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  1. #1
    Kirk Hersee's Avatar
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    Default Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Hey guys. I just got a response to one of my recently submitted reports concerning the hardboard siding on a house. I was asked that the next time I specify whether it is clapboard or hardiplank. I didn't know there was a difference. So, I come to the pros. Are there different types of hardboard siding? And which would this one be? Thanks, Kirk

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Hardiplank is a proprietary fiber cement siding made by James Hardie James Hardie: World Leader in Fiber Cement Siding and Backerboard

    Clapboard is just a style of siding, not a material. Clapboard can be wood, composition, or even vinyl or aluminum in a clapboard style.

    Hardboard siding (Masonite in one brand name) is made from wood fiber, wax and resins with external textures designed to look like lumber siding. There are quite a few class action suits against different manufacturers of hardboard siding. Just Google "hardboard siding"). If moisture gets into the ends, around nails, etc. due to failure to maintain the paint or caulking (such as around windows), the products are notorious for absorbing the moisture and then buckling, warping, disintegrating, etc.

    Just my humble opinion, but any product that is so sensitive to damage from moisture has no place being used as siding.

    The differentiation between Hardiplank and hardboard siding is important due to the known problems with hardboard.


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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Kirk,

    As Steve said (only in different words), hardboard is basically the same stuff peg board is made from - with a similar tempered finish, and neither stands up well to moisture ... which is why it is strange that hardboard was ever used for exterior siding.

    HardiePlank is a cementitious based fiber material which is much more resistant to damage from moisture.

    Based on the damaged edges in your photo, that is hardboard. There have been several class action law suits over hardboard siding because of its failures. Hardboard is a generic name for pressed wood fiber material made by Masonite, LP, etc.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    But no clapboard or hardiplank versions of hardboard? And thanks for the fast responses


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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    Hey guys. I just got a response to one of my recently submitted reports concerning the hardboard siding on a house. I was asked that the next time I specify whether it is clapboard or hardiplank. I didn't know there was a difference. So, I come to the pros. Are there different types of hardboard siding? And which would this one be? Thanks, Kirk
    Kirk,

    Difficult to tell what kind of siding is present. As Steve said, the siding on this home is a clapboard, but whether fiber, OSB/waferboard, hardboard, or cement-fiber cannot be said without a much closer pic, and even then it might not be possible to tell for sure. In addition to Hardie, I believe that Certainteed also makes a cement-fiber product. There may be others. Hardie has been doing it for a lot of years.

    Looks like there is some damage along the bottom edges of most of the planks in your photo. If it is swollen and soft, that would be a good indication that it is not cement-fiber.

    I recommend that you visit some of your local lumberyards and see if you can get some siding samples. At the very least, become familiar with the types of siding that are used in your area. You might be able to pick up some scraps at construction sites (if anyone is building).

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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    But no clapboard or hardiplank versions of hardboard?

    Not sure what you are asking.

    "Clapboard" is a style of siding houses look like, with horizontal siding overlapping the top edge of the plank below it, originally made from wood boards nailed in place.

    Hardboard was a paper based product which was made to give the look of a "clapboard" sided house.

    HardiePlank is also made to give that look.

    There were several styles of wood siding which were installed to give that look: square planking, beveled, planking, shiplap planking where the top was curved back from the front, and others.

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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    But no clapboard or hardiplank versions of hardboard? And thanks for the fast responses
    Kirk,

    Clapboard is a style of siding. Siding that is installed horizontally.

    James A Hardie is a manufacturer. They make clapboard and sheets/panels. Hardieplank, Hardiepanel and Hardiebacker (for tile).

    Hardboard is a fiber material. As Jerry said, hardboard was manufactured into clapboard as well as panels. In my area, a lot of it was made by Masonite. Most of it from the '60s is holding up pretty well. It is the more recent products that are failing

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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Tcha!

    Beat to the punch by JP again! Why do I even bother?

    Kirk,

    As I said, head down to a lumberyard and look around.

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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Here are some styles of shiplap siding which hardboard and HardiePlank try to look like.

    http://www.columbiacedar.com/pdf/07Profiles.pdf

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    "Not sure what you are asking."

    Well, the reviewer wants, in the future, the type of hardboard siding that is on the house specified in the report; whether it be a clapboard or a hardiplank. I, myself, didn't think there was anything but just hardboard (not clapboard style hardboard or hardiplank style hardboard - which is what they want me to discern). So, I was basically asking if anyone knew if there was any other type of hardboard siding other than the type in the photo. I understand that the photo doesn't show enough detail, so I'm hoping you'll understand that I verified this while performing the inspection and it is indeed hardboard. A compressed, cardboardy, (if you will) type of siding. I'm beginning to think that I was right in my assumption that there are no other types of hardboard.


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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    "Not sure what you are asking."

    Well, the reviewer wants, in the future, the type of hardboard siding
    What I really think they are asking is IF IT IS "hardboard" siding or SOME OTHER TYPE of siding.

