The material was introduced in the 1980s as a replacement for asbestos-based siding products. It is carried by some siding manufacturers—James Hardie, Nichiha, and Allura.
Fiber cement siding mimics the appearance of authentic wood shiplap. It is fire-resistant, not expensive, and increases the home resale value.
Fiber cement siding requires maintenance—painting. Some siding products come with a 15-year warranty from the manufacturer. The warranty covers: peeling, cracking, and chipping. Although homeowners encounter such issues earlier. Warranties vary by manufacturer and some are not specific, be sure to consult with your contractor or local hardware store and double-check on this fact.
Because moisture absorption is a big problem, which may lead to panel damage, rot, or mold issues, it's a good idea to have a contractor do additional caulking to guarantee extra life for your siding. A study done by Home Innovations Research Lab found out fiber cement siding retains less moisture than stucco and manufactured stone siding products. However, fiber cement siding performed worse than brick, vinyl siding, and insulated vinyl siding.
In addition, fiber cement siding is not the most environmentally friendly material on the scale. However, fiber cement siding does reuse some materials—cement, fibers, and ash. The process used to manufacturer the material pollutes the environment. Overall, according to Life Cycle Assesment, fiber cement siding is worse than real cedar siding, stucco, vinyl siding, & insulated vinyl siding—especially in areas with global warming potential and water intake.
Also, fiber cement siding is not as energy efficient as other alternatives. It is made from cement which absorbs heat and cold. The fiber cement siding r-value is 0.15. In comparison, other materials R-values are: brick(R-0.11); stone(R-0.01); vinyl(at R-0.60); wood(R-0.81); and insulated vinyl siding(R-2.0-3.5). Source: The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers(ASHRAE). To fix this problem siding contractors can use foam to increase the r-value of your home's thermal insulation to help the affected areas retain their temperatures without getting too cold or hot. This, however, adds an extra second step to the installation process which adds to the project labor costs.
Finally, the siding material needs to be professionally installed. Otherwise, when installing the siding product yourself be extra cautious during the installation process and try consulting with professionals on how to install it properly. How much caulking, etc.