How to Care for your James Hardie Siding
Often referred to as “Hardie Board,” James Hardie siding is the most widely installed fiber cement product with a broad base of qualified installers to enhance your home. No longer limited to board and batten, Hardie siding comes in many styles and colors – all designed to withstand the elements for decades.
Hardie siding is a fiber cement product made from Portland cement, sand, water, cellulose fibers and proprietary additives to enhance performance. The popularity of the product has soared because it is less expensive than brick, non-combustible, unappealing to termites and woodpeckers and withstands moisture damage.
While Hardie is designed to last, there are some basic maintenance requirements to keep it looking great year after year. Dirt and water are the biggest threats to your siding. Dirt can scratch it and water can lead to mold and mildew. Keeping your siding clean and maintaining proper drying conditions will go a long way toward extending the life and beauty of the product.
Give it a wash. Keeping your siding clean and free of debris should be done at least twice per year. This can be done with a garden hose and a soft brush, if necessary. If you use a power washer, do so on a low setting. Only use mild detergents and be sure to work with the grain – not against it.
Check downspouts and gutters. Make sure that rain can move freely through drainage systems and does not collect on, or stain the Hardie siding. Cleaning gutters will also keep debris away from siding.
Trim growth. As shrubs and other plants flourish around your home, they may end up growing into your siding. Keep vegetation off the siding to help it properly dry and reduce the risk of mold and moss.
Easy on the mulch. For flower beds that touch your home, keep soil and mulch levels below the start of the siding and ensure that nothing is covering it, such as garden hoses or tools.
Check sprinklers. Irrigation systems are wonderful, but water can contain minerals that can stain your home. Adjust sprinklers so the water reaches intended targets instead of your home.
Curb your salt use. As you reach for the ice melt to keep you and your family safe this winter, be sure to keep ice-melting products away from siding. Salt and other chemicals can harm fiber cement so opt for sand or a chemical-free option when possible.
Luckily, care for Hardie siding is straightforward and something most homeowners easily can do themselves. With just a little care, Hardie will maintain its unique properties and improve the resale value of your home.