Do you know that fiber cement that has been damaged by water can be painted by the homeowner? Having prior knowledge is helpful, but a specialist is usually needed for this type of work.
You can save money by building using fiber cement, and you can also be more picky about the color and details you use.
What Is Fiber Cement?
Roofing, external walls, siding, and other exterior surfaces are just some of the many common places you’ll find fiber cement. It is made up of cement, cellulose fibers, sand, and water.
For its durability against the elements, this material is favored by many. Insects, rats, fire, ultraviolet light, and other elements of the weather can all contribute to the façade’s deterioration.
Compared to other building materials, fiber cement is noticeably heavier, but it lasts far longer once it’s put into use. Materials like vinyl, wood, and metal need continuous maintenance since they decay easily and dent easily. However, fiber cement is not without its drawbacks.
The durability and longevity of fiber cement is diminished without periodic painting. Water damage, such as cracking, peeling, and chipping, can be repaired for free by some manufacturers for up to 15 years. However, the finer points of these warranties’ coverage may not always work for every homeowner.
Though fiber cement may withstand some moisture, this generally applies to liquids that aren’t moving, like puddles. Water damage, panel failure, and mold growth can all occur if even a little amount of water sits on the surface for too long.
It’s also got a lot to do with the installation. When it rains, water can seep through cracks in a poorly built fiber cement wall, causing costly structural damage.
What to Do if Your Fiber Cement Siding Gets Damaged
You’ve finally found and settled into your dream home. You’ve done all the hard work of picking out the layout and materials, and now you can kick back and take it easy. What, though, if anything were to happen to your fiber cement and it got damaged? In this article, we’ll discuss the causes of fiber cement damage and the methods that can be used to fix it.
What Causes Fiber Cement Damage?
One of the most reliable and long-lasting materials for home construction is fiber cement. There are consequently few potential sources of harm. However, being aware of how to avoid catastrophe will always be useful.
Improper installation is a common source of damage that is rarely covered by warranties. Contractors that lack knowledge or training in working with fiber cement run the risk of causing extensive, long-term harm to the structure long after the job is finished. That’s why it’s so important for homeowners to thoroughly vet the contracting team they’re considering hiring, making sure to confirm that all subcontractors are qualified and insured.
Fiber cement siding, like any other kind of siding, needs to be cared for in order to ensure that a house lasts for many years. However, unlike other construction materials, keeping fiber cement in good condition is a breeze. A hose can be used to flush away dirt and grime on a regular basis. Here you may find out how to take care of fiber cement the right way.
However, fiber cement can decay if it is not maintained properly or put poorly (by leaving cut edges exposed, leaving too big clearances, etc.). This is especially significant for shake siding and cladding.
Extreme Weather and Natural Disasters
It’s beyond dispute that dwellings can be damaged by things like hurricanes and tornadoes. Fiber cement siding may often be repaired after being damaged by severe winds or extreme heat, when other materials would have to be replaced immediately or eroded over time.
After withstanding Category 5 storms that tore through the Southeast United States, Nichiha’s fiber cement siding has shown to be among the most durable options available. Nichiha fiber cement siding is approved for use in compliance with the stringent wind load rules in Miami-Dade County, Florida, as well as other states along the U.S. coast. The exterior siding from Nichiha is also resistant to flames. Given the increasing frequency of wildfires across the United States, this is a major worry for many property owners, especially those in western states.
Fibre cement siding is incredibly sturdy and durable, but it’s not bulletproof. Homeowners may experience damage due to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and hail, or due to unforeseen life events.
What Can Homeowners Do if Fiber Cement Gets Damaged?
The first step in deciding whether to repair the problem yourself or hire a professional service is to identify the source of the damage and learn the specifics of the warranty coverage. You may repair fiber cement siding in a few different ways.
Luckily, there are some maintenance tasks that can be performed by the homeowner themselves without causing the guarantee to be null and void. As a first step, inspect your fiber cement siding for major cracks and other indications of water damage. Damaged fiber cement siding must be repaired using the proper equipment and new siding planks.
A putty knife repair can be possible if the damage is minor. If the area isn’t prepared properly by first cleaning it and then smoothing down any rough edges, the cement patch won’t hold and further work will be needed.
After the patching is done, you can lightly sand and paint the panel so that it matches the rest of the wall. In cases where the original wall is significantly older than the patch, it may be necessary to repaint the entire wall. Consequently, if you’ve been considering painting your house a different color, now is an excellent moment to do so.
