I was not aware that "Hardie" products came pre-painted. I have used
the 4'x8' sheets, stucco finish, with the trim pieces, but they came
pre-primered not painted. After 8 years my project is looking fine.
I have seen where the product has "rotted" if allowed to be covered
with moist organic material. The board becomes crumbly, but the
finished suface retains paint and general look.
The product failures I have seen were errant pieces of scrap. Judging
from that I would not use in any ground contact situation. Leaf muck
at gutters shouldnt be a problem as the muck would be in the gutter
and/or on the roof and any spillage would dry. However, similar lack
of maintainace, such as allowing leaf materials to build up behind
shrubs, might cause failure. I have not had any failures of painted
surface or finish on installed product.
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