5 Fiber Cement Siding Problems You Can’t Avoid
Your home’s cladding plays a major role in its durability, looks and energy efficiency. That’s why you need to pick the right material. Fiber cement is a popular home cladding option but that doesn’t mean it’s flawless – it’s actually far from it. There are many fiber cement siding problems you need to be aware of.
Where some siding options, such as vinyl, thrive in erratic weather and require little maintenance, fiber cement tends to struggle. This can have costly effects on your curb appeal and finances.
In this article, we’ll go over 5 fiber cement siding problems that you can’t avoid. Let’s get started.
1. It’s Extremely Expensive
Right off the bat, let’s start with one of the biggest complaints about fiber cement siding – it’s very expensive. There are several reasons for this problem. The first being that the cost of materials is very high. It’s made of a mixture of sand, cement and cellulose fibers.
More importantly, fiber cement is expensive to have installed because of the amount of manpower needed. The installation cost will end up running you between $6 – $15/square foot. That makes it more expensive than other popular home cladding options such as wood, vinyl and aluminum.
2. Maintaining Fiber Cement Siding Isn’t Easy
If you thought spending money was done at the initial payment, you’re wrong. Maintaining fiber cement siding is a huge endeavor that takes up a lot of time and money.
For starters, having pre-painted fiber cement siding is extremely expensive and many homeowners choose to paint their siding after installation. However, because of the mixture of sand, cement and cellulose fibers, you need to paint it within the first 90 days of installation.
Whether you choose the pre-painted siding or not, your fiber cement siding will need to be painted often to maintain its looks. The paint tends to fade and can even chip. This isn’t a problem you experience with other materials such as vinyl or aluminum.
Also, fiber cement can get pretty dirty rather quickly – you’ll need to clean it frequently. It shows dirt more and will take away from your home’s curb appeal.
3. Inconsistencies With Fiber Cement Quality
Not all fiber cement is created equally which means that you’re never sure of the quality you’re getting until it’s already installed. When you’re mixing multiple components together, there’s bound to be some inconsistencies that are unavoidable.
That isn’t the only problem though. As you already know, fiber cement is very difficult to install. Different companies will have different ways of going about installing it so you’ll never have the same quality of installation.
Installation is key to how a siding looks and functions so you’ll need to find a reputable fiber cement siding company and even that might not be enough. They could have a unique product that doesn’t withstand the elements as well as other fiber cement options.
While we’re on the topic of the elements…
4. Not the Most Energy Efficient Option
Fiber cement is nowhere near as energy efficient as vinyl or wood siding. That means the outside weather is going to get into your home making it very uncomfortable. We hope you have some extra blankets because you’re going to need them in the winter.
Not only that, but a poorly insulated house could end up costing you money on your energy bills. With outside temperatures easily getting into your home, your furnace and air conditioner have to work hard to achieve your desired temperature. That means they’re using more power which will result in higher bills.
5. Doesn’t Have the Same Charm as Other Siding Options
One thing wood and vinyl siding offer that you can’t get with fiber cement siding is their beauty. Fiber cement lacks that charm and warmth that you get with those siding materials.
Also, vinyl and wood siding both offer crisp lines and unique style options that you just can’t get with fiber cement. While you do have many color options, that’s about the only way you can truly customize fiber cement siding.
The lack of looks becomes more apparent when the paint starts to chip and crack. If you’re not on top of your maintenance, your home’s exterior is going to suffer.
Why Vinyl Siding is a Better Option
Where fiber cement, and other siding materials for that matter, fall flat, vinyl siding excels. One of the great benefits of vinyl siding is its energy efficiency. With a foam insulation board installed behind it, no outside weather will be getting into your home, saving you money on your energy bills.
Maintenance is no problem for vinyl siding either. You’ll never need to paint it because the colors are baked into the panel to prevent fading and chipping.
There are many customization options available with vinyl siding. You can go with the classic double four siding or change things up with a more unique style such as scalloped or shake siding.
Most importantly, vinyl is vastly cheaper than fiber cement siding. Since it’s easier to install and the products are easier to make, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to get vinyl siding as your home’s cladding.
Even where fiber cement performs well such as strength, vinyl matches it. The way vinyl siding is constructed, it won’t crack or chip when exposed to the elements. Plus, the foam insulation board makes the siding shock resistant so it won’t dent or ding.
Other benefits of fiber cement siding is that its resistant to moisture, but so is vinyl. It never warps, rots or expands when exposed to water. That also means you won’t have to worry about mold or mildew.
These 5 Fiber Cement Siding Problems Can’t Be Avoided
While it might not seem like much, these 5 unavoidable fiber cement siding problems can end up being costly. Living in the Midwest, it might not be your best home cladding option.
Fiber cement is high maintenance, inconsistent and isn’t as energy efficient as other options on the market. For the price they charge, you’d expect a better performance.
To completely avoid these fiber cement siding problems, get vinyl siding. It’s made to withstand the Midwest’s harsh weather. Plus, it’s extremely durable, strong and low maintenance. All of this for a much lower price tag. You can’t lose!
Many Midwest homeowners turn to Feldco for their vinyl siding needs. Our product specialists will make sure you get the right size, style and color of siding before a factory trained team of installers puts it up for you. Get a free quote now and see why we’ve proudly served over 400,000 homeowners.