Fiber cement siding is heavy and durable. It withstands strong winds and small hail, but it's still possible for a plank to crack when hit with large hail or flying debris in a storm. It might be possible to have the cracked planks repaired, but if not, they can be replaced. Here's a look at dealing with cracks in your fiber cement siding.
Determine If Cracks Can Be Filled In
The repair contractor looks at the storm damage and decides if cracks can be repaired. Holes and cracks caused by impacts can usually be repaired as long as the damage isn't severe. Cracks caused by improper installation might be another matter. In that case, the repair person may need to remove the damaged panels and install them properly to keep cracks from coming back.
Fill Cracks With Putty
The repair contractor can fill cracks with caulk or putty made for repairing fiber cement. The putty is spread over the crack so the crack fills, and then the surface is leveled. Once this is done, the contractor might sand the surface of the siding panel and then paint it to match the other panels.
Patching the cracks keeps water and bugs from getting behind the panels. If the contractor repairs several cracks, the repairs could be noticeable if there's a color difference between the new paint and the old paint. This problem can be solved by painting the entire wall so all the siding is the same color.
Replace The Panels
The contractor might recommend replacing the panels if they have a lot of damage. This involves removing old panels by pulling out the nails and pulling off the panels. The repair person will check the area behind the removed panels to make sure there is no water damage that has to be dried out and repaired.
A new plank can be installed where an old one was removed. If the new nail heads show, they can be covered with paint so the repairs aren't as noticeable.
While repairing cracks in fiber cement siding isn't too difficult, it's good to let a professional check your siding and repair it after there has been storm damage and a risk of rain being driven through the cracks. The last thing you want to do is cover up water damage and run into problems worse than cracks later on. Also, replacing fiber cement planks can be tricky since they are heavy and they have to be installed just right so they don't crack or lift up.