Cleaning & Care Comparison: Composite Cladding, Fiber Cement & Wood

Cleaning and caring for your siding is essential to maintain its appearance and durability over time. However, each cladding type has different maintenance needs. In this blog, we’ll compare how to clean and care for three popular cladding options: ALIGN Composite Cladding, James Hardie fiber cement siding and wood siding.

ALIGN Composite Cladding

In most cases, regular rainfall will sufficiently clean ALIGN Composite Cladding. However, periodic rinsing of your ALIGN Composite Cladding with clear water from a garden hose is recommended. 

For a more thorough cleaning, or for areas with high soil collection, follow these simple instructions:

  • Use a soft-bristled, long-handled brush attached to your garden hose to avoid creating glossy areas on the cladding.
  • For hard-to-remove dirt, a solution of powdered detergent, household cleaner, and water can be used.
  • Remember to rinse the entire surface with fresh water immediately after washing and avoid prolonged or high-pressure rinsing of open areas.

James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding

When it comes to cleaning fiber cement siding, you’ll need a few basic tools: a soft cloth, a soft brush, and a garden hose. It’s important to avoid using a hard metal brush or abrasive sponge as these can damage the siding’s finish.

Follow these tips to clean and care for your James Hardie fiber cement siding:

  • Work from top to bottom, focusing on a small section at a time, to reduce drips and streaks. 
  • If you’re using a brush, start by brushing off any surface dust or dirt, and then rinse the area with a garden hose.
  • If you prefer using a soft cloth, dampen it with water and wipe the area in a side-to-side motion, following the direction of the plank, shingle, or panel siding until it’s clean.
  • Once you’ve cleaned the area, rinse the siding thoroughly with clean water.


Wood Siding

Wood siding requires regular maintenance to protect it from moisture and keep it looking its best. Cleaning wood siding involves a different approach compared to composite or fiber cement options.

Follow these tips to clean and care for your wood siding:

  • Use a soft brush or broom to remove loose dirt and debris.
  • Mix a mild detergent or wood cleaner with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Apply the solution to the siding using a soft brush or sponge, working in small sections. Scrub gently to avoid damaging the wood fibers.
  • Rinse the area with water, ensuring that no cleaning solution remains on the surface.
  • Inspect your wood siding for signs of rot or decay and address any issues promptly to maintain its longevity.