

1. Fire Resistant

Nichiha’s fiber cement cladding is fire resistant, giving homeowners in dry regions across the west coast peace of mind when it comes to wildfires. That’s why we have ensured our siding meets even the most stringent fire testing requirements in the US including California’s Office of the State Fire Marshal (SFM) CA SFM 12.7A-1 regulations. This is a test designed to determine the performance of exterior walls when directly exposed to fire. 

Nichiha cladding qualifies as a Class A building material as its qualities offer uncompromised fire resistance and is in line with NFPA’s Firewise USA© program. With a flame spread index of zero, fiber cement siding doesn’t easily ignite or spread flames. Don’t believe us? Read about one incredible, real-life example here

2. Wind Resilience

In coastal regions, strong wind damage, sun exposure and salt spray is a concern for homeowners. Fiber cement offers “hurricane-resilience” as it can withstand up to 130 mph or higher winds. Nichiha fiber cement meets wind load code requirements in many coastal regions across the USA, including Miami-Dade wind load codes. 

To learn more about Nichiha’s fiber cement wind-resilience, click here.

3. Humidity Resistance

Homeowners along southern, humid climates are concerned about damage caused by humidity, including mold and rot. Fiber cement can withstand high humidity without rotting or warping. This makes it a better alternative to other siding materials as it doesn’t allow pests to infest the exterior of the house. 

4. Temperature Resistance

Homeowners in northern climates, where temperatures vary significantly, can rest easy when they choose fiber cement siding for their homes. Traditional architectural concrete is susceptible to temperature cycles that create cracking damage due to freezing and expansion. Fiber cement is temperature cycle durable, meaning it won’t crack, warp or otherwise damage during extreme temperature fluctuations.

Get Inspired

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Homeowners want the best for their forever-homes and choosing the right design is important to you. You don’t want cookie-cutter style, but want something to reflect you, your lifestyle and be a place of serenity and enjoyment. 

Fiber cement siding is a great choice for homeowners, no matter if you love traditional or modern styles. Below some great inspiration ideas to get you started.

Traditional

Fiber cement can offer homeowners a traditional look, while still keeping the design unique and a reflection of homeowners’ style. With the same warmth and tradition as natural wood siding, fiber cement offers more durability and longer life, saving homeowners from future problems, repairs or even replacements. 

Modern

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Fiber cement can also be used in a modern look, creating a long-lasting masterpiece that homeowners can be proud of. Modern doesn’t necessarily mean industrial, although that can be really stylish, too! Modern designs are varied from transitional to minimalist. There’s a lot that can be done with fiber cement siding. Here are some more great inspirational ideas.

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