Hardie Board is a durable, dependable solution for siding on your home or business. However, it does require very special care and handling both before and during installation. Discover the best ways to store, handle and install Hardie Board—to assure long life of this product.
All Hardie products (Hardie Board, Plank or Trim) should be stored in their original packaging. Ideally, they should be kept in a garage, toolshed or another covered area. Do not store them directly on the ground, instead keep them on a pallet. If you must store them outside, an additional level of waterproof protection should be used. If for some reason the product becomes wet before installation, they must be laid completely flat and allowed to dry prior to use. In an ideal environment, the boards will never have the chance to become wet.
Hardie Board should always be cut dry. If it is cut wet, the wood may not lay correctly when installed and the fit will not be exact. It is important to take precautions and wear a mask during cutting. Because Hardie Board is made of a composite material, breathing the dust can be hazardous. You can use a circular saw, table saw, or handheld saw (among other tools) to cut Hardie Board. The key is to use the tool that is most comfortable and safest for you to use.
The clearance requirements for Hardie Board vary from one edge to another. The clearance to the ground is 8 inches, the clearance to siding is ¼ inch, and 2 inches is required to other solid surfaces. The options for fasteners are numerous. Using a high-end nail gun is common. This PDF, by James Hardie Inc, offers a complete guide to the different types of fasteners that are acceptable and in what conditions they can be used.
For best results, when you paint primed Hardie Board, use a high-quality exterior topcoat. For unprimed products, you will need to prime first. Hardie recommends two coats of paint for the best overall appearance. You may need to touch up nail holes with caulk or Colorplus touch-up. Both of these are available in the Hardie brand—for best results.
While it may seem like a lot to remember, there is not much more to think about than there is with any material. Take care of the Hardie Board every step of the way, and the results of your installation are sure to impress you—now and in the future.