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Why Is Fiber Cement Siding So Much Better Than Wood?

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Not long ago, if you wanted to side your home, you had three basic choices: wood, aluminum or vinyl. Recently, however, wood siding has become far less popular. Those who are seeking the rustic, natural look of wood siding often end up going with fiber cement siding instead of plain wood. Fiber cement siding is a composite product made from wood fibers and concrete, and there are a number of reasons why, in most cases, it is a better choice than real wood siding for those who prefer the look of wood.

It rarely needs painting.

Wood siding is very high maintenance. Every few years, you need to scrape and paint it -- or pay someone an arm and a leg to tackle this task for you. When fiber cement siding is made, the color is added to the formula. In other words, the color extends through the entire piece of siding rather than just having been painted on the outside. You can paint the siding once the color begins to dull after many years of exposure to sunlight, but this is purely optional and not needed to preserve the integrity of the product.

Termites and other bugs won't bother it.

Termites can turn beautiful wooden siding into a crumbled mess. But these annoying pests won't bother fiber cement siding since the food fibers are interspersed with concrete. Other wood-craving insects, like wood bees and carpenter ants, will stay away, too, so you don't have to dedicate your summer to spraying insecticides or running from bees.

It won't warp.

Even when wooden siding is carefully cut from the straightest logs, it can warp, especially if you live in an area where the temperature and humidity levels fluctuate often. Fiber cement siding, thanks to the rigidity of the concrete it contains, maintains its shape in any climate. Your siding will stay looking straight and well-fitted for decades.

It's fire-resistant.

Wood burns easily. You can bet your homeowner's insurance company is well aware of this fact and will raise your rates when you have wood siding installed on your home. Fiber cement siding, thanks to its concrete content, is fire-resistant.  This means a lower risk of fires, and that means lower insurance premiums. Various fiber cement siding products have different fire-resistance ratings. If you live in an area where forest fires are prevalent and there is a real risk of fire spreading to your building, make sure you choose a fiber cement siding, like James Hardie plank siding, which has had its fire resistance tested and verified.

If you like the look of wood siding but don't want to deal with its inconveniences and downfalls, opt for fiber cement siding. You'll get the same wood look with a lot of other great advantages.