You have likely heard of fiber cement siding or James Hardie siding, but what is it actually made of? The name may conjure up images of a boring cement wall but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Comprised of cement, sand, water, and cellulose wood fibers, fiber cement siding is engineered to be a fire, insect, and weather-resistant material. And, because it is manufactured from a cement type mixture, fiber cement can be molded to closely resemble materials like wood planks or stucco without the heavy maintenance.
Over 30 years ago, James Hardie invented fiber cement technology and has since remained a trusted leading brand in the field. Brothers installs Hardie BoardTM because we know the product has been relentlessly tested and engineered for a lasting performance.
Check out the seven reasons why siding experts recommend fiber cement siding to homeowners:
Fiber cement siding is designed to withstand the worst-case scenario weather conditions: from UV rays during the summer, hurricane-level winds in the spring, and snow and hailstorms in the winter. It does not expand and contract with humidity and temperature, making it a durable option. Quality fiber cement siding like Hardie Board can even last over 50 years when correctly installed and well maintained.
2. Customizable Style
Fiber cement siding can be molded to resemble stucco, wood clapboards, or cedar shingles. It is often chosen to preserve historic homes that had wood exteriors, which deteriorated over the years. Homeowners find that the deep shadow lines and warm wood grain texture of James Hardie siding replicate the look of wood better than vinyl, and without the associated cost and years of maintenance of a natural material. It is also chosen for modern homes, for example, mixing stone elements with a fiber cement board and batten.
3. Fire Resistant
The fire protection qualities of fiber cement siding are unparalleled and can be a major selling point. Wood-based siding is natural fuel for a fire, and vinyl siding will melt when exposed to flame, grills, and solar heat reflection off of Low-E windows. Conversely, fiber cement will not ignite from outside fire and will not fuel a fire. You can even store and use your outdoor grill right next to a home with fiber cement siding.
4. Array of Colors
With an array of colors to choose from, you can find options that match both traditional and trendy home design. Indeed, the color will eventually need to be repainted, but unlike conventional wood planks, with ColorPlus technology, it will take more than 30 years for the color to fade on James Hardie fiber cement siding. On the other hand, vinyl siding does come in more color options and does not need to be repainted. But keep in mind that vinyl has half the lifespan of fiber cement, meaning when you are repainting your fiber cement siding, you would be paying to replace vinyl.
Avoiding the fossil fuels used in vinyl siding production, and the deforestation practices for wood siding, the production of fiber cement siding is a relatively sustainable option. The material’s longevity likely offsets the pollution from production. Additionally, while there aren’t any recycling programs for fiber cement siding, it is far less likely to end up in a landfill than vinyl simply based on how long it will last on the home.
6. Low Maintenance
An incredibly low maintenance option, this type of siding only needs to be rinsed with a garden hose to remove debris and occasionally sponged with mild soap to get rid of more stubborn build up. However, homeowners should annually inspect where the siding panels or other elements of the home join. Fiber cement siding itself is very resistant to moisture. But if the moisture barrier is broken at these joints, then water can still penetrate behind the siding.
7. Return on Investment
With all the advantages of James Hardie siding, there is, of course, going to be a higher cost than a basic siding option like vinyl. For this reason, there is an assumption that fiber cement is the highest cost siding option. However, fiber cement can mimic more expensive options like stucco. And it has a similar price point to wood, which is much higher maintenance and not as resistant to insects, rot, and fire. Regardless of which material you choose to side your house, you will see some return on your investment. According to Remodeling Magazine’s cost vs. value report, you can recoup up to 75.6% of the cost of siding replacement in home value.
With over 30 years of experience working on Maryland homes, Brothers has the proven expertise to install James Hardie siding. Learn more about how this unique option could work for your home by scheduling a no-pressure consultation with one of our siding experts today.