The exterior is one of the most important features of your home. Not only does it make or break your home's curb appeal and value, but the exterior also acts as a shell for your home's interior. Considering the siding is one of the largest parts of the exterior, maintaining this protective shell and imperative part of your home's look is essential.
If you are part of the many homeowners who have fiber cement siding, you may think maintenance is not necessary. However, the fiber pulp and cement siding does need to be cleaned and painted every 15 years on average. Before you get started updating your fiber cement siding, here are a few important things you need to know.
Inspect and Repair First
No matter how great of quality paint you are using, applying it to dirty surfaces that are in need of repair will not be effective. Before you clean or paint, you must inspect the siding and make any repairs that are needed.
Walk around the entire exterior of your home, paying close attention to the fiber cement. If any of the boards appear torn, broken, or loose, make sure to replace them immediately.
Apply caulk to any cracks and crevices between each board and between the siding boards, trim, windows, and door frames of the home. Make sure the caulk dries completely before cleaning and painting.
Cleaning Is Also Important
Once all issues are repaired, you can begin the process of cleaning your fiber cement siding. To get started, consider renting or borrowing a pressure washer.
Most light duty pressure washers are sufficient for cleaning a home's exterior. These machines offer up to 2,000 PSI, or pounds per square inch of water pressure. This amount of pressure is adequate for removing dirt, dust, mud, grass clippings, and other debris from your home's exterior.
If you have heavy residue or patches of mold, mildew, or algae on the siding, spray a cleaning solution onto these dirty areas first. Use a cleanser that is designed for outdoor use on homes. Or, create a solution in an outdoor sprayer using 1 gallon of warm water and 1 gallon of white vinegar.
After the cleanser sits on the siding, use your pressure washer wand to wash the home's exterior.
Paint To Enhance
Last, but not least, you should paint your fiber cement siding. A few coats of fresh paint will enhance or update the look of your home.
You can choose a color that matches the existing color of your siding or you can opt for something entirely new. Be sure to choose paint designed for outdoor use. It should be 100 percent acrylic, as well. Here are a few tips to help you choose a new color for your home:
- Check Neighborhood – If you have an HOA, make sure to consult the board before applying any paint to your home. They may have specific rules and regulations when it comes to color.
- Roof Color – Before choosing a paint color, focus on the color of your roof. If your roofing shingles are darker, a lighter color for your siding is smart.
- Lighting Changes – Certain colors look differently at certain times of the day due to the sun's exposure. Consider applying a few shades of paint onto your home to test how the shades look in the light versus the dark.
- Trim Colors – Once you decide on the siding color, you will also need to decide on colors for your trim work, doors, and shutters. For a neutral, consider updating your trim, doors, and shutters with paint a few shades darker than the siding. If you want to add a bit of personality to your home, paint your front door a bright and bold color that complements your neutral siding color.
Painting your fiber cement siding can be a fun process. With this guide, you will be prepared to restore, clean, and paint your home's exterior siding.