If you recently installed James Hardie® fiber cement siding, or you are thinking about upgrading your exterior with this worthwhile investment, you likely want to know everything you need to do to keep your beautiful, durable exterior in great shape for decades to come!
Fortunately, Hardie siding is an extremely low-maintenance product, so it is easy to keep it free of dirt, grime, and other debris. Just follow the simple cleaning guidelines below to maintain your exterior’s “good as new” look forever as well as protect its warranty.
Cleaning James Hardie Siding: Dos and Don’ts
When you are cleaning your new fiber cement siding, here are some general things you should do (and shouldn’t do) to get your siding sparkling clean while also protecting your investment.
Do: Garden Hose
You should clean your fiber cement siding twice a year to remove dirt, dust, and other debris. First, brush away the dirt, then rinse your siding thoroughly with a garden hose. Usually, the grime will wash right off!
Don’t: Pressure Washers
While using a garden hose to wash your fiber cement siding is acceptable, you should never use a high-pressure power washer to clean your siding. Power washing can damage your siding, and if you mar your siding while cleaning, the repairs won’t be covered by warranty.
Do: Soft Brush
When you’re cleaning your siding, you may need to do some scrubbing to remove pesky spots that won’t come off with a simple rinse. Gently use a soft brush or rag, moving in a side-to-side motion, to loosen debris. Then, use the garden hose to rinse away the grime from your exterior.
Don’t: Abrasive Brush
When scrubbing your siding, stay away from abrasive brushes and rags. Coarse brushes can scratch your exterior’s beautiful finish, and again, damage caused when cleaning won’t be covered by warranty.
Do: Gentle Cleaners
Oil, mold, and mildew will require a bit more “elbow grease” to remove from your fiber cement siding than dirt and dust.
Typically, you can remove mold and mildew by spraying the affected area with a mildew cleaner (approved for fiber cement siding) and scrubbing with a soft sponge. Then, you can spray away the remnants with a garden hose.
Grease and oil usually come right off when you rub the affected spots with a wet, soapy rag (dish soap works great) and rinse. Repeat the process until all the grease is gone.
Don’t: Harsh Cleaners
You should never use abrasive chemical products to clean your fiber cement siding. Gentle products, like dish soap, work great and won’t damage your siding. Stay away from store-bought cleaners unless they are approved to use on fiber cement.
Extra Tips for Cleaning Your James Hardie Siding
In addition to the important “dos and don’ts” listed above, follow these tips for the best results when cleaning your Hardie siding:
- Always scrub in the same direction as your planks—don’t go against the grain. For example, if you have horizontal siding, you should wash it from side to side.
- When cleaning your siding, start at the top of the house and work your way to the bottom. Since the dirt and grime will run down your siding as you rinse, you’ll save lots of time (and frustration) by working your way down.
- You should never let the cleaning solution (dish soap or mildew cleaner) dry on your siding, so cleaning in small sections will help keep the surface wet as you go.
- Keep a few sponges, brushes, or rags on hand, so you can switch them out as they become dirty. Also, rinse your cleaning tools frequently to keep excess grime off your siding.
General Maintenance Tips for Fiber Cement Siding
If you take great care of your exterior with the following general maintenance tips, it will be much easier to clean your siding twice a year.
- Ensure your gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves, twigs, and debris, so they can filter water away from your home.
- Keep shrubs, bushes, trees, and other vegetation trimmed to prevent dark, moist environments where mold and mildew can grow.
- Adjust your sprinklers to spray away from your exterior.
- Use sand or gravel (as opposed to deicing salts) to manage icy surfaces near your exterior to preserve your siding’s gorgeous finish.
Get the Benefits of Low-Maintenance James Hardie Siding from Beissel Window & Siding
Taking care of Hardie Board siding sounds pretty straightforward, right?
For over 70 years, our family-owned and operated business has served tens of thousands of Minnesotans, and we would love to serve your family, too.