What is unobtainium made of? Nothing; unobtainium does not exist except in the fevered dreams of engineers and Hollywood scriptwriters. What is fiber cement siding made of? Ah! That we can answer, since it only has five ingredients. 

What Is Fiber Cement Siding Made Of?

High-quality fiber cement siding, such as offerings from James Hardie, has five ingredients:

  1. Portland cement—a hydraulic cement that hardens in water and becomes water resistant
  2. Silica sand—a very pure form of sand containing at least 95 percent silicon dioxide
  3. Fresh water—to prevent salt impurities from degrading the mixture 
  4. Cellulose fibers—from wood pulp for flexibility and strength
  5. Proprietary additives— these enhance the performance of the product

A Des Moines-area homeowner can enjoy peace of mind knowing durable, beautiful fiber cement siding is almost exclusively made from natural, environmentally sustainable ingredients. 

How is Fiber Cement Siding Made?

Fiber cement siding is an entirely human-made product, with the good folks at James Hardie controlling every aspect of its formation over three production days:

  • Five ingredients are mixed together to make a slurry
  • The slurry is strained to remove some water
  • The slurry is compressed into wide, long sheets
  • These thin sheets are squeezed and stacked to remove more water and form a thick board
  • A roller impresses the desired texture into the cement board 
  • The thick cement board is cut into planks and panels
  • The fragile, wet panels are baked in autoclaves
  • Individual panels are separated 
  • Each panel and plank is painted on both sides and on all edges

Fiber Cement Siding Advantages

Fiber cement siding is the environmentally sound alternative to the century-old technology of asbestos siding. Replacing harmful asbestos fibers with wood pulp, siding manufacturers like James Hardie can continue to offer this safe, superior siding product

Some of the advantages of fiber cement siding include:

  • Exactly mimic wood effects without the costly maintenance wood siding requires
  • Tough, durable siding that outlasts most other siding products
  • A versatile product that can deliver any desired surface effect, from wood to stucco and more
  • Fire-, heat-, and insect-resistant
  • Will not rot or warp
  • Excellent performance for tornado-prone locales

Though fiber cement siding may cost more at installation than vinyl siding, its good looks, easy maintenance, and long life make it the economical choice for wise Iowa homeowners. 

VanWeelden Company in Des Moines, Iowa, can help you with every aspect of your home’s exterior upkeep. Contact us today to learn more about roofing, painting, gutters, replacement windows, and, yes, fiber cement siding!