"It looks like wood, but it's not wood!" This is how fiber cement siding is often described to homeowners who are considering it for their home. Indeed, this type of siding is a common choice among those who like the look of wood siding, but do not want the hassles associated with wood siding. But if you're trying to decide between fiber cement siding and wood, you may want to know a little more. Specifically, you may want to know exactly what problems fiber cement siding allows you to avoid. Here's a look at the main ones.
When wood gets wet, it soon begins rotting. Since siding is located outside in the elements, it does get wet. Wood siding is typically painted or otherwise finished to ensure it sheds water well. But eventually, this finish can wear off, leaving the wood exposed to water, which leads to rot. Rotting wood siding does not protect your home very well, and it doesn't look nice, either. Fiber cement siding does not rot. Although it contains wood fibers, those wood fibers are well encased in a cement matrix, so they are protected against moisture.
Termite and Carpenter Ant Damage
Termites and carpenter ants love wood siding, especially once it does start developing some rot and moisture damage. These insects can chew apart siding really quickly, and then they may move into other structures, like fences and foundations. Fiber cement siding is not appealing to these pests. Choosing it over wood helps protect your whole home from wood-eating pests.
Warping and Bowing
Wood distorts easily as temperature and humidity levels change. This can lead to siding that looks bowed or warped. Obviously, that is not a look you want. Fiber cement siding is resistant to changes in humidity and temperature. It will stay flat and straight, even in the most varied of climates. This keeps your home looking pristine and tidy.
High Maintenance Needs
If you want your wood siding not to rot or be invaded by insects, then you have to maintain it. And that maintenance is time-consuming! Scraping and painting wood siding can take up most of your summer. If you'd rather be doing other things, then fiber cement siding is a better choice as it does not need to be painted. The only maintenance it really needs is power washing every year or two.
So, fiber cement siding does look like wood, but without a lot of the problems that are typical with real wood siding. Now, you know what those problems are. Talk to a siding company if you have any additional questions about fiber cement siding, including James Hardie fiber cement.