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How to clean Hardie Board

A James Hardie siding goes beyond style and never goes out of style. It shows taste. What's more- it comes with a guarantee of 40 to 50 years of durability- virtually lasting a lifetime. Though it costs significantly more than other types of siding, a James Hardie Board is a worthy investment for your property. All these are why you must think about how to maintain and clean your Hardie board to keep it looking fresh without damaging its exterior.

The Special about the James Hardie Siding

Portland cement, water, cellulose fibers, and sand are the components of the Hardie siding that give it its characteristic robust constitution. The fiber cement makes it climate-proof because it can withstand all climates. It is fireproof and resistant to rot, pet, and water damage. For those reasons, it requires little maintenance and only cleaning once or twice a year.

Even if Hardie Siding does wonders for a property, poorly maintained exteriors laden with dirt and grime quickly make a home look dated and lower its value and appeal.

The Do's of Cleaning the Hardie Board

Seeing that the Hardie board is a hardy siding, you would feel tempted to use cleaning methods and tools that you would choose for pavements. Well, the following tips are the way to go for your siding to stay clean and look new:

1. Clean the Hardie siding regularly

Undertake the cleaning at least every 6 to 12 months, as you deem necessary. Regular cleaning will extend the lifespan of the siding since it will only need gentle cleaning when the time comes, as opposed to lengthy intervals between the cleaning. It will also protect the siding from deterioration caused by neglecting regular cleanings such as mildew, moss, mold stains, and grime.

2. Use the correct cleaning materials and methods

Your choice of cleaning materials depends on the type and amount of dirt on the siding. You should use a cloth or a soft brush. These will not have an abrasive effect on the siding's surface, and you can use a garden hose for rinsing the siding.

Cleaning Siding

Consider the following tips as a guide on your choice of materials for cleaning the Hardie board:

a) Cleaning off dirt

Dust from chalk, construction debris, or dust from daily activities around the home does not need soap; plain water will do.

  • Use a soft bristle brush or a paintbrush to brush off loose dirt from the siding
  • Use a soft wet cloth and gently rub the siding, then rinse it with a garden hose. The need for soap, usually a mild dish detergent, depends on the amount and type of dirt.
  • Use clean water with low pressure to rinse the board from top to bottom.

b) Cleaning oil and grease from a Hardie board

You will need a mild cleaning detergent. Mix it in a bucket of water until the water gets sudsy. Use a soft cloth or brush that you will dip into the soapy water and use it to rub or gently scrub off the grease or oil from the board. Alternate the rubbing or scrubbing with rinsing the area with clean water so that the soap doesn't sit on the board.

c) Deal with Mildew, Moss, and Mold

Mold, moss, and mildew will be the top culprits that can quickly turn these popular sidings into an eyesore if you live in a humid or moist region. The problem could also arise due to winter conditions or allowing bushes to grow over your siding. 

How do we help a Hardie board regain its sparkle after a moisture onslaught?

  • Prevent the problem by constantly checking the siding to identify the brown, green, and black spots that characterize mildew and mold growth.
  • Use mildew or mold cleanser made for use on fiber cement and follow the cleaning instructions keenly. Dissolve some cleaner in water and use the solution to clean a small patch of the board. Check the patch after around 24 hours to confirm that the cleansing solution did not damage the patch before proceeding to use it on the rest of the siding.  Avoid chlorine-based cleansers.
  • With a sponge or soft cloth, gently wipe or rub the affected areas using the cleaning solution in a top to bottom manner
  • Rinse the board with clean water

The Don'ts of Cleaning a Hardie Board

1. Don't be harsh with the cleaning

Well, the Hardie siding though built to last a lifetime, does not take too well to rough treatment, so avoid the following in its cleaning:

  • Using abrasive cleaners and hard scrubbing which will create marks on the siding
  • A pressure washer is not an option either since it will damage the siding's delicate exterior
  • Do not use a strong cleanser, acid, or any cleanser not formulated for cleaning fiber cement siding

2. Do not work against the 'grain'

The deep grooves on the surface of a Hardie siding give them the appearance of grain on natural wood. When cleaning, work along the grain to maintain its texture and appeal.

Cleaning The Hardie Board

Stay Safe When Cleaning Hardie Boards

The safety measures mentioned earlier, such as avoiding harsh cleanser, using soft cloths and soft-bristled brushes, and rinsing it with clean low-pressure water; all protect your Hardie board. Are there any precautions that you should observe as personal safety measures when cleaning a Hardie siding? Indeed, there are as follows:

  • Wear the relevant protective gear such as gloves to protect against skin reactions to cleansers
  • Eyewear will protect your eyes against cleansers and loose dirt accidentally getting into your eyes
  • Wear a respirator mask, especially if you have respiratory problems, even mild ones

That's All it takes to Clean a Hardie Board

In the end, your choice of cleaning materials and the best method for the kind of dirt you're battling will determine how well the Hardie board serves to bring the best out of your home. The cleaning needs investment in time, too, but we're sure this guide got you started in the right direction.

Do not hesitate to consult us for expert and affordable services if you need help or guidance on the cleaning and maintenance of your Hardie board.


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