Does Fiber Cement Siding Rot?


Whether you’re planning a new build or are completing large-scale renovations, you have many decisions to make regarding the materials that will be used to construct your home. Among those decisions, choosing the right siding for your home is one of the most important.

The siding on your home is its main defense against the outdoor elements: rain, snow, frozen rain, high heat, freezing temperatures, hail and more. There are many different siding options available, each with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to consider those factors before you choose the best one for your home.

When you’re looking at your siding options, one of the first questions you’ll likely ask yourself is how the longevity stacks up. Whether the siding material is prone to damage, like rot, is something you need to consider.

Fiber cement siding is becoming a very popular option. Read on to learn more about its durability and susceptibility to different elements.

Will Fiber Cement Siding Rot?

Rot is extremely damaging to a home. Once it begins eating away at your home, rot can make it unstable and lead to some expensive repairs. If you’re considering fiber cement siding, you want to know whether it is susceptible to rot.

Put simply — no.

This type of siding is made from four simple ingredients: cement, wood pulp, water and a type of filler. None of these materials is affected by rot. For rot to grow, the material needs to absorb moisture. Fiber cement siding is very water-resistant, so water does not affect it as it would other siding materials.

Besides being water-resistant, fiber cement siding is also fire-resistant, will not be damaged by animals such as termites, and does not warp from high temperatures. Plus, this siding material can be made to look like almost any other type of siding material without taking on their disadvantages.

Fiber cement siding will not rot as long as it is installed properly. Because it requires a certain level of expertise to install, you should hire a professional. If you hire a contractor with limited experience, they may leave cracks and other openings that allow moisture to get in and rot to grow.

However, as long as you hire an expert installer, your fiber cement siding will not compromise your home’s structure.

What Types of Siding Are Prone to Rot?

Wood is the main siding material that is vulnerable to rot. But, as we mentioned before, every siding type has disadvantages. While other siding options may not rot, they can be damaged by other elements.

Vinyl siding is the most common siding material. It typically doesn’t rot on its own, but it can be prone to allowing moisture in. Depending on building laws in your area, the vinyl siding on your home may not be as water-resistant as it should be. Vinyl can also melt. If you have an outdoor grill that’s too close to the side of the house, or a window reflects light onto one spot, it can cause damage.

Aluminum doesn’t rot either, but it’s easily dented. If you live in an area with high winds that can toss debris at your home, or if you see hail storms often, aluminum may not be the best option. Once it becomes dented, it is difficult to get those dents out.

Like fiber cement siding, stone and brick are resistant to fire and rot. However, the cost of stone or brick siding is much higher than almost every other siding material available.

Although wood is the primary siding material that can rot, these other types can become damaged and let moisture in too. Once moisture penetrates your home’s siding, it can affect the wooden structure that lies beneath the surface.

Fiber Cement Siding and Hardie Siding

If you’ve been reading up about fiber cement siding, you may have come across the terms “hardie siding,” “hardie planks” and other similar phrases. But are fiber cement siding and hardie siding the same thing?

Hardie siding is a specific brand of fiber cement siding that is manufactured by James Hardie. It is the most popular brand of fiber cement siding. Hardie siding and fiber cement siding are sometimes used interchangeably because they both have the same properties of water resistance, fire resistance and durability.

Caring for Your Fiber Cement Siding

Like with any type of siding material, you need to give your home’s siding the maintenance it needs. Compared to other types of siding, fiber cement siding is lower-maintenance.

You should clean the siding on your home every six months or annually, depending on the area where you live. This is more of an appearance-focused type of maintenance, but routine cleaning can keep your fiber cement siding looking like new.

The other maintenance you should be doing on your fiber cement siding will take place down the road. After the siding is installed, it will need to be repainted and the caulking will need to be redone after it experiences some years of wear and tear. Fiber cement siding does fade over time, which means it will need a new paint job. To keep it water-resistant, caulking is necessary.

If you’re considering installing fiber cement siding on your Virginia home, Sunshine Contracting Corp is ready to take on the job and do it right. Contact us today to learn more or to request a free in-home consultation.

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