Is Fiber Cement Siding Fire Resistant?

Fiber cement siding is a very popular material that is used on the exterior of both commercial and residential properties in the same way that regular siding is. It is a blended material that is made up of sand, cement and wood pulp that make it very strong and long lasting.
The fact that fiber cement siding is rot and termite proof as well as fire and wind resistant has caused it to become more and more popular among home builders and construction companies. It is one of the few materials that checks off all four boxes that people look for when shopping for a siding product for their home or business:

- Looks great

- Durable

- Nearly maintenance-free

- Affordable

There are many things that home or business owners worry about when it comes to their structures. Vandalism, hurricanes, tornados and fires top the list of concerns that home owners and business owners have. If you want to eliminate a large chunk of worry from your mind, then have fiber cement siding used on the outside of your home or building. It will eliminate a lot of worry by using this type of siding rather than other conventional types.

What Makes Fiber Cement Siding Fire Resistant?

In areas that are prone to wild fires and brush fires, having a home or business with a fiber cement siding exterior has major benefits, including the peace of mind it provides. This fire resistance is due to the non flammable materials that make up fiber cement siding. It is made up of more than 90% non flammable materials, so while there might be some initial charring on the outside of the planks, there is no way that the oxygen can penetrate the fiber siding to cause it to actually burn or become damaged.

Fiber Cement Siding general carries a Class 1(A) fire/flame spread rating which gives them the highest rating possible. Even if you don’t live in areas prone to wildfires, having a home or business covered in fiber cement siding can alleviate fears of accidental fires, which has been shown to be at the top of the home owners list of fears regarding their homes. In terms of fire resistance, it is the best siding choice on the market.

Fiber Cement Siding vs. Vinyl Siding

When vinyl siding encounters extreme heat or fire, it will start to melt and will burn away within minutes, exposing the wood framing underneath. Once the wood frame is exposed then it too goes up in flames. Vinyl siding can’t compare to the incredible durability of fiber cement siding which doesn’t allow any fire or heat to penetrate the boards at all. With fiber cement the framing of your home as well as the siding itself is protected and safe.

While some vinyl siding is considered to be flame retardant, when put up against fiber cement siding, it couldn’t come close to the performance and fire protection that the fiber siding affords home owners. Vinyl siding was just not designed to resist flames and high temperatures and come out unscathed the way that fiber cement siding does. Although vinyl is less expensive than fiber cement siding, if you match up the pros and cons of each, it is worth it to pay the extra cost for more protection from not only fire but many other things as well including rot, bugs and extreme weather.

Fiber Cement Siding vs. Wood Siding

When fiber cement siding is compared to wood siding, again this excellent and unique product comes out way ahead. When wood siding catches fire, it only ends up being more of a fuel additive, increasing the flames and heat until massive damage occurs. During a fire, structural integrity is compromised and as the flames and heat increase, the fire will penetrate the siding easily, traveling up to the attic inside the siding and up the walls.

Once wood siding has been burned, even if the fire is able to be put out before total destruction occurs, that wood siding cannot be repaired, it has to be torn out and replaced. More than likely the structure underneath the wood siding will also have encountered damage, resulting in a very expensive replacement bill.

Comparatively, fiber cement siding protects the structure underneath the siding as well as the siding itself. The fire isn’t able to penetrate the fiber cement boards and the boards themselves do not become burned or damaged either. At most you may have to deal with the carbon from the fire producing a black coating on the fiber cement boards. Grab a rag and some cleaner and it comes right off and your siding will look as good as new again.

Conclusion

Fiber cement siding has been around for over 25 years and its fire resistant properties are still nearly impossible to match when compared to other siding products like vinyl and wood. The cost is reasonable and the benefits in other areas as well as the fire resistant benefits make it the siding to choose if you are looking for something that is long lasting and durable.

Fiber cement siding is offered in many stock colors and styles, or you can custom paint it to fit your preferences. It also provides excellent protection from rot, termites, extreme temperatures and weather. Fiber cement siding is the perfect choice for your siding project.