Fiber cement is a material used in construction that is designed to mimic the appearance of wood without being susceptible to wood’s natural weaknesses: fire, pests and rotting. Fiber cement is made from a mixture of sand, cement and cellulose fibers. Fiber cement siding has advantages that make it an appealing choice for building construction. Thick fiber cement is highly resistant to impact damage, giving it a competitive edge versus other favorite siding options like aluminum, vinyl and wood composite materials.
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Although fiber cement siding has many advantages, the intricacy involved in installation makes it one of the most complicated and demanding materials to work with. Because of this, the role of the contractor is very important to ensure the stability of structures made out of fiber cement. Discover the properties of fiber cement and learn why a reliable contractor is important to ensure its performance.
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Quality and Properties of Fiber Cement
Fiber cement for siding comes in many types depending on the width and the design. Most fiber cement siding are differentiated by brand name. But the basic properties that add to the resistance of fiber cements falls on the quality of the product. Top quality fiber cement must be made using industry standards: since the fiber cement is made of composite materials, the correct combination and manufacturing process must be followed to ensure their resistance and durability. Fiber cement is often sold depending on how they are shaped, including shingle, shake, lap and vertical siding.
Fiber cement is extremely tough, but they are very fragile and highly prone to breaking and chipping before installation. Through proper installing techniques, thinner or less dense fiber cement siding should also be reinforced to make it more resistant to impact. Installing the siding can be complicated when done alone, which is why it would help to hire contractors for proper and tighter assembly.
Fiber Cement Siding Installation
Fiber cement is usually installed by levels. The alignment is important to make it more water-tight, and nailing techniques will help hide the nail heads and make the panels sounder. Overlapping is the common technique of installing fiber cement, but manufacturers may have specific instructions for installation.
Because of the number of materials needed, installing fiber cement siding takes time. Sheets shaped into certain thicknesses are also cut using specific tools that may not be available in many hardware stores. Installing fiber cement also becomes more complicated once ventilation and flashing are considered. Ventilation and flashing are done to improve the life of the materials and to prevent damage. Contractors are suited to do the job and provide the expertise to assure quality.
Fiber cement siding is manufactured in the form of sheets and Fiber Cement Lap Siding is manufactured in board feet lengths that is used for the purpose of the cladding but also commonly used as soffits. The size of these sheets varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and according to the demand and needs. Generally the size of these sheets range from 4′ x 8′ sheets and in lenghts of 6″ by 12′ long.
The thickness of fiber cement boards also varies from manufacturer to manufacture. General width of the fiber cement cladding is about 3/8″. Usually the higher density of the fiber cement cladding having a cleaner edge when cut but the lower density having a rough edge when it cut.
Higher density fiber cement siding is the best product for thermal resistance, sound transition resistance and for wall insulation process. If the product is thicker and denser, better is the thermal resistance and sound transition resistance. Fiber cement siding is a very heavy material so it is very difficult to carry by a single man. Usually two or more men needed to carry this product properly. Before the installation, there are many chances for the breakdown and damage of this product, so you must need to handle it very carefully. It will be easily destroyed if not handle with care.
You can paint the fiber cement siding before or after the installation as suitable. Fiber cement cladding is a durable product, you just once need to install it and then enjoy its benefits for life time. It makes your exterior of building most beautiful, good looking and attractive. It is a most durable product that requires very little maintenance after proper installation.
The best feature of this product is its fire resistance. This is a unique feature that makes it attractive among the many other cladding materials available in the market. It is non combustible material that is widely used in the high fire areas. It provides resistance against the outside fire to the house holder and other people inside the buildings.
Advantages and Disadvantages
These days, it is considered to be the one of the best siding materials due to its features. Read about the positive and negative aspects of fiber cement siding below.
- Fiber cement siding product is durable than the other siding materials available in the market. You just ones install fiber cement cladding and enjoy the benefits for many years.
- It required little maintenance due to its durable material.
- It is powerful resistance against fire that is why it is widely used in the high fire areas.
- It is also a powerful resistance to fungus, mildew and termites, so there is no need to routine maintenance to prevent this problem.
- Fiber cement siding is available in many colors and stylish designs; you have the option to select the best design according to your choice.
- It is available in wide variety such as horizontal, vertical and shingle style, these verities gives your home a new and attractive look.
- It is more resistance to shrinking and swelling due to change in the weather condition or any rise and fall in temperature. Due to this feature it is considered to be the best siding material in extreme weather areas.
- Fiber cement cladding is more versatile than the other siding material available in the market.
- Fiber cement cladding needs maintenance after some period, because it is not a single sheet, but it consists of different pieces. Seams exist between the pieces and you need to maintain these seams periodically.
- Fiber cement cladding needs to be handling carefully, because there are many chances of breakdown or its damage during the process of transportation and installation.
- If the seams exist in the pieces, then it is very difficult to maintain it because water easily infiltrate the siding that leads to mold and mildew growth.
- For proper installation of fiber cement siding, you must need to hire a professional siding installer.
- Fiber cement cladding is a composite material that is made off cement, sand, and cellulose fiber and silica particles. Due to this reason fiber cement siding generate large amount of dust when you cut it into different pieces.
- The cost of fiber cement siding is also higher than the other siding material available in the market.
- Fiber cement cladding is more porous than vinyl and other materials available in the market. It absorbs water through the edges.
To know if a contractor is reliable, ask for license and certifications. A contractor should be experienced in handling and working with fiber cement as it is very fragile and mishandling makes it prone to damage. Verify the quality of a contractor’s work by looking at testimonies and references about the company. A reliable contractor is also ready to give guarantees on their products and services.