Made from a mixture of sand, cement, and cellulose fibers, fiber cement siding is an enormously popular material for both residential and commercial exteriors. Noted for its uniform appearance and extreme durability, fiber cement replicates the look of real wood siding. Along with updating the look of your property, this cutting edge material offers a range of other beneficial features that you can count on.
How is Fiber Cement Siding Made?
Before getting into the style options and features of this material, let’s talk a bit about how it’s manufactured. To start off, sand and cement are mixed together and steam cured at high temperatures using a process called autoclaving. Cellulose fibers, which are fibers derived from plant-based materials, are also added to the mixture to increase strength and dimensional flexibility. The wood grain pattern seen on fiber cement siding is printed onto the surface in a separate high pressure process after the product is cut.
Available in a wide variety of looks, fiber cement siding can suit just about any residential or commercial architectural/design requirement. With color options ranging from tan to blue, gray, green, and white, this type of siding can help you achieve the look you’re after for your property’s exterior. Along with color choice, different formats you can choose from are:
A great choice for colonial, or traditional style homes, horizontal profiles (also known as clapboards) are the most popular fiber cement siding option. Different types of horizontal profiles are Dutch, beaded, and traditional lap siding.
Further reflecting the look of real wood siding, fiber cement shingles offer a more rustic aesthetic perfect for Craftsman or Cape Cod style residences. For quicker installations, panelized formats are available that contain multiple individual shingles.
Benefits of Fiber Cement
Sure to transform your property’s exterior, fiber cement siding is a versatile building material. It makes a smart investment due to its robust characteristics, which include:
Easy maintenance – With no staining or sealing required, simply clean on a regular basis with a garden hose or pressure washer to remove dirt and debris. For tougher grime like pollution residue, paint, or oil stains, use an appropriate cleaner.
Weather resistant – Along with being resistant to rain, extreme temperature shifts, fading from UV rays, and wind, fiber cement is also fire resistant. These qualities make it suitable for installation in any climate.
Durability – Fiber cement is resistant to marring, chipping, peeling, cracking, and warping. It is also insect-proof as it offers no food source for bugs like termites.
Dimensional stability – This material is not subject to shrinkage or swelling due to changes in temperature and climate.
Versatile – Fiber cement is suitable for those who want to paint their siding whatever color they want since it takes and holds paint and stain very well. Re-coating is a straightforward job.
Quick Renovation Tips
Once you’ve found the style you like and are making your fiber cement siding purchase, it’s recommended to order slightly more than you need to account for allowable damage during transport. Allowable damage is generally accepted at 5% for this type of material. Also, consider your intended delivery site as damage resulting from improper unloading procedures are not covered by warranties.
It’s also a good idea to hire a professional installer because installing fiber cement siding is not typically a do-it-yourself job. Make sure that you hire an experienced builder or siding contractor to install your fiber cement siding to ensure a quality installation.
Make sure to also take safety precautions – the installation area should be well-ventilated to prevent the inhalation of the dust which can result cutting fiber cement siding.
Whether you’re building a new home or updating an existing commercial property, fiber cement siding is an investment in lasting style. Since it is built for superior resiliency, it will stand up to what ever Mother Nature has in store. For lasting value and the look of real wood, consider this building material for your next renovation project.
What siding options are you considering for your property?
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