Fibre cement board represents an innovation in building materials. The product resembles natural wood siding, but is manufactured from cement, sand and fibrous material. This composition gives fibre cement board great durability, as well as rot, and fire resistance. Fibre cement board can assume a variety of different appearances. The board can be smooth or imprinted with a wood grain pattern. Also fibre cement board comes in panels, boards and individual shingles. The various styles of fibre cement board provide the homeowner with numerous options for remodelling her house's exterior.
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Traditional Lap Siding
Fibre cement board is available in the form of traditional lap siding boards. These boards vary in width from just over 5 to 12 inches. Affix lap siding fibre cement board to the house horizontally. The base of each board overlaps the top edge of the board beneath it to protect the structure of the home. Nail the boards to the wall studs with corrosion-resistant nails driven through the portion of the board that will be covered by subsequent siding courses.
Vertically oriented fibre cement siding is sold as panels. These products emulate the look of a traditional board and batten type of siding with the gaps between wider boards covered by narrow, raised pieces of material.
Shingle or Shake Siding
Fibre cement board is sold in the form of individual shingles and shakes. The difference between shingles and shakes is the consistency of the pieces. Shingles are equal in size and thickness, while shakes have greater variation. Shakes provide a house with a more rustic, hand-crafted look than shingles. The installation process for shingles or shakes is the same. Each individual piece is fastened to sheathing or furring strips with two corrosion-resistant nails.
Trim to go around doors and windows, and soffit pieces to install along the undersides of the roof eaves are available in fibre cement board. These specialised pieces give the house a finished appearance and protect vulnerable areas from water damage.
Prime all sides of fibre cement board, including end cuts, to ensure protection from water damage. Fibre cement board accepts paint, and there are also semi-transparent coatings that give wood grained fibre cement board the look of natural stained wood. It is preferable to apply coatings to fibre cement board prior to installation; but the boards can also take paint after application.
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