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Hardie Board Siding Termite Maintenance Guide

Posted on by PortlandSEOGrowth
Termites Hardie Board

Are you searching for a new siding option for your home?

You want something durable, eco-friendly, and that requires minimal maintenance.

Hardie board siding is a great option that comes with many benefits, and the lack of termites in your home is just one great perk.

By choosing a siding option that doesn’t attract pests as easily, like James Hardie siding, you can avoid major damage to your home.

This guide reviews why termites do not typically like Hardie Board siding and how to manage the maintenance to keep your Hardie board home pest-free.

Table of Contents

What Is Hardie Board?

Hardie Board, also known as James Hardie siding, is a durable siding that has become a popular choice for many homes because of its many benefits.

If you are searching for new siding, consider a Hardie Board option. Hardie Board siding is:

  • Durable
  • Long-lasting
  • Made of different materials (types of cement, sand, cellulose fibers)
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Fire-resistant
  • Customizable
  • Termite-resistant

Elite Home Exteriors is a James Hardie preferred contractor and can help with the proper installation or repairs of your Hardie Board siding. If you’re unsure if Hardie Board is a good choice for you, contact us for a free consultation.

termite resistant siding options

Is Hardie Board Termite Resistant?

A common question about James Hardie siding is, “Is Hardie Board termite resistant?”.

If cared for properly, yes.

The low-maintenance siding option is infused with fiber cement throughout the wood. Because of this, termites cannot move throughout the material and access the wood in James Hardie siding. 

However, if homeowners neglect the care and maintenance of Hardie Board siding, the potential for pests can increase.

Do Termites Eat Hardie Board?

Although termites do eat wood, they cannot get to the wood in Hardie Board siding because of the fiber cement materials throughout the product.

The presence of cement mixed throughout Hardie Board wood makes it difficult for pests to chew through and access the wood that holds the nutrients they need for survival. 

If you live in a warmer climate where termites are more active for a longer period, then Hardie board siding might be a good option for your home.

The professionals at Elite Home Exteriors offer a free consultation to help you decide if Hardie Board siding is a good choice for your home.

Hardie Board Siding

4 Ways To Keep Hardie Board Free From Termite Damage

Hardie Board is considered to be an eco-friendly, durable, and long-lasting siding option. However, if neglected, even Hardie board siding can become damaged or start to decline in both structure and quality. 

Homeowners who face termite damage can spend around $3,000 on the repair process each time. To ensure your Hardie board does not encounter termite damage or other structure and quality issues, you can:

  • Wash the siding regularly.
  • Inspect the caulking and fix if necessary.
  • Maintain gutters, spouting, and drainage.

#1: Wash Siding Regularly

Wash your Hardie Board siding every 6-12 months with a garden hose or pressure washer to keep it dirt and debris-free.

Once the grime is removed, use a soft brush with detergent or soap and warm water to clean and remove any leftover spots.

Because termites are attracted to dark and warm places, keeping your Hardie Board siding clean and bright will help prevent pests.

#2: Inspect Caulking Regularly

If the caulking in the …

  • Flashings
  • Penetrations
  • Plank and trim connections; or 
  • Plank joints

…are showing signs of wear, consider re-applying the caulk to help keep moisture from building up in the wall cavity.

Again, termites are attracted to moisture. If these holes and openings are left, moisture can enter underneath the Hardie Board and it becomes easy to access for pests.

#3: Maintain Gutters, Spouting, and Drainage

If you don’t already have gutters, consider installing them. This will help re-route water away from the siding. Keep your gutters clean and clear to avoid build-up and further damage.

Your spouting and drainage systems should also be kept intact and clear of debris to help keep water away from the exterior of the home.

Sprinkler systems should also be pointed away from the house to keep the siding as dry as possible to avoid mold from forming in the planks

#4: Trim Nearby Trees

By keeping trees and bushes that are close to the home trimmed and neat, you can help avoid any debris or fallen leaves from prematurely causing wear to the Hardie Board siding.

do termites eat hardie board

How Does Hardie Board Hold up to Termite Damage Compared to Other Siding Options?

