Many building and design professionals and homeowners are looking for siding with the natural appearance of brick, stone, or wood. However, brick and stone can be expensive, engineered wood can suffer from performance problems, and solid wood requires significant maintenance. Without regular upkeep, wood-based products can become brittle, split, swell and deteriorate over time.
A wood alternative siding such as fiber cement siding is able to match the traditional look of wood, with substantially lower maintenance expenses. It is extremely durable, dimensionally stable, and resistant to everyday “dings”. As is the case for natural wood, fiber cement must be primed and painted or stained. However, the material’s superior paint adherence properties reduce the frequency of recoating. The only additional maintenance required is simple cleaning; the exterior may be washed with a garden hose to remove dirt and debris as necessary.
Although a wood alternative siding like fiber cement mimics the traditional appearance of wood, its physical properties provide several advantages. All wood and wood-based products absorb water when exposed to moisture; the ensuing expansion places continuous stress on the material over time. More importantly, the subsequent growth of internal mold and fungus can foster decay that goes unnoticed until the damage requires expensive replacement. In comparison, fiber cement does not experience this type of swelling and warping and does not rot. The product also remains impervious to woodpeckers or wood-boring insects.
Fiber cement resists the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays and does not succumb to the stress of freeze-thaw cycles. Another important attribute that sometimes goes unnoticed is the material’s non-combustibility – an especially important feature when considering siding products in locations where fire hazards are a concern. Due to its superior durability and resistance to damage from extreme weather conditions, the material can be used in virtually any climate.