Fiber cement siding is a jack of all trades. It shares the durability of cement, but it looks like masonry or wood. It combines all the best elements of several different types of siding. You may wonder what fiber cement siding is made of since it shares characteristics with other types of siding.
We’ve put together this guide to answer your questions about the makeup of fiber cement siding. We also explain why this type of siding is a good choice and the properties it includes.
What Is Fiber Cement?
Fiber cement is a mixture of portland cement, fly ash, water and wood pulp. Each contributes to fiber cement’s unique properties. The wood pulp makes the mixture flexible but also strong. The ash acts as a filler and can get substituted with silica sand. The cement, made of iron, limestone and clay, binds all the ingredients together. Adding water catalyzes the mixture to turn into cement.
Fiber siding also requires minimum upkeep, which, in addition to its aesthetics, attracts many people to the material. Fiber siding has quickly become one of the most in-demand types of siding due to its versatility and durability. It also costs less than some other types of siding, including certain vinyl, wood, stucco and brick options.
Properties of Fiber Cement Siding
Fiber cement siding’s unmatched durability means it stands up to stressors that can degrade regular siding. Those properties include:
- Unaffected in hot or cold weather
Flaking and fading will not occur for some time when you use fiber cement. The durable mix withstands everyday weather and even the harsher stuff, with a manufacturer warranty of 30-50 years from James Hardie, depending on the type of Fiber Cement siding you choose. No other material can make siding that lasts that long. Most fiber cement siding also comes with a warranty on aging or cracking.
How to Make Fiber Cement Siding
You can make fiber cement siding using the mixture mentioned above. Then you can use it to make clapboards, which are more prevalent, and shingles. You need special tools to cut and handle fiber cement siding because of its delicate makeup. If you use the wrong tool, the fiber cement siding will crack or break.
You will need to paint or stain the fiber cement siding before applying it to your home. You can either order it with your preferred paint or stain or have your contractor paint it for you.
Fiber Cement Siding Materials
Generally, your contractor will provide all the materials you need when they install fiber cement siding. Still, you may want to know your options. Your contractor can advise you on how much fiber cement siding you will need to purchase. You should calculate how much you need by dividing the square footage of your walls by the square feet of a piece of siding.
You can combine fiber cement siding with wood trim for a sophisticated look for your home. You must caulk to fill the gaps between the siding and trim.
Why Is Fiber Cement a Good Choice?
Fiber cement creates a sturdy, reliable source for siding. We love working with it because it offers our customers versability. They love the way it looks on their homes, and they also appreciate the low-maintenance setup of fiber cement. If you are considering replacing your siding, consider choosing James Hardie fiber cement. Here are a few advantages of this material:
- Less mold and mildew: In the sometimes humid climate of Virginia, you need siding that can resist mold and mildew, which build up in hot weather. Fiber cement doesn’t absorb moisture like wood siding. Without that moisture, termites will also avoid fiber cement siding.
- Holds up to bright sun: Virginia can also be quite sunny throughout the spring, summer and fall. Fiber cement won’t fade or bleach in the sun, like so many other types of siding.
- Resists cold weather: Though Virginia is a southern state, it still gets cold in the winter. Fiber cement can withstand sub-zero temperatures without cracking or fading.
- Style matching: Does your home have a unique style you want to preserve? Fiber cement offers style matching options to keep the same character for the outside of your house.
- Green materials: For those who are environmentally conscious, the sustainable materials used to create fiber cement are green and eco-friendly.
- Insect resistant: Fiber cement is insect-proof.
- Fire-resistant: Fiber cement is fire-proof.
- Low-maintenance: All you have to do to maintain the look of your siding is wash it with a hose every six to 12 months. Don’t use a pressure washer, as that may damage the fiber cement.
When you invest in siding for your home, you want something that will last for decades to come. Fiber cement checks all your boxes, from durability to style to eco-friendliness. We are a James Hardie Elite Preferred contractor and can pass the benefits of that status on to you. Want to learn more about fiber cement siding or the advantages of working with Sunshine Contracting? Contact us today with questions or to schedule a free in-home consultation.