Cement board siding is an excellent choice for many homes due to its durability and low maintenance. Its upscale appearance, resistance to fire and moisture, and its long-term warranty (usually 30 years) are also attractive features for many homeowners.
If you have recently purchased or remodeled the exterior of your home with cement board siding, chances are good you’re already starting to appreciate it. But you may be wondering how to properly care for it. Although it is low maintenance, it is not completely maintenance free. Here are a few things you can do to maximize the life of your cement board siding.
Gently wash the siding with a garden hose and soft brush or cloth every six to 12 months to remove dirt, bugs and bird residue. If the stains are stubborn, use a mild detergent with your wet cloth. Some manufacturers’ warranties require this kind of basic periodic maintenance in order to guarantee their products.
Repaint every five to 12 years. Paint fades over time and will eventually chip or peel off. A typical paint job will last five to seven years before it needs to be redone. Some brands, like James Hardie, offer primed or prefinished cement board that guarantee the paint to last up to 12 years. Although your cement board will be structurally sound for the duration of the warranty in most cases, the paint is something that will need to be updated from time to time. Because the cement board does not absorb paint like a wood siding, it will hold its paint finish longer than something like cedar.
Check the caulk periodically. Your siding is built to last, but the caulk used in the seams may not be rated for as many years as your siding. Check to see if your caulk is separating or peeling off the joins and seams. Sealing up any trouble areas will ensure your home stays sealed up and your siding is effective in protecting your home.
Keep deicing salts off your siding. Any salt you throw down on a nearby sidewalk can quickly have an effect on your siding’s finish. Bushes growing close to the siding can also scratch the paint as the branches grow and blow in the wind. They can also leave hard-to-clean spots from leaves and other debris. Keeping the siding clean will help it maintain its color and finish for longer.
Also read through your manufacturer’s warranty and care guidelines. There may be specific maintenance that is required periodically to ensure that they will stand behind their product in the event of a claim on the warranty. They may also have specific recommendations to help preserve your siding effectively.
Nothing lasts forever, but the more you take care of what you have, the longer it will last for you. Properly maintained cement board siding will last a very long time and keep your home sealed up for years to come. If you have any questions about how to maintain your specific siding, feel free to contact us for more information.