Fiber cement, a type of composite siding, is one of the most durable and sustainable siding options on the market. It’s also a breeze to maintain, as long as you take a few precautions. Keep reading for five easy fiber cement siding upkeep tips.
Purchase Prefinished Siding
Start your relationship with this type of siding on the right foot by installing prefinished fiber cement siding. This material comes painted and ready to go, so you don’t have to do anything except install it. Most prefinished siding even comes with a plastic covering adhered to each panel’s surface, so you can protect it from scratches and dust during installation.
Spot Clean With a Homemade Solution
Once or twice a year, or as necessary, give your home a once over. Look for grimy or discolored areas. It’s easy to spot clean minor issues using a homemade solution of white vinegar and water. Mix the two liquids equally and rub the solution into problem areas as necessary.
Use a Power Washer for an Overall Clean
Spot cleaning works well for isolated areas, but you’ll need to give your siding an overall cleaning at least once a year. Use a pressure washer if possible, since highly pressurized water will do the best job at dislodging and washing away grime. If you don’t own a pressure washer, consider renting one from your neighborhood home improvement store or hire a contractor. You can also use a standard garden hose to do this job in a pinch.
Start low and increase the water pressure slightly until you can see visible results, like dirt washing away. Don’t set the pressure so high that you remove paint from the siding, and always work your way down from the roof.
Recaulk as Necessary
When you first install fiber cement siding, you or your contractor will caulk all areas where the siding meets other materials like trim, doorframes, or bricks, as well as points where unprimed siding panels meet. Once a year, check these areas to ensure that the caulk is still intact and is free from holes or cracks. You can easily recaulk areas that need attention on your own, or hire a contractor if they’re out of reach. Do this at the same time you power wash your siding for an annual maintenance plan that’s easy to remember.
Paint lasts for a remarkably long time on fiber cement siding, so this is a task you won’t need to do very often. Every 10 to 15 years, repaint your home’s exterior, making sure to use acrylic paint approved for exterior use. Never use stains or oil-based paints. Of course, if you’re ready for a new look in less than 10 years, don’t hesitate to give your home a new hue.
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance material, fiber cement siding is a great choice. You only need to do most maintenance tasks once a year, and you can tackle big projects like exterior painting once a decade or when the mood strikes. Keep your home’s exterior up with routine visual inspections and spot cleaning, and you’ll enjoy your fiber cement siding for decades to come.