Regarding the question about whether back-priming is required on cement siding (Q&A, 12/09): We have completed cement-siding jobs using both factory-prefinished and site-finished material. None of it was back-primed, and all the installations are performing well. I believe the cement-siding manufacturers are correct in not requiring back priming.

However, there’s a more important question: With factory coatings, should you hand-seal every cut? I believe the painful answer is yes. The factory finisher on our last cement job included a very small note in its warranty stating that if all cuts were not sealed, the 25-year warranty would be voided. So we hand-painted every cut, even though...

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