When you invest in a product like James Hardie fiber cement siding, you want to maintain that investment to the best of your ability. But you might be thinking that the low maintenance aspect of fiber cement siding is part of what attracted you to James Hardie siding, so what maintenance could you possibly have to do?
While Hardie Boards are low maintenance, they still need care. The best upkeep you can do for your siding is to have it inspected and cleaned annually.
At Refined Exteriors, our team of siding contractors goes through continual training to maintain our James Hardie Preferred Contractor status, making us an expert in the installation and maintenance of this product. So, when that time comes around each year for a cleaning, here are some facts about cleaning and the proper methods to keep your siding looking its best.
The Importance of a Proper Cleaning and Maintenance of James Hardie
Dirty siding not only reduces the aesthetic of your exterior, but it can also be damaging to your home. Siding faces three main culprits: dirt, mold, and grease. Dirt can potentially scratch the surface of your siding, while mold and mildew growth can spread to other areas of your home and cause damage.
Following the proper cleaning methods for your fiber cement siding is also essential to maintaining the product’s warranty. Because James Hardie siding is extremely durable and resistant to the elements, it is backed by a 30-year limited warranty. To maintain this warranty, the siding must be properly installed as well as properly maintained. Knowing the right way to care for your siding is therefore essential.
Your siding will require different cleaning methods depending on which problem your siding faces. Watch this quick video from James Hardie and a few tips on how to clean the varying perpetrators.
Removing Dirt, Dust, and Debris
Dust will naturally collect on home siding. To remove the buildup of dust, dirt, and other contaminants, you will need:
- A soft brush or soft rag
- A garden hose
Without wetting your siding, brush away the dirt and dust that has built up. When the dirt has been removed, rinse your siding thoroughly. Or you can utilize a soft rag by wetting the rag and scrubbing the boards, rinsing the siding thoroughly afterward.
Removing Mold and Mildew
If you have trees near your home or a part of your siding that gets a great deal of shade, then your home will inevitably garner mold or mildew. Shade and moisture are the ingredients that breed these problems, and to combat this, you will need:
- A hose
- A soft sponge
- A mildew cleaner (safe for siding)
Before cleaning your siding, read the instructions on your mildew cleaner. Follow those instructions to avoid damaging your siding. Spray the affected area, and allow it to sit in accordance with the instructions. Then scrub the siding until all of the mold and mildew has been loosened, and rinse it from the siding’s surface.
Removing Grease and Oil
Breaking down grease and oil will require soap to get below the grime and rid the siding of these substances. To do this, you will need:
- A dish soap
- A soft cloth
- A hose
Scrub the affected siding with a wet, soapy rag. Once the siding has been saturated, rinse it thoroughly. Repeat on any areas where the oil has not been fully removed.
What to Avoid
To maintain the warranty and keep your siding looking its best, it’s imperative that you avoid certain products and equipment when cleaning your siding. Stay away from:
- Harsh chemical cleaners
- Cleaners not made for siding
- Abrasive scrub brushes/rags
- Pressure washers
Other Helpful Tips for Maintenance of Fiber Cement Siding
For the best cleaning results, here are a few more tips.
- Work from top to bottom. This prevents the spread of grime on your siding and ensures all cleaning products and dirt are rinsed off the siding.
- Do not clean against the grain. Scrub with the direction of your planks.
- Don’t allow the cleaning materials to dry on the siding. Keep the surface wet and rinse as you work.
- Continually rinse your sponge or rag as you work to keep it cleared of oil, dirt, or mold buildup.
- Use only the products and tools recommended by your siding contractor.
Make Your Fiber Cement Siding Investment Last for Years
You can maintain an exterior that looks beautiful for years. All it takes are the right tools and knowledge. Cleaning is an important form of maintenance for any portion of your home. Now that you have the proper knowledge on the maintenance of your James Hardie siding, all that’s left is to implement that knowledge in the care of your home, and you will have a home your neighbors envy.
By maintaining such a high-caliber siding material like James Hardie, you may notice other areas of your exterior that need an inspection, repair, or replacement. Feel free to contact our team of exterior contractors for any of your home needs.