When your home needs new siding or repairs to the exterior walls, you may not think of cement as being a good choice of materials, as you may assume that it's heavy and downright unattractive for a home's exterior. However, fibre cement siding is very attractive, very durable, and a popular option today. Note a few questions you might have about this material so you can determine if it's the right choice for your home.
What is fibre cement siding?
Fibre cement siding doesn't mean that layers of cement are slapped onto your home with a trowel or shovel, in the same manner as a driveway or walkway is created. Instead, this material is used to create long planks of siding in a factory. The planks are then fastened to your home in a manner similar to aluminium or wood siding.
Fibre cement is also a bit different than the cement used for driveways and walkways; it's made with a mixture that usually includes a high ratio of cellulose, or paper, which then makes it lightweight. This ensures it doesn't add extra weight to the home and won't cause damage to the home's frame or foundation.
Can fibre cement be painted?
Fibre cement boards are actually painted at the factory, so they don't look dull and grey. This paint also adds a protective coating over the cement, so it won't be prone to water damage. While the paint should last for many years, if you do need the surface repainted, it's good to have a professional manage this task for you. Fibre cement needs a paint that will absorb into its porous surface, and the surface may need to be primed so it can hold a new coat of paint. This may be outside the area of expertise of most homeowners, so call a professional to handle this job for you.
Can a homeowner install their own fibre cement boards?
Fibre cement is installed with corrosion-resistant nails, and they should be hot-tipped, so they can easily penetrate the cement mixture and reach the framework of the home. Note that fibre cement cannot be attached with staples, as these may not be strong enough to hold the softer material of cement in place. You also don't want to sink the nail heads, as sinking them might allow for water penetration and leaks. Because of these specifications for installing fibre cement, it may be better to leave this job to a professional to ensure the boards and slats are installed properly.