6 Tips for Extending the Life of Your Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is durable, environmentally friendly, and low-maintenance. With proper installation and care, you can reap the benefits of this popular siding material and recoup your fiber cement cost.

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Follow these six tips to make the most of your investment:

  1. Wrap your house with a water barrier. While fiber cement siding is highly moisture-resistant, water can seep in through joints and around doors and windows. Install tar paper or another form of water-resistant housewrap prior to installing siding.
  2. Have your siding factory primed and painted. While the fiber cement cost will be greater, most manufacturers offer the longest warranty for siding that is primed and painted in the factory. This can also extend the time before you need to repaint your house.
  3. If you paint the siding yourself, wash the siding thoroughly before painting, and let it dry completely. Then caulk the joints and ends with latex caulking. The Portland Cement Association recommends that you paint bare siding within 90 days of installation.
  4. Invest in high-quality fasteners. Stainless steel nails are the most durable fasteners for the job. If they're not available, use galvanized nails.
  5. Don't overdrive nails. Sinking the nail head too deeply can make the fiber cement panels less securely attached.
  6. Perform basic maintenance on installed siding. Power-wash the siding on occasion to remove dirt and insect habitats. Also inspect the caulked joints each year and fill in any gaps that develop with a high-quality caulk.

Above all, follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to install siding. This will help ensure that your warranty remains in effect, and that your fiber cement siding will protect and adorn your house for years to come.

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