The Introduction of Fiber Cement Siding
It was around 1999 in Houston TX when Houstonians started hearing about a siding product called Fiber Cement/Hardie Siding on the radio. As many will attest, Vinyl Siding was king and the most requested siding product in the Texas market (and across the USA).
In Houston TX, on average, we receive nearly 4′ (48″) of rain every year and due to this and a great many of the homes here built using wood or masonite siding, homeowners ended up with siding often failing. This failure was due to the lack of painting and upkeep required for these types of siding products. Many Houston homeowners were looking at replacing the rotting wood or masonite siding on their homes and at the time, vinyl siding was the option most commonly selected. This was until some of the local radio home improvement guys started getting paid to pitch a new siding product called, “Fiber Cement Siding”. At this time, not much was known about the fiber cement product other than it was a cement-based siding product and would need paint application.
Move Over Vinyl . . . Fiber Cement/Hardie Siding Takes The Lead
The advertising campaigns and pitching paid off as this new siding product was pitched and heard more and more on the radio with boasts of what a better a product it was compared to vinyl siding. Homeowners in the metro Houston area started taking notice, local contractors were starting to pitch this new Fiber Cement Siding product and homeowners started jumpeing on the HardiPlank band wagon as the greatest new product on the market.
Contractors in this part of the country are known for taking the path of least resistance, so when homeowners started asking for this new siding product, the home exteriors companies and siding contractors alike started pitching (selling) the fiber cement siding product to homeowners throughout southeast Texas like crazy.
Fiber Cement Jumps From 5% Market Share to 90%
Within the period of about 5-6 years, I personally watched as the Fiber Cement Siding market went from being a mere 5% in 1999 to a jump of nearly 90% by 2005. To survive in the Houston TX siding market as a siding contractor, any company installing siding would or should have been offering the Fiber Cement product by this time.
Needless to say, many contractors did NOT like pitching a product to homeowners that needed painting and upkeep especially following an easy upkeep product like vinyl. However; if you were to survive in the Houston Texas metro market buying into fiber cement, you would need to participate if you wanted to stay in the business of siding installation!
When Repainting Fiber Cement Becomes Reality = Vinyl Siding Comeback
In this day and age many homeowners do not want the continued maintenance of repainting their home or changing out their roof every 10-15 years for that matter, like we have found is needed here in the south. Let’s face it, we are all busy and who wants to have to deal with this, the time, the money, the liability?
Homeowners in the Houston metro area (as well as across the country), now with the realization that the siding they just had installed and painted a few years ago needs to be repainted again and again and/or repaired.
This meant, getting bids, hiring a contractor, dealing with the HOA, getting colors approved (again), the mess, cost and dealing with the contractor telling you…”that is old paint on your brick” or . . . “it is peeling again because of the old paint was not removed or installed properly”. Yep, we have heard one or more of these scenarios and no fun!
The Issue of VOCs and Paint
Volatile organic compound VOCs are regulated by law, especially indoors, where concentrations are the highest. Harmful VOCs typically are not acutely toxic, but have compounding long-term health effects. Because the concentrations are usually low and the symptoms slow to develop, research into VOCs and their effects is difficult for workers installing products on your Houston Texas home exterior. There’s also the issue of sillaca dust cause when the fiber cement is cut and its harmful effect on the workers.
Pealing Siding Paint Long After The Crews Are Gone
This is an issue that many do not think about until the crews are long gone and the reality of peeling paint has settled in. This is the time when homeowners consider if they are just going to simply paint over that old paint again, or what to do next . . .
Finding yourself with questions like, “really, to only to have it peel off again?”; “How do I get every square inch of that old paint off of my home?” amongst many other concerns racing through the thought process. If you don’t believe me that the paint might peel from your new fiber cement than take a look at these photos because it does and possibly could. The images above show the reality of how paint can peel off from fiber cement siding just a few years after installation and painting of the siding product.
The results of this can vary depending on which paint was applied as well as how the surface was treated or prepped. Fiber cement siding is made up of a combination of Portland cement, ground sand, cellulose fiber and select additives which holds paint exceptionally well. The siding is available either unprimed or as pre-primed panels.
