You have your forever home, and you’re proud of it. You’ve chosen all the designs and materials yourself, and now it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy it. But what happens if your fiber cement becomes damaged? Keep reading to learn about the various culprits of fiber cement damage, as well as the options available for repair.
Fiber cement is one of the most durable and reliant building materials available to homeowners. Given this, there are very few things that can cause damage. But it’s still important to know how to prevent damage before it happens.
One of the most common damage issues comes from improper installation, which is rarely covered under warranty. If a contractor is inexperienced or not properly trained to handle fiber cement, this can cause significant damage that is not immediately apparent upon job completion. That’s why it’s critical that homeowners do their research on the contracting team they are looking to hire, including that all subcontractors are fully licensed and experienced.
Just like any other building material, fiber cement siding maintenance is crucial for the longevity of a home. But unlike other building materials, fiber cement maintenance is a cinch. For the most part, all you need to do is periodically use a hose to clean off any dirt or debris. Learn more about proper fiber cement maintenance here.
However, if not properly maintained or installed incorrectly (leaving cut edges exposed, leaving too large clearances, etc.), fiber cement can absorb moisture, leading to rot. This is particularly important for cladding and shake siding styles.
It’s an inarguable fact that extreme weather and natural disasters can be damaging to homes. Many materials can’t withstand high winds or extreme heat and can either erode over time or sustain immediate damage -- oftentimes, this is when fiber cement siding withstands damage where other materials do not.
Nichiha’s fiber cement siding is one of the strongest on the market, having endured Category 5 hurricanes that impacted the Southeast U.S. In fact, Nichiha fiber cement siding meets wind load requirements in many states in U.S. coastal areas, including the stringent wind load codes in Miami-Dade. Nichiha’s siding is also fire-resistant. Given that wildfires are on the rise in the U.S., this is a serious concern for many homeowners, particularly for those living along the west coast.
Although fiber cement siding is extremely protective and resilient, it’s not infallible. Extreme floods, earthquakes, hail damage, or even life events may find homeowners facing damage.
Knowing the cause of the damage, as well as the details of warranty coverage, are important first steps in determining if repair can be done on your own or if a professional service is best. The following are options for how to fix fiber cement siding:
Luckily, some simple fixes can be done by homeowners without voiding the warranty. First, check to see if there are extensive cracks or signs of water damage on your fiber cement siding. Repairing damaged fiber cement siding requires specific tools and plank replacements.
If damage isn’t extensive, patching with a putty knife may be an option. It’s important to ensure the area is cleaned and any uneven edges are made solid, otherwise, the cement patch won’t adhere to the surface and may require repeat maintenance.
Once patching is complete, lightly sand and paint as necessary in order to blend with the original panel. The entire wall may require painting particularly if the original sections are much older than the repair. If this is the case, and you’ve been wanting to change the color of your home, this is a great time to do it.
When done properly, the patch should last for years. However, be mindful that the structural integrity may still be compromised despite the patch. If the patch doesn’t hold, or is damaged after the next storm, it’s time to call in a professional.
While DIY work is attractive, we as homeowners may not be able to determine the full extent of damage beyond what our eyes can see. Conversely, using professionals who have extensive experience with fiber cement repair saves time and headaches in the long run.
Consider the following when hiring a professional repair team: first, ensure they are fully licensed. Upon hiring a team, ask the general contractor for all the qualifications of their subcontractors and team members. Just because the general contractor is fully certified doesn’t mean their team members are, too.
Second, look at reviews. Reviews are a smart way to get a good sense of the quality of work the team delivers. Even if the team is certified, bad reviews spell bad news.
If a section of the home is all that needs replacing, you may be able to purchase replacement boards from a Nichiha dealer. If you need assistance with your order, you can always contact a professional at Nichiha. Either a dealer or your Nichiha representative can assist you with finding a contractor to install the replacement boards if needed.
No one wants to face a complete siding replacement but sometimes this is simply the best way to go in order to ensure the integrity of the siding and to stop any further damage from happening. To make this process easier, Nichiha has outlined tips for choosing siding that is perfect for your home. Exterior siding options include primed and pre-finished fiber cement siding styles that fit all home types, ranging from traditional to modern.
We know homeowners are proud of their forever homes, and we want to keep it that way. That’s why Nichiha is here to help with all fiber cement needs, including a 30-year robust fiber cement siding warranty.
Ready to get started? Check out our estimator today!