When you’re designing a beautiful, modern new home what siding to choose will be a key consideration. The exterior siding panels of your home will determine the curb appeal of the entire property, and there will be a number of details both homeowners and contractors will consider when choosing materials. Aesthetic, cost, ease of installation — all important factors.
But what about siding maintenance? What long-term upkeep do you want to commit to?
If you’re searching for a siding that is beautiful, durable and easy to install, fiber cement siding is the answer.
Choosing fiber cement siding means you can have the benefits of a high-end design without the headaches of other common siding materials. The growing popularity of fiber cement as a siding solution can be linked to its easy installation process, its design flexibility and its low-maintenance properties.
The ingredients alone of fiber cement panels create a high-alkaline material that is fungus-, insect- and rot-resistant; the process ensures it has almost no vulnerability towards moisture.
Additionally beneficial is Nichiha’s innovative solution of the patented hidden-fastener clip. This enhances siding performance by holding panels away from the wall to let any moisture drain or evaporate. This rainscreen cavity keeps the cladding and structure temperature more consistent too, adding to the longevity of the finish, panel and home.
No matter where you live, basic fiber cement siding has the ability to stand up to even the worst weather conditions. It’s a material that won’t easily crack, buckle, fade or rot so you can avoid product failures and costly maintenance. Add to that the high performance of a built-in hidden fastener rainscreen attachment, the design flexibility afforded by the multiple formats, profiles, textures, colors and sheens, and reasonable cost — well, it's easy to see why Nichiha is viewed by many as the perfect siding system for today’s modern home.
However, other siding materials lack the durability of fiber cement siding and require heavy maintenance in order to preserve their look. Many materials are highly vulnerable to moisture and may develop rot, mold or vegetation growth.
Many of the common problems of other sidings may be beyond the expertise of most home-owners (for example, repointing brickwork or replacing damaged wood siding), which leads to increased maintenance costs over the lifespan of a home.
In addition to its other benefits, fiber cement siding is a fire-resistant material that will protect your home. The composition of fiber cement provides very little combustible material, making it one of the most fire-resistant siding materials on the market.
Choosing a fire-resistant siding, along with taking other steps to harden your home, can reduce risk and protect your home in the event of accidents, wildfires or natural disasters.
While you won’t need to spend every weekend maintaining your fiber cement siding, there are some steps you can take in order to preserve the beauty and prolong the life of your home.
All siding materials require some periodic cleaning. Nichiha recommends cleaning your siding on an annual basis to remove dust and dirt.
When cleaning your siding, no special materials are needed. Simply use a mild, household detergent and water, and then use a soft bristle brush (such as a car wash brush) to clean down your siding. Avoid using a stiff or wire bristle brush, as this could cause damage. Don’t apply harsh cleaners, abrasives or strong solvents, as you may damage the paint and/or the siding surface.
Once you’ve cleaned away any dirt or debris, you should rinse your siding with a low-pressure garden hose. Don’t use a pressure washer — turning a high blast of water onto the exterior of your home can damage paint, loosen or even remove caulks and sealants, and may harm the surface of the siding itself.
Keeping your siding in peak condition can be aided by taking steps to maintain the areas around your home and siding. These include:
It’s a good practice to inspect your home’s exterior annually to keep a watch for any minor issues that can be addressed before they lead to long-term damage. While fiber cement is incredibly durable, like any siding you may occasionally need to perform minor repairs or upkeep.
Minor damage, such as chips, dents and scratches, can be filled with a quality cementitious patch available online or at local lumber, paint or hardware stores. And if you notice any damage to your caulking when inspecting your home, you should recaulk using an exterior grade, high-quality sealant that meets the manufacturer specifications.
Over the lifetime of your siding, you may wish to touch up or repaint your home’s exterior. When repainting, only use high-quality, exterior grade, 100% acrylic latex primer and paint.
While every homeowner knows there’s no such thing as a 100% maintenance-free home, the durability and low-maintenance properties of fiber cement mean you can spend less time on onerous chores, and more time enjoying your dream home.