Improperly treated, cement-based products can become mildew magnets. A high quality exterior acrylic masonry primer, such as Sherwin-Williams Loxon Masonry Primer, will fortify the siding’s mildew and efflorescence resistance as well as caulk at the butt joints and applying the finish coat or coats. However many contractors to do not take the time to do what is needed to prevent the paint from peeling.
Foundation Problems – Notorious Here In Houston
Another issue with fiber cement siding is that it does not flex and move with the home. Anyone in Houston TX will tell you that sooner or later, either you or someone that you know, will deal with foundation problems.
With a moving home and siding product that is too rigged, a homeowner is asking for trouble. This can lead to problems like cracks that allow for water to leak into and behind the siding and trim causing, mold, mildew and eventually, rot.
The photo on the right clearly shows the results of a home that has apparently had some movement. There is no wonder that rigid siding and trim, like fiber cement, carries only a 15 year trim and 30 year siding warranty. With no movement flexibility in the fiber cement siding, your home can end up with cracks like the ones in the image on the right.
Not All Fiber Cement Jobs Are Bad
When a homeowner is considering siding products, it is important to be aware of some of the POSSIBLE problems associated with the products they are considering. Do your research and learn about the possible problems associated with siding products whether you are considering fiber cement siding or any other siding product.
What About Vinyl Siding Option for Houston Texas?
Vinyl Siding has it’s own set of problems, however; these are minimal and vinyl siding has been on the market for a good many years. This product is easy to install, low-maintenance, a great price and great option for Houston Texas homeowners.
Vinyl Siding Sales Up 15% 2014 1st Quarter in Houston Texas
Most of the siding supply houses in Houston TX are reporting that Vinyl Siding sales are up 10 to 15% over 2013. As homeowners become more educated and are researching products on the internet, they know more about the products and reported problems and are able to make more informed and smarter choices. It seems many homeowners are finding that the old saying is true . . . “Vinyl is Final”
KAYCAN OCEAN PARK ULTRA VINYL “LAP SIDING”
What Does Vinyl Siding Offer Over Fiber Cement Siding?
- Lower Cost To Install
- Never Paint Again
- Energy Efficient
- Energy Star Rated
- Extra Insulation
- Quieter Home
- Lifetime Warranty
- By Far, The Best Return On Your Dollar!
Additional Benefits Include:
1. Heavy thickness for exceptional impact resistance.
2. Beautiful appearance – rough cedar wood-grain.
3. Double-thick nail hem windload resistance of up
to 213 mph.
4. Self-aligning locking system for quick, easy installation = straighter walls.
5. Double-sized insulated panels means up to 45% less noise and significantly reduced air
infiltration for a quieter, more energy efficient home.
6. Larger panel profile adds rigidity and dramatic shadow line.
7. Duratron UV technology for superior weatherability and color retention.
8. Ocean Park ULTRA siding’s premium color is consistent all the way through.
KAYCAN MONTEBELLA VINYL “LOG SIDING”
Rustic Charm KayCan Montebella Vinyl Log Siding will give you the rustic look and distinctive warmth of log siding with added durability and resistance.
• Montebello log siding wall system has all
the distinctive warmth, rustic style and beauty of
log siding with the strength and durability of vinyl.
• Montebello’s low gloss natural
wood grain appearance has been built to last as the
siding won’t dent, crack or split.
• Montebello resists mold, rot and mildew and
incorporates Preform Guard patented foam additive
for insect and termite resistance.
Montebello is the low maintenance alternative to real wood requiring no painting, no staining and no wood preservatives means more time to enjoy your home and the things that you enjoy doing the most.
1. Heavy gauge siding adds comfort to your home.
2. Precisely contoured foam underlayment adds
rigidity and superior impact resistance.
3. LineLoc panel locking system locks panels
together for greater rigidity on the wall.
4. Ultra-Vinyl UV vinyl technology guarantees
superior weatherability and color retention.
I hope you found this information helpful as you consider home exterior siding choices. Both Fiber Cement and Vinyl Siding are great home exterior products. The choice is yours to make, I am happy to provide information and facts about products and to answer any additional questions you might have, share your thoughts an questions in the comments below and I will respond timely and remember that, “Vinyl is Final”!
Kapitan The Siding Man