When it comes to constructing your dream house you may have heard about the disadvantages of fiber cement boards.
Are they really as bad as people say?
You might be considering using them mainly due to their attractive characteristics like durability and aesthetically pleasing designs.
However there are some possible drawbacks that you need to be aware of as well.
What could possibly go wrong with the seemingly perfect and robust fiber cement boards?
Table of Contents
Drawbacks Of Fiber Cement Board
Fiber cement board a combination of cement blend silica and natural cellulose fibers is a popular but heavy siding option with a density ranging from 1.2 to 1.4 g/cm3. This weight makes it hard to manage and install leading to greater labor costs and time.
Substantial disadvantages of fiber cement board include its proneness to cracking and breaking especially when facing high impact or extreme weather. Considering it’s not suitable for load-bearing applications due to low structural strength picking this material may lead to higher costs in the long run.
This siding made from fiber cement board might seem like an appealing choice with its rustic feel and varied textures but its environmental impact poses a significant drawback. The manufacturing process is energy-demanding leading to substantial carbon emissions.
Moreover fiber cement board can consume up to a staggering 20% of its weight in water contributing to decay and warping issues.
Handling And Installation Challenges
Beyond the initial price comparison the cost of installing fiber cement board can be overwhelming. Its weight demands extra manpower and special equipment for installation all of which add to the project’s price.
Furthermore the need for a primer coat and paint also adds to the overall cost and time. Not to forget this siding’s susceptibility to getting damaged (like chipping and cracking) calls for constant maintenance items such as caulking and paint touch-ups especially in high humidity or water-exposed areas.
Though fiber cement siding might appear to be a budget-friendly option initially it might turn out to be a costly affair considering these handling and installation challenges. Hence one should make an informed decision after discussing all these vital factors with an experienced contractor.
Cracking And Breaking Issues
Fiber cement board often praised for its durability is not without its disadvantages. One of the foremost drawbacks of this material lies in its inclination towards cracking and breaking.
Exposure to extreme temperatures high impact or even harsh weather conditions might result in an increase in it’s susceptibility to damage. Given its high density around 1.2 to 1.4 g/cm3 poor handling and improper installation of the fiber cement board can easily result in damage.
And the most common manifestations are cracks and breaks. These defects not only undermine the structural integrity but can also pave the way for moisture infiltration leading to decay rot and even mold growth.
Limited Load-Bearing Strength
Another significant disadvantage is the low structural strength of the fiber cement board. It’s not an ideal go-to for load-bearing applications.
Its composition involving a cement blend silica and natural cellulose fibers leaves it lacking in the load-bearing department. This limitation restricts its use in certain structures where strength is paramount.
Given the fact that fiber cement board can absorb up to 20% of its weight in water the board’s strength is further compromised when exposed to an exceedingly moist environment. Thus it proves to be less versatile compared to other construction materials like brick or wood which offer more strength and stability.
This high absorption capacity can even cause the board to warp causing structural problems in the long run.
Moisture Susceptibility And Water Damage
The fiber cement board is notorious for its susceptibility to water damage. Despite its highly durable nature this matertial does have critical weaknesses.
Water lovers such as fungi and small insects find it an attractive environment for habitation. Unattended moisture-derived issues can escalate incredibly quickly.
When fiber cement boards absorb up to 20% of their weight in water it makes the situation ripe for the development of mold and rot. The constant contact with water including high humidity not only compromises the structure of the board but it can bend or warp it too.
This moisture susceptibility is particularly worrying if the fiber cement board has cracks. It can soak up water leading to more substantial overwhelming damage.
High-quality insulation won’t fully protect an air-conditioned home from the damage that moisture penetration can cause to fiber cement boards. To prevent this regular maintenance items such as caulking must not be overlooked.
If you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain then it’s crucial to consult with an experienced contractor or expert who can provide thorough honest information. If you neglect these factors the fiber cement board may end up costing more time and effort not forgetting the labor costs to sort these moisture-derived issues.
So when considering fiber cement siding as an option for your home or business make sure to factor in the environmental impact maintenance and potential for water damage. Keep these important factors in mind while doing your research and make sure to get multiple estimates.
While fiber cement siding may look like a budget-friendly option with benefits such as being fire-resistant and customizable it’s negatives like low-insulation value can have serious consequences in the long run.