Repair Tips To Fix Minor Fiber Cement Damage

If you want to remove the old siding from your home and replace it with new siding, then you should know that you have several different options available to you. If you like the look of wood but do not want to pay the high price for cedar shakes or clapboard siding, then you can choose fiber cement siding instead. The siding looks a lot like wood, but the cost of the material is cheaper and more comparable to vinyl siding. If you do decide to go with fiber cement, then you will need to care for the siding properly so it does not deteriorate. This means making repairs to minor damage as soon as it is noticed. Keep reading to learn about some tips that will help you if you notice some damage. 

Fix Chipped Paint

Fiber cement siding materials have many benefits over siding made out of wood. The siding is impact-resistant, insect-proof, and fire-retardant. Fiber cement can withstand a great deal of stress from the UV rays of the sun as well, and it can remain strong against most types of extreme weather. However, the siding can become damaged by water. Fiber cement siding is made out of cement, silica sand, and cellulose. The cellulose fibers are natural wood fibers that absorb moisture, and the sand can hold a bit of water as well. Also, fiber cement is porous, much like wood. If the material comes into contact with water over a long period of time, it can begin to deteriorate or break down.

Fiber cement siding is covered with either a water-based paint or an acrylic polymer emulsion coating. Paint and protective coatings are likely to chip over time. You will need to inspect the siding periodically to look for chips or cracks in the paint. These areas of the siding should be covered with new paint as soon as possible. If the fiber cement is not covered, water will absorb into the cement and mildew may then form and deteriorate the siding from the inside out. 

If you find missing paint, then purchase a can of acrylic masonry primer as well as some acrylic paint that matches the siding. The masonry primer is made to seal and protect highly porous and alkaline surfaces like concrete and fiber cement siding. Add the primer wherever you see paint chips, allow it to dry, and then brush the colored paint over the top.

Repair Cracks

As your house settles, the fiber cement siding may also settle, fall, or crack, depending on the amount of pressure that is placed on the boards. Cracks in the fiber cement are just as susceptible to water damage and deterioration as chips in the paint. This means that they should be filled in whenever they are noticed. While the siding may look like wood and contain some cellulose fibers, wood putty is not an optimal material to make a repair. The putty will not be able to withstand the highly alkaline environment around the siding. You should buy a cement patching compound instead. Quick curing concrete patch material will work well for your project. 

Use some soap and water to clean around cracks and then mix the patch material with a little less water than what is called for. You want a thick patch material that will not run when placed vertically against the exterior of your home. Use a putty knife to smooth the patch material into the crack. Allow the patch to dry and inspect the area to see if the concrete has shrunk during the drying process. If so, mix up a bit more of the patch compound and add a thin layer over the area. Sand the area to smooth it out and use primer and paint to seal the patch. 

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