Fiber cement panels for exterior home is a fairly new material on the Russian market, but extremely in demand. Its advantages over the analogues are obvious, and buyers with experience in the field of finishing works and without it, understand it. Related articles:
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Until recently, the facades of the houses were often lined with plaster solutions, which were long, creating unattractive coating. Their popularity was due only to their low cost. The modern market of finishing materials ready to offer a wide range of products in every price category. One of the most popular of them are fiber cement panels for exterior facades. They are environmentally friendly, safe for humans and the environment, with their help it is easy to create a ventilated surface. In addition, fiber cement panels do not ignite and do not burn, which increases their safety, and their popularity.
What is fiber cement panels
These panels are artificial finishing material and are plate-like siding. The mixture from which they are cast, are
- cement – up to 90% of the total weight,
- mineral additives and water repellents,
- fiber – fibers made from synthetic or cellulose.
Fiber performs a role of a reinforcing component that allows the panels to be durable even on the bends. Glass and minerals are responsible for the ability of a material to «breathe», prevents the access of moisture into the structure of the plates. Obverse side of the cement boards is covered with a weather-resistant layer, which also performs aesthetic problem — mimics the surface of natural wood or stone.
For the first time these panels appeared in the late 19th century – they were invented by Austrian businessman Ludwig Hachek. But the equipment that was used in production at the time, were not allowed to produce high-quality fiber cement panels, and their release was delayed for a long time – about 50 years.
The production of large quantities fiber cement panels began to develop in the 80-ies of the last century. And in 10 years this material has become one of the most popular options for cladding facades of buildings.
Main characteristics of fiber cement panels
On the Russian market of finishing materials, fiber cement panels presented by different brands. Their operational and physico-chemical properties may vary slightly, even if the composition is identical. The reason may be that some manufacturers, instead of the cellulose complement the composition, or glass, or quartz sand. From the peculiar to the material qualities and characteristics we can highlight the following:
- the protection of the walls from igniting,
- resistance to UV light and moisture,
- low weight and extremely simple installation,
- high levels of heat and sound insulation.
Fiber cement panels for facades can be with front or without coating. If you select the second option, you will require the finishing of the exterior walls of the house, which would increase the estimate for works about 10% of the total cost.
According to the Russian GOST and European standards, fiber cement panels shall meet the following requirements – material density of 1.5 g per CC, m, bending strength – more than 21.5 MPa, water absorption above 7%, Flammability rating – NG, frost resistance – more than 100 cycles (ZIM), the proportion of 16 to 24 kg per sq. M.
The pros and cons of fiber cement boards
In almost any direction fiber cement boards are superior to counterparts and have a number of advantages and appearance, and safety, and scope, and durability, physico-chemical characteristics. They can be used to create a durable coating on the facade of any type, the diversity of structure and color palette allows you to use this material in any stylistic direction. From other pros not to mention:
- ease of machining (cutting) and installation,
- resistance to temperature changes, which is important for the Russian climate,
- the material can’t spoil rodents, it does not form mold,
- seismic and fire resistance, color retention over long periods of time (up to 20 years).
Cons material specialists in the field of finishing facade works referred to the need to install cement boards on the crate and the brittleness of the material upon impact. Performing facade works, you need to ensure that slabs of fibre cement is not exposed to shocks – they are not falling of heavy metal tools, they did not come and did not drop them.
Application field fiber cement boards
Fiber cement boards can be used for finishing facades of private houses and multi-story construction. Their installation as simple as possible – they are attached for a veneer of aluminum. They are lighter analogues, which can significantly reduce the cost of facade work of any scale. All that is required for success is to choose the right kind of fiber cement panels.
The size of some of these types of facade panels is quite large, which facilitates the finishing of large structures – high-rise buildings. Often the material used for lining expensive cottages and country houses of several floors – coating is easy, presentable and relatively inexpensive in terms of financial costs.
High levels of fire resistance allow the use of fiber-reinforced concrete and fibre cement sheets in the finishing of industrial buildings where a high fire risk. Aesthetic data open up the possibility of using material – internal and external cladding of buildings belonging to cultural heritage, even when it is necessary to restore visual characteristics.
How to choose fiber cement panels for exterior
Like any other façade material, fiber cement panel, you need to choose carefully, examining in detail all their characteristics and properties, having familiarized with the technologies they use and testimonials from those who have worked with them. The best option is to connect a specialist in the field of finishing works to the selection of material, or at least get his advice. If this is not possible, then when choosing fiber cement boards need to pay attention to the following parameters:
- the size of one panel for cladding large planes need large leaves, and Vice versa,
- the structure of the surface of the panels smooth or embossed that identifies the style of the design,
- indicators of fire and moisture resistance, which determine the durability of the material,
- the level of noise and heat insulation, ensure the comfort of living in the house,
- the specific gravity of the material – it depends on the load level, which will be the walls of the house after facing.
It is important when choosing a cladding panels made of fibre cement and have the warranty that the manufacturer gives them. If this period is long, then you can safely purchase the material. But you must understand that the material is damaged under the influence of mechanical loads (dropped, hit) do not fall under the warranty to return or exchange.
Popular brands of fiber-cement plates
Most popular on our market are fibre cement sheets, panels and plates of Japanese origin, but their price is often much higher Russian or European products in this category. The Japanese, for example, Nichiha brand (Nichiha), use a unique technology in their production, and the proportion of materials, a kind of recipe they haven’t revealed to anyone else.
Another Japanese brand cement boards – brand Kmew. The plant operates for more than 40 years, the manufacturing process is constantly being improved, is mnogostupenchataya quality monitoring of products as they are sold in own retail outlets in Russia.
From the Russian manufacturers of the cladding material for the facades it is possible to select multiple brands:
The quality of their products is not inferior to Japanese products, but they cost much cheaper. This is due to their popularity and demand – producers sell on the Russian and European market, a record number of fiber cement and fiber-reinforced concrete panels and slabs.
Not to mention European manufacturers of this material – the Finnish plant minerit, Cembrit from Denmark. They produce exterior finishing materials with high thermal resistance, high quality and competitive but relatively inexpensive.
Rules of installation cement boards
The installation of this cladding material is performed by the standard technology – first, the facade is cleaned from old coating and dirt (dust, glue residue or plaster), then mounted crate – brackets and load-bearing elements, and the decoration of the facade of fiber cement plates.
To cope with the task even Amateur, but only if he previously examine all the features of the material, the rules of work with it, be patient and diligence, or to enlist the support of a qualified specialist.
To get advice on how to install cement boards on the facade, and the sellers shop finishing and building materials. They are also required to help with the calculation of the required amount of material, consumables, sheathing and fasteners. If you are denied such a service, it is best to choose a different outlet. In addition, the shop is obliged to provide the buyer with the documents accompanying the goods – certificates of quality and compliance, product description, instructions for its use from the manufacturer where indicated and the warranty. They must be at each outlet, regardless of its scale and sales, the documents are attached to each bundle fiber cement panels.