As a homeowner, the durability of your home is one of your main concerns. You want a home that can withstand the elements where you live, but you want it to look good at the same time. Worry no more, because here is the solution! Fiber cement boards are a highly durable and highly attractive material for siding your house. Read on to learn more about this manufactured material.
What Is It?
The concept of fiber cement boards was patented in the early 1900s, and has been a popular building material ever since. For much of the 20th century, the product was made with asbestos fibers, but that practice has been completely halted. Fiber cement sheets are now made with other, non-harmful organic fibers. As the name indicates, the boards consist of cement, cellulose (plant-based) fibers, and sand. This material is often called HardiePlank, which is a reference to JamesHardie, the most common manufacturer of fiber cement products.
Fiber cement boards are produced in long horizontal boards for use in cladding or siding a house, to imitate the look of traditional wooden siding. It is also available in large sheets and tiles, and is often used to line eaves or as a laying surface for tile in bathrooms and decks. It is also often replaced for wood in areas with a high fire risk because it is highly flame-resistant.
Why Choose Fiber Cement?
Fiber cement, when used as cladding on a structure, is highly superior to traditional wooden siding. It is not susceptible to rot or termites, and is non-flammable and non-absorbent. Thicker sheets are also highly impact-resistant. It is a highly durable material, requiring very little maintenance. This durability has led to the product being incredibly popular areas with harsh weather conditions, such as the deserts of the Australian Outback and the hurricane-prone coastal United States. It is longer-reflecting and has a better look than competing materials such as vinyl. It is also "greener" than many other building materials, causing less damage to the planet and using more sustainable raw materials.
How It's installed
Installation of fiber cement boards is much the same as other building materials. Planks for siding are formed and cut by the manufacturer and ready to install. Any piece that needs to be cut to size can be cut by mechanical saw, and thinner boards may be able to be scored and snapped by a knife. Good ventilation is a must while the boards are being cut. The boards, especially the large sheets, are very heavy, and installation will require at least two people at all times.
Once installed, the planks can be painted just like wood. Areas of exposure, such as exterior siding, should receive weatherproof exterior paint. It will occasionally require a new coat of paint, but is otherwise maintenance-free.
If you're in the market for a siding material that's durable and provides great curve appeal, ask your local contractor about fiber cement boards. You will not regret it.