Fiber cement siding is one of the most durable, beautiful and low-maintenance ways to cover your home’s exterior and protect it from weather extremes.
This heavy and long-lasting material is reinforced with sand, glass, and concrete to help ensure that it needs less care and replacing than wood, vinyl, or aluminum siding. However, it is exposed to the elements and so will need cleaning occasionally, removing dirt or debris, preferably before there’s significant build-up.
How often you have to clean fiber cement siding depends on where you’re located and the environmental conditions affecting your house. But as pointed out, it’s good to remove dirt, dust, mold, debris and buildup that take place over time.
For cleaning siding, it is important to use safety equipment. Always wear protective eyewear, gloves and respiratory protection. You might be breathing in dangerous particles lodged on the siding.
You might also want to protect your landscaping with plastic sheets as you are cleaning siding.
Also, before cleaning, you should check out the literature that comes with your fiber cement siding. Respected manufacturers, such as James Hardie, provide thorough care instructions.
Dirt and Debris
Dirt and debris are the main things you will have to deal with occasionally. Sand, soil, mulch and other materials may be blown on the siding by winds or pushed there by drifts of snow.
This is easily removed. Just brush the siding with a soft brush to free the surface of debris and then rinse with the garden hose. You can also use a soft, wet cloth to remove the dirt, rinsing again with clean water. Change the cloth or rinse often if the rag becomes dirty.
Oil and Grease
If oil and grease build up on your siding (because, for example, you work on your car close to the house), then you just need to clean it with soft cloths or brushes and warm, soapy water. Don’t use harsh chemical cleaners or hard abrasive brushes, because you risk marring the fiber cement siding’s surface.
Mold and Mildew
If you live in an area with a lot of shade, mold and mildew might become a problem. Or there could be black streaks caused by algae spores blown by the wind.
Chemicals and sprays aimed at killing mildew can be used for cleaning siding. Simply spray, allow it to work for several minutes and then rinse with a garden hose.
If you find that algae, mold and mildew are recurring problems, you might want to try tackling them by lowering the PH of your siding, using substances like bleach, ammonia, baking soda or salt. Mix with water and use a pump spray to apply it to your fiber cement siding, rinsing when done.
If you want help cleaning your fiber cement siding or with some other home improvement project, contact us today for a free estimate. JD Hostetter and Associates is the Indianapolis area’s siding, painting and home exterior contractor of choice.