Hardie siding is still the most popular siding in America. It is certainly deserving of a review because it has distinct advantages over other products. But how about its disadvantages? Continue reading to learn more about some problems with Hardie siding.

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What Is Hardie Siding?

Hardie siding is highly durable, looks great, lasts longer, and comes with a warranty. This siding is the most popular one in the United States, protecting millions of homes each year.

It’s made by James Hardie, the global leader in fiber cement siding and backboard. The horizontal lap siding, HardiePlank, and the vertical siding, HardiePanel, are two of their most popular products.

Also, it’s composed of cellulose fibers, sand, and cement, all of which are high quality. But when combined, they form an excellent material for protecting and beautifying homes. It is a long-lasting material that is meant to look like wood. The siding is also climate-engineered, making it a versatile fiber cement for any region of the country.

7 Hardie Siding Problems You Might Encounter

Every siding product has advantages and disadvantages, but James Hardie siding has far more advantages than disadvantages. However, to fall in love with this great siding, you must first know its cons. Here are some points you should know before choosing Hardie siding for your home.

1. Hardie Siding Needs Regular Maintenance

Hardie siding necessitates some maintenance compared to its main competitor, vinyl. Unlike vinyl, fiber cement boards may require touch-ups.

Also, you should not attempt repairs on your own. Poor installation and mistakes during the repair process can void your product’s warranty and cause problems in the future. Furthermore, fiber cement can get quite dirty very quickly. Without regular cleaning, the dirt will clearly show and will diminish your house’s fantastic appeal.

2. It Can Absorb Moisture

Materials like Hardie siding can trap moisture, causing panel damage, rot, and even mold growth. Moisture can also cause the siding’s paint to crumble, swell, crack, and peel.

One of the reasons why this kind of siding absorbs moisture is the nature of how it was installed. An incorrectly installed siding can have little gaps if the gap clearances are not followed properly. However, keep in mind that even if the siding is perfectly installed, moisture absorption can cause damage. The siding itself is sometimes the problem, not the installation.

3. Installation Can Be Complicated

Hardie Board siding’s heavy nature makes it more difficult to handle than other siding materials. Thus, making installation more difficult. On the same note, because fiber cement is heavier than vinyl, it necessitates a more precise installation. Moreover, to ensure that the warranty is not voided, installation should only be performed by James Hardie-trained professionals.

Before being applied to a wall, fiber cement can be fragile. Panels, usually carried and installed by two persons, must be stored with care. Installers must take extra steps to safeguard their health during the process.

Inhalable crystalline silica, a proven carcinogen in humans, is released when Hardie siding is cut. Inhaling can cause discomfort and silicosis, lung cancer, and COPD in the worst-case situation. However, special saw blades, ventilation, and respirators can help keep silica inhalation to a safe level.

4. Hardie Siding Is Expensive

Hardie Board siding is more expensive than vinyl siding, and it’s more expensive for many reasons. The two main drivers are longer installation time and the need for proper installation.

5. Hardie Siding Is Not Energy Efficient

Because Hardie siding has cement, it acts as a conduit for energy loss compared to other more energy-efficient siding options. That means the outside weather will infiltrate your home, making it extremely uncomfortable.

Furthermore, a poorly insulated home may wind up losing you money on your energy expenses. With outside temperatures easily infiltrating your home, your furnace and air conditioner must work overtime to maintain your ideal temperature. That implies they’re using more energy, which means higher costs.

6. Quality Inconsistency

Because not all fiber cement is created equal, you never know what grade you’re getting until it’s installed. Also, when you combine different components, you cannot avoid certain discrepancies. But it isn’t the only issue. 

Fiber cement, as you are aware, is quite difficult to install. Different businesses will install it in different methods. Therefore you will never have the same quality of installation.

7. Painting Might Be Necessary

Most homeowners often ask whether Hardie siding needs to be painted. And the answer is yes. Factory-painted siding like the James Hardie one will ultimately need to be repainted. Expect to paint the siding again every 5 to 15 years.

But keep in mind that weather has a big impact on how long paint will stay. If one side of the home receives a lot of sunlight and the other does not, your siding will fade unevenly. But you will still need to paint the entire house for consistency.

Can Handle The Caveats?

While it may not appear to be much, these 7 unavoidable Hardie siding problems can be costly. But Hardie is an excellent siding product and an excellent investment for your home. It is still a viable and notable material if correctly applied. If you can manage and hurdle all the challenges above, Hardie siding is the right one for you.

Editorial Contributors
Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

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