Providing it is done correctly, the repair might persist for decades. Know that the integrity of the structure may still be damaged even after the repair has been made. In the event that the patch fails to keep its grip or sustains further damage during the next storm, it will be necessary to bring in a specialist.
DIY projects have their appeal, but it’s important to remember that the harm may be worse than what we can see. However, hiring experts who have worked with fiber cement repair before can save both time and hassle.
When looking for a skilled repair crew, it’s important to check their credentials. When looking to hire a team, make sure to question the general contractor on all of the qualifications of the subcontractors and team members. Even though the general contractor has all necessary certifications, that doesn’t guarantee that each and every member of their staff does as well.
Second, read feedback. It’s important to have some means of gauging the caliber of the work your team does, and reviews are a great way to do that. If the team is certified, negative feedback is still bad news.
Nichiha may sell replacement boards if you only need to redo a small area of your house. Nichiha’s staff is always available to help you if you have any questions or concerns about your order. To find a contractor to put in the replacement boards, you can talk to a dealer or your Nichiha rep.
Although a whole siding replacement is a last resort, it is occasionally necessary to prevent further deterioration and preserve the siding’s integrity. Nichiha has provided guidelines for picking the right siding for your home, making the process much less daunting. Primed and pre-finished fiber cement siding designs are available, and they work well with both conventional and contemporary architecture.
How to Repair Loose Fiber Cement Siding
Incorrect installation, either failing to nail into a stud or fastening the siding pieces too high, is the primary cause of fiber cement siding coming away. Nailing a plank too high will cause it to sag since the top lip is so thin that it has already begun to give. A high degree of vertical board movement is indicative of this phenomenon.
If you miss the stud when nailing a plank to a wall, the board will start to pull away from the wall. The quickest solution is to simply nail the boards back into place, this time making contact with the stud instead of the face. Pin back the board by face nailing it 3/4″ to 1″ from the bottom if there is no stud accessible (such near the gable trim) and the plank is curling or rattling; this is done only for aesthetics and not to increase wind load. If a backer is not available, you can use caulk to secure an angled cut or other portion.
Understanding Dealing With Fiber Cement Gaps
Fiber cement siding, in particular, is designed with intentional gaps between the joints. Best installation procedures nevertheless allow for some mobility and adapt to movements in the home, even if the material expands and contracts less than wood.
Caulk is used to seal any cracks around the edges, and flashing is installed behind every siding butt joint to keep water out. For stealth, the flashing should have an unsubtle hue. If the siding has enormous gaps that are ruining its aesthetic value (boards were too tiny to begin with, or the expansion gaps were too large), it is advisable to remove and replace the siding.
Even though fiber cement siding can last for 30–40 years when properly built, any material exposed to the elements for that long is bound to suffer some form of wear and tear at some time. The fact that this product may be easily and cheaply repaired is yet another of its many strengths.
Avoid going in circles by always fixing the root cause of the problem first (water damage, rodent infestation, delaminated boards, etc.).
Repainting Water Damage On Fiber Cement
It’s advisable to hire professionals for major house improvements, but painting may be done on your own time. If you’d rather handle it on your own, here are the actions to take and considerations to make beforehand.
You must thoroughly clean and prime the fiber cement before you begin repainting it. The paint’s appearance and durability will both benefit from this.
First, the fiber cement needs to be cleaned. When paint is repeatedly subjected to strong sunshine, it begins to chalk.
It can be washed away along with the dust and mold that has settled on the surface by using a power washer. To extend the life of the new paint, sanding the fiber cement before rinsing is also recommended.
Second, use a strong sealant to reseal the seams to keep water out. Caulk is often covered under warranty, but if it’s more than 15 years old, it’s probably preferable to replace it along with the paint.
Finally, once the seals have dried, you may begin painting the fiber cement. Put on some exterior acrylic latex paint of good quality.
Stains and paints with oil in them take longer to dry, so avoid using them. Additionally, they would experience chemical reactions and eventually discolor in extreme weather conditions. Wait for the first coat to dry before starting the second.
What Kind Of Paint Works Best With Fiber Cement?
To make the paint more water-resistant, you should use acrylic latex paint or pure acrylic paint. Just two coats of this will keep it looking as good as new for years to come. For a more polished look, fill in the holes first.
Repainting water-damaged fiber cement doesn’t call for a lot of special expertise or practice. If you can learn to apply paint in even coats, you should be able to complete the task successfully. Remember to always clear up any mess so that the surface is nice and shiny.