View Full Version : fiber cement siding in cold climates

John Arnold
06-18-2008, 01:19 PM
Anyone know of problems with Hardi Plank, or the like, in cold climates?

Ted Menelly
06-18-2008, 01:48 PM
It does absorb moisture and in extreme cold is difficult to work with. If it has gotten wet and is out in the freezing cold you will find it a task during application. Two people on a longer run or you will break it. Carefull nailing it when it is to cold.

It doesnt expand and contract as much as wood and holds paint very well. You do have to keep a maintenance program up on it as far as caulking goes. All but joints should be caulked. It is not a full overlap so water will get into the failed caulk joints and behind the product.

If you type in hardi plank on about any search engine you will see all the plus and minuses.


Michael Thomas
06-18-2008, 01:53 PM
See the discussion here: Siding Identificaton - JLC-Online Forums (http://forums.jlconline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41951)

Mark Parlee
06-23-2008, 07:00 PM
Here are a couple of photos of cement board siding that suffer clearance problems; too close to roof plane
Hardie started out with a 2" minimum then went to 1" to 2" and is now back to the 2"s

This is caused by the product has the ability to absorb moisture and the fact that it does not dry out that fast gives us a problem when coupled with freezing temperatures.

Moisture expands 9% when it freezes and this will expand the siding allowing it to take on a little more moisture. On a sunny day in the winter you can have multiple freeze, thaw cycles. Let this go on for somewhere in the two to three winters range and you get the problems that my pictures show.


Mark Parlee
06-23-2008, 07:02 PM
One more picture

Michael Thomas
06-24-2008, 04:53 AM
Mark, nice to see you here!

I've talked with Mark on the phone a few times, as well as on the JLC forums -for starters he has a pretty amazing collection of defect photos taken over the years at his restoration projects - my recent favorite are pictures of some foam insulation behind the cladding of a building that that turned into a whole-house ant farm.

Mark Parlee
06-25-2008, 06:05 PM
Here are the ants and a bonus one of a fireplace chase.

This chase is in typical condition of what I find and you would not be able to tell the amount of damage without the siding torn off
I have one here of the side of the house before we took off the siding

Jerry Peck
06-25-2008, 08:30 PM

"Ant farm." is correct.

I knew there was a reason I never liked that stuff. :)

Ted Menelly
06-25-2008, 08:37 PM
The only way foam works is with a monthly pest control service that specifically targets nesting insects. You don't keep up with it and those pics are the results. costly but most folks I know (but I am sure there is a lot that don't) have at least a quarterly pest control contract.

Mark Parlee
06-26-2008, 04:34 AM
In my experience with these infestations there is a leak that makes the draw.
The foam was on the side of a chase that was leaking; they almost always have moisture problems.
I have not yet come across an ant infestation in a place that was non-leaking