Fiber cement siding is a popular choice for a home, and for good reason. This siding is extremely durable but doesn't require a lot of maintenance. It resembles wood siding, but there isn't the worry about rot or the constant need for repainting. Fiber cement does require some care to look it's best, though. The following tips can help you keep it in top condition.
Tip #1: Rinse regularly
Most soil is simply on the surface of the siding. It could be dust, dirt, or pollen. Fortunately, all you need is a garden hose and a spray nozzle to handle this type of dirt buildup. Spray off the siding monthly from spring through fall. By doing this regularly dirt won't build up and it will remain easier to keep the siding clean.
Tip #2: Tackle spots with dish soap
Greasy spots can sometimes appear on your siding. Common culprits are soot, sap, or oil-based greases transferred by dirty hands or tools that touch the siding. An oil-cutting dish soap made for handwashing dishes removes these without causing damage to the fiber cement. Simply mix a squirt or two with warm water and scrub the offending stain from the siding with a soft bristled brush. An old toothbrush works well. Then, rinse with clear water to finish the job.
Tip #3: Remove the moss
No siding product is immune to moss, mildew or algae. Fortunately, the stains usually aren't permanent if you act quickly. Cold water and bleach, mixed at a 4:1 ratio, will kill the moss, remove the stains, and prevent it from growing back. Simply scrub the siding with the solution. Take care, though, to keep it off of nearby plants since bleach can kill them. Rinse well once the stains are gone. You can substitute a commercial moss and mildew remover for the bleach solution, if desired.
Tip #4: Patch holes promptly
Fiber cement is quite durable, so damage is rare. It's not impossible, though, so sometimes you may end up with a crack or a hole. Fortunately you can purchase fiber cement patching compound, which is similar to wood putty. It's also used in a similar fashion – fill the hole in with putty and then scrape it flush to the rest of the siding with a putty knife. The main difference is that fiber cement putty is sold powdered and you will need to mix it with water to form the putty. Once the putty cures, simply paint over it to blend the patch into the rest of the siding.
Contact a residential siding contractor for more help.