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Introduction to Fiber Cement Siding

Introduction to Fiber Cement Siding

Summary description:

Introduction to Fiber Cement Siding

Summary description:


Fiber cement siding is a building material used to cover the exterior of a building in both commercial and domestic applications. Fiber cement is a composite material made of cement reinforced with cellulose fibers. Originally, asbestos was used as the reinforcing material but, due to safety concerns, that was replaced by cellulose in the 1980s. Fiber cement board may come pre-painted or pre-stained or can be done so after its installation.

Fiber cement siding has several benefits since it is resistant to termites, does not rot, is impact resistant, and has fireproof properties.



Fiber cement siding panel is considered the most resistant to common enemies of residential siding. The material doesn’t rot or warp and is crack-resistant. UV exposure does not degrade it and it resists hail, snow and ice. Wind is not a threat: In locales that experience a high incidence of hurricanes or tornadoes, many local building codes actually specify the use of fiber cement siding.  Pests that attack conventional wood siding, notably termites and woodpeckers, show no interest in fiber cement.

Environmentally Neutral

In finished form, fiber cement siding isn’t recyclable. However, unlike PVC siding, a petroleum product that breaks down and releases toxins inside landfills, the ingredients of fiber cement siding are considered environmentally inert and do not degrade into damaging substances.


Fiber cement siding typically offers an estimated maximum 50-year service life for non-backcoated product and 75 years for backcoated versions. Warranty coverage for the product typically extends from 30 to 50 years. If the siding was painted during the original manufacturing process, the factory coat of paint may also carry a guarantee against fading, peeling, chips and other defects for a specific span of years, usually around 15 years.

Fire Safety

Traditionally, wood siding adds more fuel and more flame to a house fire. PVC vinyl siding requires temperatures around 700 degrees to actually ignite, however, it melts and falls off the house at temperatures as low as only 165 degrees. Fiber cement siding is generally unaffected by both heat and flame. It has a Class 1(A) rating for fire/flame spread, the highest available rating.




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