Look up and down your block. You’ll see a lot of houses, probably in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors. No two look exactly alike, but almost all of them share a common trait: siding.
Siding is like a suit of armor for your house. It protects it from the elements and keeps everyone inside safe, warm, and dry. Few materials do a better job than modern fiber cement siding.
The Importance of Siding
Siding does a lot more than just making your house look good, although good siding certainly does. Siding protects your house and everything in it, and fiber cement siding in particular does its job efficiently and affordably.
- Waterproofing: Siding is a crucial waterproof exterior layer. Without it, all the underlying components of your house, right down to the studs and insulation, would be vulnerable to water damage. Fiber cement siding is engineered to be resistant to moisture and rot.
- Fire Resistance: Fiber cement siding helps protect your home from fire damage (it first became popular decades ago in Australia, where wildfires are common). Fiber cement siding will not ignite when exposed to an open flame, and will not provide fuel during a fire.
- Pest Control: Siding provides a crucial defense against pests. Some old-fashioned types of siding, such as wood clapboards and cedar shingles were susceptible to a variety of insect pests. Modern fiber cement siding is unappealing to carpenter ants and termites and helps keep mice, rats, and other pests out of your home.
- Curb Appeal: New siding makes any house look better, and fiber cement siding in particular has become one of the most popular options for homeowners looking to boost their curb appeal. It can mimic the classic look of a variety of materials, including wood clapboard siding, but without wood’s susceptibility to pests and water damage.
Siding should always be installed by a professional. This is especially the case with fiber cement siding, which is considerably heavier than vinyl siding and can be prone to breaking if mishandled. In general, professional installation ensures your siding is fully sealed, waterproof, and correctly nailed down to make it resistant to wind and storm damage.
Determining the Lifespan of Your Siding
Fiber cement siding has one of the longest lifespans of any siding currently on the market. With proper care, it can last 50 years or more (although this partly depends on your climate, and the amount of exposure to the elements your home receives). The construction of siding has advanced greatly in recent decades, to the point where modern siding will greatly outlast products installed just 10 or 20 years ago.
If you’re thinking about getting new siding, the first step is to assess your home’s current siding and try to determine how much life is left in it. To start with, do you know how old your home’s siding is? If so, you can probably make an estimate based on the type of siding you have, and what year it was installed. If not, you may have to make an educated guess based on condition.
If your siding looks a little worse for wear, inspect it closely. Does it look like the siding itself is damaged, or does it merely need to be cleaned and/or repainted? In many cases, the siding can be saved.
However, if you see rot, water damage, cracked or broken siding, pieces missing, or severe storm damage, it’s likely your siding needs to be replaced. If the damage is widespread, it’s often better to replace all of the siding rather than attempt to patch it up by replacing only certain parts.
Routine maintenance is essential to getting the longest possible life out of your siding. Fortunately, fiber cement siding is relatively low-maintenance and is similar to vinyl siding.
Spray the siding with a garden hose every 6 to 12 months to keep it clean and free of moss and mildew. Inspect the joints and caulk once a year for wear, and keep nearby landscape plants trimmed back so they don’t brush up against your house.
Fiber cement siding may eventually need to be repainted as well. The typical lifespan for the paint is around 12 years, depending on climate and exposure to the elements. It’s a good idea to have your siding looked at by a professional every few years to make sure the siding and paint are both in good condition. Contact Moss Roofing today to learn more about your Indianapolis, IN siding options, and talk to our team about the benefits of working with us.