From mowing the lawn and washing windows to replacing loose roofing shingles, it is easy to see the importance of maintaining your home's exterior. Unfortunately, you may not place enough time and energy into your home's siding. Considering your exterior siding plays an important role in the home's curb appeal and total value, ensuring it is in good, clean condition is imperative. Of course, the various tasks necessary to uphold the durability and look of your siding can be overwhelming. Using this guide, however, you will be able to understand and maintain your home's fiber cement siding.
The 411 on Fiber Cement
Constructed out of a combination of cement and pulp fibers, fiber cement creates a durable shell around your home. This shell acts as a protective layer between your home's interior and the outside world, but it also plays a key role in your home's design and overall look.
Fiber cement siding is available in a variety of color options, ensuring there is a color and look that will complement your personality and the architectural design of your home.
While more expensive when compared to traditional vinyl siding, fiber cement is a worthwhile investment that will stand the test of time. Since fiber cement is so durable, most manufacturers warranty the product for an estimated 30 to 50 years.
Maintaining the appeal of your home's siding will first require a periodic cleaning, but removing light dirt, dust, and debris is simple. To get started, consider renting or borrowing a pressure washer.
Connect the pressure washer hose to your outdoor spigot. Standing a few feet away from the surface of the siding, begin spraying the top of one side of your home. Use side-sweeping motions, working your way down the siding. When you finish washing one side of the home, move to the next side. Again, start spraying the top of the home, working your way down.
In most cases, the water pressure will be sufficient for removing dirt and debris off the home. However, if you notice stubborn patches of dirt, mud, mold, or mildew, combine the following ingredients into an outdoor sprayer:
- 2 gallons of water
- 2 gallons of white vinegar
Shake the container to mix before spraying a generous amount of the solution onto the siding. Allow to sit and soak for a few minutes before rinsing with your pressure washer. The vinegar's acidic properties will eat through stubborn debris and mold or mildew growth without harming the underlying fiber cement or landscaping surrounding your house.
Determining when to paint the fiber cement siding is difficult, since many factors come into play. Fiber cement may discolor sooner than other types of siding. In addition, extreme temperatures may fade and wear down your home's siding. Fortunately, painting your fiber cement with a high-quality acrylic paint will ensure its appeal and durability lasts an estimated 5 to 15 years.
Here are a few tips for painting success:
- Don't paint the siding only—Updating the look of your home with a new color of siding is smart, but make sure to update the color of your shutters and doors, as well. This will drastically improve your curb appeal and home value.
- Preparing with primer is not necessary—Many manufacturers pre-prime the fiber cement. This reduces your need to apply a coat of primer before painting.
- Go with the grain—Add the paint to your brush and begin at one corner of the top siding plank. Move the brush with the grain of the fiber cement, ensuring a smooth and even application. Finish off one siding plank and move to the plank directly under, continuing the painting process.
Your home's siding is not only important for its construction and durability, but also its curb appeal and value. Due to these imperative factors, understanding and maintaining your fiber cement siding is key to home ownership. Contact a service like Gary D Torgerson Co if you would prefer to have a professional handle your residential exterior painting.