Hardie Board is becoming a popular siding option because of the long list of benefits that it has. 

Is it the best siding for your house? 

  • It is not the most attractive material for termites.
  • It’s an eco-friendly siding option.
  • It provides an aesthetically pleasing wood look without the hassles of wood.
  • It is durable and long-lasting.
  • It does not require too much maintenance.

But how does it compare (especially to termite damage) to other siding options?

Hardie Board vs. Vinyl Siding

Unlike Hardie Board that is infused with cement to help prevent pests from eating through it, vinyl siding does not have this protection.

Vinyl siding is usually installed over a layer of styrene insulation board which can trap moisture. The moisture eventually rots the wood which becomes an invitation for termites.

Along with possibly attracting pests, vinyl siding also fades quickly, requiring a lot of work and maintenance to keep it in good shape.

Hardie Board vs. Wood Siding

Any wood siding is going to be a potential home for termites. If not cared for properly, moisture enters the crevices of the siding and eventually begins to decay the wood. 

Termites eat through the wood to get cellulose, the nutrients they need to live — so wood siding options are ideal for these creatures. 

Not only are pests attracted to wood siding, but it also needs constant attention to stay in good shape.

Hardie Board vs. Metal Siding

Just like Hardie Board, metal siding is a good option to help prevent termites.

Because metal siding is not made of wood, it has fewer problems with rot and moisture than other siding options might have. However, metal siding can be mixed with wood, which might cause a pest problem.

Metal sidings are a popular material choice to avoid termites, but metal rusts easily when it becomes wet. Without proper care, metal siding might become a big headache.

Are There Other Common Maintenance Issues With Hardie Board?

Just like with any type of siding, Hardie Board comes with some common maintenance issues that you should be aware of.

If not taken care of properly, Hardie Board siding can cause major headaches and cost you a chunk of money down the road.

Termites Hardie Board

3 Common Maintenance Issues with Hardie Board

There are 3 common maintenance issues with James Hardie siding that users should know:

  • It needs to be repainted. 
  • There can be issues with moisture if care is not taken.
  • Incorrect installation can cause cracking to occur.

#1: Requires Re-Painting

Although Hardie Board siding is very durable and retains paint well thanks to the fiber cement material, it should still be repainted every 10-20 years for the best upkeep. 

In between repainting, be sure to use your garden hose or a soft pressure washer and brush to clean any dirt and grime from the Hardie Board. This will help to keep the material intact and free of debris, dirt, and mildew.

 #2: Moisture Problems

When fiber cement — like Hardie Board — is used to cover a structure, there can be some moisture that gets trapped and held between the layers of the siding and the exterior of the home.

Without proper care, such as regularly checking the caulking, penetrations and gaps can occur which allow in the moisture and creates mold.

Mold is a serious issue and can cause damage quickly. It can also void the warranty of Hardie Board siding, so be sure to stay up on the maintenance to avoid any moisture problems.

#3: Cracking Occurs Easily if Installed Incorrectly 

If installed incorrectly, the Hardie Board can crack easily. The number one cause of cracks in Hardie Board siding is from nails that are placed incorrectly during the installation process.

What is the labor cost to install Hardie siding? Is it worth it to hire a professional?

The cost will depend on your contractor and the size of your home, but to avoid incorrect installation, hiring a professional contractor could be helpful.

To ensure your Hardie Board siding is installed correctly, work with the professionals at Elite Home Exteriors. Contact us today for a free consultation.

termite resistant siding options

Looking for a Siding That Wards Off Termites and Is Eco-Friendly? Elite Home Exteriors NW Can Help You Decide if Hardie Board Is Right for Your Home

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly siding option that runs the smallest risk of termite invasion, Elite Home Exteriors can help.

We take the time to work with our customers and create a personal relationship to ensure honesty and transparency in our work.

The professionals at Elite Home Exteriors offer a free consultation where we can discuss if a siding option like Hardie Board is right for your home.

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