Common Fiber-Cement Siding Issues and How to Avoid Them

Cerber Fiber Cement SidingEach fiber-cement siding product has its own installation instructions. These can be found in the Evaluation Service Report document(ESR). Before preparing to install siding, search online for the ESR by typing ESR and the product’s name. Knowing what the manufacturer’s instructions are is essential for the correct installation of your fiber-cement siding.

While the basic installation techniques may be similar for different products, you must read the ESR to ascertain the nailing patterns and the clearances needed above adjacent surfaces for the product you will be using as they vary.

Refer to the ESR to ascertain how far from the bottom edge nails should be spaced. Always ensure that nails are flush with the surface and not over- or under-driven. Fasteners placed too close to the edge will be exposed to the push and pull of the wind and the expansion and contraction of siding as it heats and cools. This can cause the fastener material to wear down faster or for the fastener to work loose.

Check that butt joints are located over studs. If this is not possible, a metal plate must be used for butt joints that fall between studs.

Some builders will attempt to hold the ends of the siding down by pinning or with a single nail over both ends. Neither method provides a secure fastening for the siding and it will pull lose over time.

Do not place siding breaks over dryer vents. Water can leak through this joint onto the vent pipe and into the interior. This is also true for all other openings and pipes. Where it is unavoidable, use a hose bib which is bevelled, so it allows any water to drain out rather than into the wall system.

Avoid expansion issues along the edges of the siding by leaving an 1/8-inch gap long door and window openings that will allow the siding to expand and contract unimpeded.

Priming the cut ends of siding will also prevent water absorption (particularly important at the base of walls.)

Check minimum clearances required where siding encounters a horizontal surface as these vary from one manufacturer to another.

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