Having clean, attractive siding lends your home beautiful curb appeal that catches the eye and impresses neighbors and guests. And one of the great benefits of installing James Hardie® fiber cement siding on your home exterior is how simple it is to care for, especially compared to vinyl and wood. With fiber cement siding by James Hardie, you’ll enjoy a truly low maintenance home that you can take pride in.
At Siding & Windows Group, we’ve been serving homeowners in the Chicago area with James Hardie fiber cement siding installation and other home exterior care for 35 years. Our team of siding experts gives you top-notch siding installation that you can trust to look great and last for years.
Of course, caring for your home doesn’t stop with siding installation. Even though James Hardie’s durability and quality ensure it will last a long time, it still needs some basic maintenance to preserve its lovely appearance. These 4 steps will make it easy to care for your fiber cement siding, giving you curb appeal you can consistently enjoy.
1. Gather What You Need
Fiber cement siding may need much less maintenance than other forms of siding, but it still needs attention from time to time. Durable, lovely James Hardie siding benefits from simple, annual care. Normally, it just needs to be washed gently once a year.
When it’s time to clean your James Hardie siding, the first step is to make sure you have everything you need to make the cleaning process straightforward and productive. Cleaning fiber cement siding is easy. You simply need to use the proper tools.
Here’s what to gather:
- Clothing and gear—guard eyes, skin, nose and throat from dust and dirt during cleaning
- Protective eyewear
- Gloves designed for cleaning
- Respiratory mask
- Plastic sheets—cover and protect plants around the exterior
- Cleaning tools—select tools appropriate for fiber cement siding
- Soft-bristle, nonmetal brush
- Soft, clean cloth
- Low-pressure hose
- Mild dishwashing liquid
- Mildew-specific cleaner
- Clean water
- Caution: Don’t use a pressure washer on James Hardie fiber cement siding. It’s too harsh, and James Hardie’s testing shows a simple soft brush and hose is the most effective cleaning method for James Hardie siding and trim products.
2. Remove Dirt and Debris
All homes attract dust and dirt from the normal wear and tear of time, weather, cars driving down the street and all the other aspects of daily living. No siding, even James Hardie, is immune from collecting pollen, sand, and tiny bits of soil, blown there by the wind. This thin layer of dust and dirt can dull your siding’s color.
To get the best appearance from your James Hardie siding, plan to clean it once or twice a year, using the following method:
- Wipe—Take a soft brush and lightly wipe off loose surface dirt and dust. Or wet a soft cloth and wipe siding in a side to side motion, following the direction of the siding until dirt and dust are removed.
- Rinse—Use a garden hose to gently rinse the siding with clean water.
It’s a good idea to handle one small area at a time, starting from the top of your siding and working your way downward. This keeps drips from falling onto already cleaned siding.
3. Get Rid of Oil and Grease
Your siding can take on oily substances from a number of sources. Your skin’s natural oil can stick to any siding you touch. Or, bits of grease from lawn care tools can accidentally end up on siding.
To remove oil and grease from your James Hardie siding:
- Soap—Create soapy water with some dishwashing liquid.
- Wipe—Dip a soft cloth in the soap mixture and clean the siding. Be sure to rinse the cloth often to prevent putting the grease and oil back onto the siding.
- Rinse—Use your garden hose to gently wash all the soap away. Refrain from allowing the area to dry before the soap is gone, so you don’t end up with streaks.
- Caution—Avoid the temptation to use harsh cleansers or hard brushes, which could damage the siding.
4. Defeat Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are common in moisture-prone areas like Chicago. To tackle any mold and mildew on fiber cement siding:
- Inspect—Examine your siding thoroughly, paying special attention to black or brown spots or streaks.
- Apply—Using a mold and mildew removal agent designed specifically to address home siding, spray or gently scrub the problem areas.
- Rinse—Use a garden hose to wash away residue.
- Caution—Avoid harsh cleansers. Don’t apply pure bleach or ammonia to siding.
Enjoy Beautiful Fiber Cement Siding that Lasts and Lasts
Being proud of your home means being confident that your home exterior looks great from the curb and stands up to the elements. Chicago’s weather can be rough on a home. At Siding and Windows Group, we’re the siding replacement contractor that Chicago area homeowners rely on for expert installation and advice. We offer solutions and products that restore and protect your home year-round, so you can relax and enjoy your home.
Whether you need siding replacement, want to learn more about James Hardie fiber cement siding, or have other needs like replacement windows, we’re here to assist you. Contact us to schedule a free quote.