James Hardie siding is engineered to last, and taking advantage of its durability involves some proactive steps on your part: cleaning and maintaining it properly. You can extend the lifespan of your siding by keeping it in pristine condition.
Read on to discover practical tips and step-by-step instructions on safely caring for your Hardie Board Siding.
How to Maintain Your James Hardie Siding
Conduct regular inspections
Each spring and fall, as well as after severe weather passes through the area, walk around your exterior and do a visual inspection of your siding, gutters, and roofing. Ensure there are no small repair needs.
Address minor repairs promptly
When you inspect your siding thoroughly twice a year, if you see signs of water intrusion or damage, address them promptly with the appropriate repairs. Little problems left unaddressed tend to grow and become more costly, so take care of them while they are small and you will save yourself time and money in the long run!
Protect your siding from potential hazards
- Moisture intrusion – Avoid moisture damage by investing in high quality gutters and downspouts. Clean them regularly to ensure water is being channeled away from your siding and roofing components.
- Mold invasion – When shrubs or bushes come into contact with home siding constantly, they can promote damage, moisture penetration, and mold. Prevent problems by ensuring your landscaping is trimmed back so it does not brush up against siding.
- Damaged finish – Understand that deicing salts can cause damage to the siding’s finish. Each winter, when snow arrives, use sand or gravel on paved surfaces that are near your siding, and you will preserve its finish as a result.
- Wear and tear – Do not fill in your landscaping right up to your home siding. Let your house breathe by building in at least 6 inches of space between your Hardie siding and your landscaping to prevent problems.
Replace caulking as needed
When you inspect your home exterior twice a year, take a good look at the condition of your caulking. If it starts to deteriorate, replace it promptly. Use caulking that is marketed as “permanently flexible” and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for its application. You will keep moisture from penetrating your siding by keeping your caulking in good shape. Pay particular attention to penetrations near flashing, around windows, and between siding planks, and ensure they are well sealed.
Deal with any surface damage promptly
If home siding becomes dented, chipped, cracked, or damaged in some way, fill it with cementitious patching compound to ensure your home’s protective layer is sealed against moisture intrusion.
How to Implement Proper Cleaning Techniques for Your Hardie Siding
Use appropriate cleaning products
- Garden hose
- Soft brush or soft cloth
- Mild detergent
Avoid damaging your siding’s finish or surface
- Skip the temptation to power wash your exterior. You could damage it and void your warranty as a result.
- Do not use harsh cleaning products on Hardie siding. The acid they contain could damage its surface.
Protect your warranty by following Hardie guidelines
It is important to note that damage to James Hardie siding and trim incurred from improper cleaning or maintenance may not be covered by your James Hardie warranty. Safeguard your 30-year warranty by following Hardie’s guidelines.
How to clean your siding
- Once or twice a year, grab your garden hose and wash siding with a moist soft brush or soft cloth.
- For horizontal plank siding use a side-to-side motion, and for vertical siding use an up-and-down motion. Always go in the direction of the siding planks while washing.
- Work in small sections from top to bottom.
- If you have ColorPlus finish on your Hardie siding, use a mild detergent on any stubborn stains.
- If your siding came pre-primed and was painted on-site after it was installed, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning it.
- Rinse your exterior thoroughly after washing it to ensure all dirt, debris, and mild detergent are removed.
What to do if siding shows signs of mold and mildew
- If your home exterior does not clean up easily, mold may be the culprit.
- Grab some mildew-specific cleaner and follow the instructions carefully.
- Protect your siding’s finish by trying the cleaner in a hidden area before using it on a visible place on your exterior. Do not use harsh chemicals on siding or you could damage it.
- Rinse siding well after spot washing it with mildew cleaner.
What to do if siding is marred with grease or oil stains
- Use mild liquid dishwashing soap and clean your oil-stained siding with warm, soapy water.
- Rinse your cloth regularly while spot washing the oil stains off siding.
- Thoroughly rinse your siding after stains are removed.
- Make sure you do not let soap dry on your home exterior. Keep it moist until your cleaning is complete.
Safeguard Your Siding and Avoid Costly Damage
Do not risk the time-consuming problems so many homeowners experience due to lack of consistent maintenance. Invest in your siding’s longevity by following Craftsman Exterior Remodeling’s simple maintenance and cleaning tips. When you maintain your Hardie siding properly, you prevent costly moisture penetration and preserve your home’s value.