Causes of Defects in Fibre Cement Siding

Fibre cement siding provides an attractive way to protect exterior walls from the elements. However, fibre cement siding may develop some defects after it has been installed. This article discusses some of the causes of those defects. 

Installation of Wet Fibre Cement Siding

It is normally advisable to reject a delivery of fibre cement siding if the sheets are wet. Those sheets may become wet if their packaging is damaged during shipping. However, fibre cement siding can also become wet if it is subjected to poor storage conditions, such as failing to tape down the packaging before storing the product outdoors. Fragments can keep falling off the siding if it is installed when it is wet.

Poor Nail Application

Manufacturers of fibre cement siding usually stipulate the spacing that should be maintained when the siding is being nailed onto wall sheathing. However, some homeowners may deviate from those instructions as they install the siding without the help of a professional. Consequently, the fibre cement siding may warp due to moisture intake at the edges. It can also lift at its corners due to temperature changes that make it move excessively in case fewer nails were used to anchor it.

Mechanical Damage

Fibre cement siding is more susceptible to mechanical damage when compared to other types of siding, such as vinyl siding. Consequently, one must be careful when installing it so that the sheets are not bumped against any sharp objects. Children should also be warned against throwing objects against the siding because it can easily develop cracks under the force of such impacts.

Absence of Head Flashing

Fibre cement siding may also develop defects if it is installed in a location where no head flashing was placed above doors and windows. The absence of that head flashing allows moisture to seep behind the siding. That moisture will cause the siding to swell up and start breaking off in small chunks.

Improper Caulk Application

Installers of fibre cement siding usually apply a caulking compound at the abutment of the siding to the vertical trim. That caulk prevents water from penetrating through the gaps that remain after the installation. Some homeowners may forget to apply the caulk to the abutments. This omission allows water to seep through the gaps until the siding starts deteriorating.

As you can see, many of the defects that develop in fibre cement siding can be attributed to errors that were made during the installation process. It is therefore better for you to hire a professional installer in case you lack the skills or experience to handle the task on your own. If installed properly, this material can be a durable option.