Finished With Fiber Cement? Nope! Clean And Condition To Renew Your Home's Exterior Siding

Construction & Contractors Articles

Cleaning and conditioning your home's interior and exterior is important for its overall look, function, and value. Unfortunately, proper cleaning and care of the home's exterior siding is not always a priority. If you have fiber cement siding on your home, you may think it is indestructible or impossible to stain. However, dirt, dust, and mold can quickly build up on your fiber cement, leading to a decreased curb appeal and value. Without cleaning and removal, the debris can damage, warp, and stain your siding. Using this guide on fiber cement, you will understand the proper way to clean and maintain your home's siding.  

Understanding Fiber Cement

Fiber cement siding is constructed out of wood pulp fibers and cement. This combination ensures your home's exterior is protected with a durable, attractive shell. Fortunately, you can install the siding in a variety of designs and select from numerous paint colors to achieve the look you want for your home.

Since most manufacturers warranty their fiber cement between 30 and 50 years, it is easy to see the benefits of this siding for your home. Of course, proper cleaning and care is essential to protecting its appeal and durability.

Cleaning and Care

The existing color of your siding, your local climate's weather conditions, and the cleaning schedule you currently follow are all aspects to consider when choosing how often to paint your fiber cement. If your siding was primed and painted with a good quality 100-percent acrylic, you may not need to paint your exterior for 5 to 15 years. Of course, before applying a new coat of paint to your fiber cement, a detailed cleaning is necessary.

To get started, visit your local hardware or home improvement center to purchase TSP, or trisodium phosphate. This cleaning agent is effective for removing heavy buildup of dirt and debris from your home's exterior surfaces. In an outdoor pump sprayer, combine the following:

  • 4 gallons of water
  • 2 cups of TSP

Use a broom to sweep away visible dirt, leaves, pine straw, and dust from the exterior before spraying the TSP solution onto one side of your home. Allow the solution to soak for 10 to 15 minutes before washing off with your garden hose.

If you notice any dark green or black patches of growth on your fiber cement, it may be mold. While bleach is an effective option for removing mold, algae, and mildew, it can damage the landscaping surrounding your home while irritating your skin, eyes, and respiratory system.

For a safer option that will remove mold and other growth from your fiber cement, consider a vinegar solution. Combine 2 gallons of water with 2 gallons of white vinegar in an outdoor sprayer. Douse on patches of growth before scrubbing with a soft-bristled brush. Rinse with your garden hose. Allow your siding to dry for a few days before painting.

Painting

Once your siding is clean and dry, you can begin the painting process. Here are a few tips to ensure the painting process is effective and stress-free:

  • Caulk – Inspect your siding for cracks and crevices before painting. Seal all cracks with acrylic or silicon caulk. Allow the caulk sufficient time to dry before applying your primer and paint.
  • Remove Flaky Paint – Use a wire brush to scrub away any chipped, flaking areas of old paint. Consider wearing a disposable respirator mask and safety goggles to prevent breathing problems and eye irritation. 
  • Prime – Apply a coat of primer to your siding. Be sure it is specifically designed for exterior surfaces.
  • Paint – Apply one coat of acrylic latex paint to the siding after the primer dries. Use long-sweeping motions, going with the grain of the fiber cement.
  • Second Coat – After your paint dries, apply a second coat for the most appealing, durable exterior for your home.

Fiber cement is a great siding option for your home, but proper care and maintenance is important. Using these simple tips, you can understand the benefits of, clean, and condition your home's siding without a great deal of stress.

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19 November 2015

siding your home - which product is best?

Does your house look older than it really is? Are you looking for a quick way to make your home look fresh and new? Maybe it is time for you to consider having new siding installed. My site will help you learn about the different options of siding that you have for your home. You will learn the pros and cons of each type of siding and how to maintain the siding that you choose. This information helped me find the perfect siding for my home, and I hope that it helps other homeowners find the perfect finish for their homes as well.