If you like the appearance of wood siding, but are not thrilled about the cost of the material and the possibility that the siding will rot, then you can look for alternatives. Fiber cement siding is one option you can consider. Fiber cement became popular in the 1970s and 1980s as an alternative to siding materials that contained asbestos. The material is a composite made from cement, sand, and cellulose. While the material does have fewer issues and problems than wood, the fiber cement can form a layer of mold. Keep reading to learn how you can remove the mold and prevent it from returning.
While fiber cement siding is one of the most durable and low maintenance siding options, it can develop a layer of mold. If a portion of your house sees a great deal of shade, then this is where the mold is most likely to develop. Mold needs three things to grow. The spores require water, warmth, and a food source. If you live in a warm weather area that sees a great deal of rain in the spring, then this will contribute to mold growth. Since the fiber cement contains cellulose, this provide the organic food source for the fungi.
If you inspect your siding, then patches of green or streaks of black or brown are an indication that mold has started to develop. Removing the mold is the best course of action to minimize siding damage. For easy removal, you can purchase an outdoor mold spray made for siding. These sprays are able to kill mold, algae, and mildew by exposing them to a highly acidic compound.
While acidic cleaners are best for killing mold and mildew, you should try to avoid single application or time-released products. These items can expose your siding to acids over a long period of time. Since fiber cement contains a high minerals contact, much like concrete, acids can cause deterioration. To reduce damage, use a cleaning product that will kill mold and can then be rinsed away. Keep in mind that you can and should let the cleaner sit for 10 or 15 minutes to do its job before you rinse your siding with your hose.
If you do not want to use a mold cleaner, you can use bleach or ammonia instead. Make sure to use a 50/50 solution of your cleaner and water before scrubbing away at the mildew.
Protecting The Siding
Mold and mildew are most likely to form when moisture comes into contact with your fiber cement for a long period of time. If your siding is a few years old, then moisture may be seeping into the joints between the pieces of your siding. Closing the joints is a good way to prevent mold issues from recurring.
Inspect your siding for small gaps or openings and then purchase a siding and window sealant material. The material is flexible, waterproof, and resistant to shrinkage. Most of these sealants are polymer based varieties and are clear. Use a caulk gun to carefully fill in the siding cracks. Use a small putty knife to smooth the sealant flush with your siding afterwards.
If you want a more seamless repair that will not show the gaps in the siding, then you can use all- purpose Bondo instead. Keep in mind that this material will appear gray once it cures, so it is a good option if you are planning on painting your siding soon.
Concrete patching materials can work well for the siding as well. When you do fill in the spaces, cover your fiber cement with a clear coating afterwards. Acrylic based protectants are suggested for use with fiber cement siding.
Visit a site like http://lifetime-exteriors.net/ for more ideas on dealing with mold on siding.