The diverse benefits of covering your home in Hardie Board abound, one of which is this: Hardie siding needs almost no maintenance! While your neighbors may be outside repainting or restaining their wood siding every three years, you get to enjoy more time doing the things that matter most.
When it comes to Hardie’s maintenance, simply keep an eye on its caulking to ensure it doesn’t need replacing, and clean your siding twice a year. Here are some cleaning tips to get you started:
Tips on Cleaning Your Fiber Cement Siding
One of the biggest perks of installing Hardie fiber cement siding is its 30-year warranty. But realize there are things you can do to maintain that coverage, including this: Understand that damage to siding that comes from improper cleaning or maintenance may not be covered by the James Hardie warranty. So, is it important to adhere to the cleaning guidelines? Absolutely!
What to Do When Cleaning Hardie Siding
1. Clean a small section at a time.
When cleaning your siding, don’t allow the soap or mildew cleaner to dry on your siding. Continually rinse the area until all your soap or cleaner has washed off thoroughly.
2. Start at the top and work down.
You can prevent dripping and streaking on your clean siding by working from top to bottom as you clean.
3. Don’t go “against the grain.”
Use a side-to-side motion when cleaning horizontal panels like HardiePlank®. Use a vertical motion (along with the grain) when cleaning vertical siding panels like HardiePanel® and HardieTrim®.
4. Use a soft brush or wet soft cloth.
What you clean your siding with matters! Don’t choose harsh things like metal brushes. Instead, opt for a medium bristle nylon brush that is gentle on your Hardie siding.
5. Inspect your siding upon completion.
After you complete your cleaning, step back and verify you didn’t miss anything. Once your siding dries, it will be obvious if you accidentally missed a section. Go back and spot-clean that area to ensure you have a uniform look to the finished product.
6. Use your backyard garden hose.
Your simple garden hose works perfectly as you clean your siding.
7. Liquid dish soap works wonders on James Hardie siding.
Mild liquid dishwashing soap and water can get oil, grease, or other organic contaminant stains off your siding. Apply the soapy water with a soft cloth, and be sure to rinse the cloth frequently, and rinse the section you’re working on thoroughly.
8. If you have mold or mildew, follow the directions on the cleaner.
Mildew cleaners can be too harsh if you don’t follow the instructions accurately. Lightly scrub the area and rinse thoroughly. Only use mold and mildew cleaners on the area of your home where you’re combating these issues, and use regular dishwashing soap on the remainder of your Hardie siding.
9. Use appropriate safety precautions while cleaning.
Ensure your safety while using a ladder by grabbing the rungs, not the rails, and always face the ladder when ascending and descending. Additionally, for your protection, wear appropriate gloves and eyewear. Shield your landscaping by covering it with a tarp before cleaning your siding.
What Not to Do When Cleaning Hardie Siding
1. Don’t use a pressure washer!
The zealous homeowners who fire up their power washers to “get the job done” quickly end up damaging their Hardie Board siding. The James Hardie company recommends using a garden hose, and doing so will preserve your siding investment.
2. Don’t try to acid wash your Hardie siding!
This harsh cleaning process is designed to remove stubborn stains and debris with a combination of hydrochloric acid and water. It’s suitable for pools and stone or concrete, but not for fiber cement as it could damage your siding.
3. Don’t sandblast your Hardie siding!
This is done with a jet of sand driven by compressed air or steam. It’s used to change the condition of a metal’s surface, but it would be harmful to your Hardie siding.
Enjoy Your Gorgeous Hardie Board Siding for Years to Come!
You made a wise investment when you chose the #1 siding in America, and by cleaning it regularly, it will deliver the high performance it was made to.
As you take care of your siding with these tips, you may notice other areas of your home, like your windows or roof, need an upgrade. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help!
Get a free assessment.