Did you know that wildfires destroyed nearly 35,000 buildings in the past ten years?
While it may seem unlikely to imagine your home included in this statistic—it’s not impossible. Though there’s little you can do to prevent wildfires, there is one way you can ensure your home is protected in the unfortunate event of a fire—have fiber cement siding installed.
Discover why fiber cement is the superior fire-resistant siding material and how it stands up against other popular siding products, like vinyl and wood, when exposed to flames.
What Makes Fiber Cement Siding Fire Resistant?
Let’s take a look at the fireproof benefits of this heavy-duty, lasting material.
Fiber cement siding is made from a durable combination of sand, cement, water, and cellulose fibers. This strong material can withstand harsh weather, temperature changes, strong winds, heavy impacts, pests and woodpeckers, and of course, fire damage.
Unlike wood, plywood, or composite siding, fiber cement siding is noncombustible, meaning it won’t ignite when exposed to a direct flame. You can rest assured that stray sparks from bonfires, barbecue grills, or even wildfires won’t engulf your home in flames.
Class A Fire Rating
Fire ratings classify materials by how quickly they spread fire and produce smoke. The ratings fall into five categories—Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class K, and are determined by a material’s flame spread index. This numerical value, usually ranging from zero to 600, is determined during a ten-minute tunnel test. The Steiner tunnel test has been used since the 1940s, and it performs a controlled analysis of the burning characteristics of popular building materials, like vinyl, wood, and fiber cement.
Fiber cement is one of the few exterior materials with a Class A fire rating. This means it has a flame spread index between 0-25 and is unlikely to contribute fuel to a fire.
Natural Flame Retardant
Materials vulnerable to catching fire, like wood, can be treated with fire-retardant chemicals to prevent fires from spreading on your home’s exterior. You have to repeatedly apply these chemicals over time for them to be effective, and often, they are used underneath your paint, which can catch on fire, anyway. Additionally, fire retardants may be applied to your wood siding, but your trim, shingles, and other wood accessories may be overlooked, leaving them vulnerable.
Fiber cement siding is a naturally flame-retardant material, meaning no additional chemicals are needed to resist fires from the second your siding is applied. Considering the time and money you’ll save on maintenance, fiber cement siding is a valuable alternative to wood, especially in the unfortunate event of a fire.
What Happens to Other Types of Siding in a Fire?
Here’s how fiber cement compares to other types of siding during a fire:
- Vinyl—Made from manufactured plastic, vinyl siding will quickly melt when exposed to fire or another heat source, like a barbecue grill or fireplace. When your siding melts, it exposes your studs and interior, allowing flames to spread rapidly through your home.
- Wood—Even when treated with fire retardants, wood siding is still vulnerable to catching fire, especially when the trim, shingles, soffits, and other untreated accessories are exposed to direct flames.
- Metal—Metal is a fire-resistant material, but when applied, it often includes gaps that create an entryway for flames to sneak beneath your siding and into your home.
- Stucco—Stucco only has a one-hour fire rating, so once your siding catches on fire, you have one hour to extinguish the flames before they spread to your interior walls.
James Hardie: America’s Most Popular Brand of Fiber Cement Siding
James Hardie® fiber cement siding is the nation’s top-performing fiber cement siding brand. Homeowners love that they can customize this product’s weatherproof, low-maintenance exterior to complement any style—from classic elegance to modern minimalism.
Hardie siding is also an excellent investment in your home. This durable, lasting material will attract future buyers, boost your property’s resale value, and last for decades to come!
Discover the Other Undeniable Benefits of Fiber Cement Siding for Your Indianapolis Home
In addition to fire resistance, fiber cement siding offers dozens of other benefits for your home. When you invest in this popular siding option, you can enjoy lasting durability, versatile styles, weatherproof protection, pest resistance, and low-maintenance upkeep.
Plus, since fiber cement is fireproof, you may be able to receive a discount from your insurance company! Learn more about the numerous benefits of fire-resistant fiber cement siding installation with JD Hostetter.