Understanding Fire-Resistant Fiber Cement Siding

Understanding Fire-Resistant Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is among the newest players in the siding game. Made by the James Hardie brand, this siding material offers a host of benefits over other options, such as vinyl, aluminum, and wood. One of the biggest perks of fiber cement is that it is fire-resistant. 

Although wildfires are not a huge concern in North Carolina and South Carolina, the risk of forest fires certainly still exists, especially in wooded, mountainous regions. Furthermore, there is always a risk of house fires due to electrical malfunctions and other incidents, so fire resistance is important no matter where you live. 

As you continue reading this guide, you will discover more details about fire-resistant fiber cement siding, and why fire retardance is such an important factor to consider when the time comes to renovate your Carolina home. 


Why does fire resistance matter?

As previously mentioned, no matter where you live, a house fire is a risk. Nobody expects their house to burn, but the unfortunate fact is that, according to the  American Red Cross, fires kill more Americans on an annual basis than all other natural disasters combined. 

Per the Red Cross, it takes only 30 seconds for a small flame to become a blaze that could destroy a home. For this reason, if nothing else, fire resistance is something to bear in mind when you choose materials for any home remodeling project. 


Why is fiber cement non-combustible?

Fiber cement siding doesn’t catch on fire because it is made from a patented mixture of cement, sand, and cellulose that does not combust, even when a lit flame is held directly to it. 

The James Hardie Company’s fiber cement siding has been granted a Class A fire rating because it remains intact even several hours after a fire starts – this gives first responders ample opportunity to arrive at a residence before any irreparable damage is done. 


How do other siding materials compare?

Whenever you are choosing a material for a home renovation project, it is important to do comparisons prior to making a final decision. In this section, we dive into how other popular siding materials hold up against fires. 

Wood siding – Wood is a highly combustible material that provides very little protection from flames. Consider, after all, that wood logs are used in fireplaces and bonfires due to their flammable nature. If you are looking for a fire-resistant material, wood is not the best option by far. 

Stucco – Stucco generally resists flames for about 60 minutes before it becomes engulfed. While this is certainly better than wood, it is not nearly as flame retardant as fiber cement which, again, remains intact for several hours after a house fire begins. 

Vinyl siding – Vinyl siding is the most popular cladding choice in the United States, but it is not flame resistant. Due to the fact that vinyl is a type of plastic, it can melt relatively quickly from intense heat alone. As a matter of fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends against installing vinyl siding in parts of the country that are at high risk for wildfires. 

If you are interested in having fiber cement siding installed on your Carolina home in the near future, the Hatch Homes crew is ready to hear from you. We have a great deal of experience with this material and look forward to helping you understand all of the benefits it has to offer.

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