Whether you already have it or are interested in having it installed, fiber cement siding is an amazing addition to any home. Offering durability and versatility, it can emulate many different types of materials – wood, stone, stucco, brick, and more – as well as offer a plethora of benefits like fire resistance. It does, however, require a certain level of maintenance. This mainly involves having to repaint it. Below, we’ll talk about how often you need to paint fiber cement siding, as well as the actual steps needed to successfully do so.
How Often to Paint Fiber Cement Siding
Cement siding has a reputation for lasting a long time. This is shown in the average warranty length – Hardie Board (aka Hardiplank) is a popular option, which comes with a 30-year warranty for non-back coated and a 50-year warranty for back-coated boards.
When it comes to painting, there are two options when choosing this type of siding: pre-painted and primed. Pre-painted siding generally comes with a 15-year warranty against peeling and chipping. However, the reality is that people often have to recoat their siding every 7 to 10 years. When going with primed siding, you get the freedom of choosing the exact color. But again, expect having to repaint it every handful of years.
Repainting is quite labor-intensive, but if kept up with consistently, this maintenance can lead to decades of beautiful siding with little to no deterioration. The key is to keep an eye out for issues that include dents, peeling, scratches, and scrapes. If you are able to repair these issues quickly enough, your siding will stay in good shape. And if you’re lucky, you might not have to repaint your home’s exterior for 10 to 15 years at a time!
Steps to Paint Fiber Cement Siding
Whether you’re painting new siding or giving your old siding a fresh look, you’ll want to be prepared for a successful project.
1. Choose Your Paint
So, what kind of paint should you use? We suggest one that provides ample UV protection. This will help keep your paint’s color shining for years with less fade. A 100% acrylic paint is recommended for this type of siding.
2. Consider the Weather
Before you start painting, consider timing. Painting a home’s exterior can generally take from a few days to over a week, so good weather is important. Check your local forecast. Second, understand what your particular project entails.
If you have new siding, for example, chances are it’s covered in dust from all the cutting. You’ll want to properly clean it prior to any other step. (Note: Silica dust can be hazardous to your health. Wear a mask or respirator when cleaning it.)
As for pre-existing siding, it’s important to thoroughly clean off any grime, chalking, and debris. This can be done with a garden hose or power washer. A scrub brush can also help to clean especially dirty spots. Also, keep an eye out for any repairs that need to be done. You’ll want to take care of them prior to painting, saving the siding from further deterioration. Repair any dents, scratches, or scrapes with patching compound.
The good news is that in most instances, you won’t have to prime your siding! If it’s new, there are generally two types: pre-painted and primed. Both kinds are already ready to go. In the case that you have completely unfinished siding, you’ll need to coat with an acrylic latex primer formulated for exterior use. This should be done within 90 days of installation.
5. Gather Supplies
Once you’ve properly prepped your siding, it’s time to coat! You’ll need to apply two coats to adequately cover your home’s exterior. You have several options in terms of tools: brush, paint roller, and paint sprayer. A brush will help paint corners, trim, and adjoining spots. A roller makes easier work of coating larger areas. Be sure to apply ample paint on textured spots. And then there’s a paint sprayer. This requires more technique and experience, but once you get the hang of it, a sprayer can make for quicker work.
6. Apply Caulk as Needed
It’s also important to mention that, along with routine repainting every few years, you’ll want to make sure that your siding is also properly caulked. This will help to prevent moisture from seeping into the material. If not properly sealed, water damage can lead to mildew, mold, and overall rot. A little caulking can go a long way, so make sure not to overlook it!
Make sure to apply caulk prior to painting. Allow to properly dry, then apply the first coat of paint. Make sure the first coat is completely dry before applying the second coat. For the smoothest coverage, we definitely recommend the use of a paint sprayer.
Whether you choose to paint by hand or with a sprayer, you’ll want to follow a couple of rules for the best results. Starting from the top and working your way down, you’ll want to paint with the grain of your particular siding. Pay attention to coverage. Textured siding requires ample paint.
So, that concludes our guide on how often you need to paint fiber cement siding (and the steps in order to do so). Equipped with this knowledge, you should have a better understanding of how to extend the life of your siding. Remember, if you don’t feel comfortable doing the work yourself, you can always reach out to a professional.
Don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of repairing or repainting your cement siding? Hire a pro! CLAD Siding makes it super easy to book a fiber cement siding contractor in your local area. Request a comprehensive quote today!