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For the longevity of your investment in James Hardie fiber cement siding, it’s essential to maintain it over the years. Plan a proactive approach to your exterior’s upkeep, and you’ll avoid costly repairs. Take care of your siding, and you’ll bypass the need to replace it earlier than planned. 

One of the primary benefits of Hardie siding is its low maintenance feature. But low maintenance doesn’t mean “no maintenance.” Your siding requires general upkeep so it keeps delivering the high performance it was designed to—for decades!

Read on to discover essential maintenance for your Hardie siding. 

How to Clean Your Hardie Siding

Caution: Before Cleaning Your Hardie Siding—Read This

Hardie Board increases your home value, and it’s essential to clean it to keep it looking beautiful over the years. But it’s vital that you follow the guidelines the manufacturer established for how to clean it. If you disregard their instructions, you could damage your home exterior and void your 30-year warranty as a result. 

How Often Does Siding Need to Be Cleaned, and Why?

Hardie Board lasts longer and maintains its beauty when you clean it regularly. It should be washed every 6-12 months. This removes any dirt or debris early on so it doesn’t accumulate and diminish the look of your home. 

Tools You Need to Clean Siding Properly

  • A garden hose with low-pressure water spray 
  • A soft, medium bristle, non-metal brush or a soft cloth
  • For stubborn dirt or stains, a mild detergent can be used for that area

What the Cleaning Process Looks Like

  • Start at the top of your exterior and work to the bottom to avoid dripping on an already-cleaned area. 
  • In a side-to-side motion, wash your siding in the direction the panels go
  • If you have horizontal lap siding, work horizontally. If you have vertical panels, work from top to bottom on each panel. 
  • Work in small sections at a time. 
  • After washing it, rinse it thoroughly. 

What NOT to Do When Cleaning Your Hardie Board

  • Don’t use harsh chemicals, or they may damage your siding.
  • Resist the temptation to power wash your exterior, thinking it will get it cleaner faster. Power washing can harm Hardie siding, making your home vulnerable to moisture and pest intrusion. 
  • If your siding was painted after installation, refer to the paint manufacturer for how to wash it and what to use and not use on it. 

How to Protect Your James Hardie Siding

Protecting your exterior from damage caused by weather, pests, and other factors is essential. Here’s how: 

1. Caulking

While you wash your siding once or twice a year, inspect it for any special needs that may have cropped up—like deteriorating caulking. Take special care examining these areas: between panel joints, where your trim connects, and your flashings. 

While Hardie siding lasts up to 50 years, caulking doesn’t. You’ll need to replace it at some point so your home stays fortified against pest and water intrusion. The Hardie company recommends caulking that states on the packaging that it is “permanently flexible.” You’ll need to apply the caulking according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

2. Sealing

It’s not common, due to the resilient makeup of Hardie Board, but if you spot a dent, crack, or any other minor surface damage to your siding material, fill it with cementitious patching compound, which is found at your local hardware store. 

3. Painting

  • Touch-ups – For ColorPlus Hardie siding, there are ColorPlus Touch-up Kits available to cover any nicks that may appear over the years. Note: if the area that needs a touch-up is bigger than a dime, replace the siding panel instead. 
  • Paint – Your ColorPlus siding is warranted for 15 years against peeling and cracking. Once the warranty period ends, you’ll need to repaint your house. 

Tips that Extend the Life of Your Hardie Siding

Keep Gutters and Downspouts in Good Working Order

Water is your siding’s enemy, so your home needs gutters and downspouts to channel it away from your house. Keep your gutter system well-maintained, and your siding will thank you. Prevent your gutters from getting clogged with debris by cleaning them twice a year or installing gutter guards to prevent twigs, leaves, and debris from blocking water flow in your gutters. 

Trim Your Landscaping 

Don’t allow trees, bushes, or prickly shrubs to brush against your siding. Trim them back so there are six inches of space between your landscaping and exterior. 

Watch Out for Sprinklers

Your siding doesn’t need to be exposed to water excessively, so don’t aim your sprinklers at it when you’re watering your grass or flower beds. 

Avoid Contact with Deicing Salt

When New York snowstorms arrive, treat your walkways with something other than harsh deicing salt that could come into contact with your siding and damage it. 

Enjoy Your Hardie Siding for Decades!

Taking proper care of your James Hardie siding ensures you’ll enjoy its beauty and protection over its lifetime. Since it has a track record of lasting 50 years when it is well maintained, the effort you put forth in upkeep will pay off richly!

Need home exterior upgrades? Giant Siding & Windows has been family-owned and operated for three generations. We schedule a free virtual or in-person consultation to discover your home’s needs. Since our company’s beginning in 2008, we have offered only the finest materials and installation to deliver lasting solutions New York homeowners can rely on. 

Customers appreciate a team that goes the extra mile. We do that by registering all warranties in our portals and sending them out, so you don’t have to. Check out what customers say about our services.