    If it is "hardboard" siding, they want to know, and should know.

    If it is some other type of siding, wood, HardiePlank, etc., they probably don't really care.

    I think what you are missing here is that "hardboard" siding is a TYPE of sliding which no one wants, almost anything else will be better.

    Instead of calling it "hardboard siding", which is a misnomer, you should call it "horizontal siding", and then try to identify it as "wood", "hardboard", "cementitious" ("cement board" like HardiePlank), or whatever.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    OK . . . I am going to post this email so can tell me what you think she means. Keep in mind that I know clapboard and hardboard siding (I have yet to lay my eyes on hardiplank).

    "Next time, could you please specify if the hardboard siding is hardiplank or clapboard in the commentary?
    Thank you."


    To me, that is asking if the hardboard itself is a hardiplank or clapboard style hardboard. As if there are 2 different types of hardboard.

    I don't know of any other way to ask if you know if there are different types of hardboard siding. I have only ever seen the type in the photo. Thank you for your efforts. Kirk


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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    OK . . . I am going to post this email so can tell me what you think she means. Keep in mind that I know clapboard and hardboard siding (I have yet to lay my eyes on hardiplank).

    "Next time, could you please specify if the hardboard siding is hardiplank or clapboard in the commentary?
    Thank you."

    To me, that is asking if the hardboard itself is a hardiplank or clapboard style hardboard. As if there are 2 different types of hardboard.

    I don't know of any other way to ask if you know if there are different types of hardboard siding. I have only ever seen the type in the photo. Thank you for your efforts. Kirk
    Kirk,

    Let's address it this way.

    What did you put in your report?

    Her wording implies you put hardboard siding in the report, but did you?

    What was the wording you used in describing the siding in the report that she is asking about?

    With that information I believe we can answer your question.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    OK . . . I am going to post this email so can tell me what you think she means. Keep in mind that I know clapboard and hardboard siding (I have yet to lay my eyes on hardiplank).

    "Next time, could you please specify if the hardboard siding is hardiplank or clapboard in the commentary?
    Thank you."


    To me, that is asking if the hardboard itself is a hardiplank or clapboard style hardboard. As if there are 2 different types of hardboard.

    I don't know of any other way to ask if you know if there are different types of hardboard siding. I have only ever seen the type in the photo. Thank you for your efforts. Kirk
    Looks to me like the agent does not know what clapboard siding is. Do you want to educate him/her?

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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Me thinks that she does not know what she means. My guess is that she wants to know if it is hardboard siding, because of the class action suits with this type of product. She was probably told to find out by higher-ups, and the question got lost in the translation.


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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Gunnar, Steve,

    It could also be in Kirk's wording in the report, which is why we need Kirk to post that wording.

    If the wording in the report is correct and not confusing we can help him answer the agent's question.

    If the wording in the report is incorrect or confusing, we can help him with his wording for future reports.

    As it stands, though, we simply do not know enough to answer his question.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Luckily, the wording in my report is a simple entry of percentage (in this case 100% in the hardboard field). There are several form fields for siding and roofing materials and all you have to do is place the proper percentage in the field. No "wording" necessary (up until now). I simply put 100% in the hardboard field and that was that. Keep in mind that before this particular report I had never had to answer this question. I seriously don't come across a large percentage of this type of siding (mostly actual clapboard, shingles & shakes and vinyl, some aluminum and of course your veneers; stone and brick, and very little T-111 and plank siding). Kirk


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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    Luckily, the wording in my report is a simple entry of percentage (in this case 100% in the hardboard field). There are several form fields for siding and roofing materials and all you have to do is place the proper percentage in the field. No "wording" necessary (up until now). I simply put 100% in the hardboard field and that was that. Keep in mind that before this particular report I had never had to answer this question. I seriously don't come across a large percentage of this type of siding (mostly actual clapboard, shingles & shakes and vinyl, some aluminum and of course your veneers; stone and brick, and very little T-111 and plank siding). Kirk
    Umm... So this is a "checklist" report and not narrative?

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Umm... So this is a "checklist" report and not narrative?
    This part is. There is a comment box at the bottom of the first page for any details concerning hazards and "conditions" that the insurance companies would want explained further. Otherwise, the only other areas of "free writing" are where I would put the year built of the home & square footage. So, for the most part, yes, it is a checklist report.


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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    Luckily, the wording in my report is a simple entry of percentage (in this case 100% in the hardboard field).
    Kirk,

    I am beginning to see the problem.

    YOU called it all "hardboard". Which in the case of the photo seems to be correct and may save you a bundle.

    There are several form fields for siding and roofing materials and all you have to do is place the proper percentage in the field. No "wording" necessary (up until now). I simply put 100% in the hardboard field and that was that.
    What other options for the siding do you have?

    I seriously don't come across a large percentage of this type of siding (mostly actual clapboard, shingles & shakes and vinyl, some aluminum and of course your veneers; stone and brick, and very little T-111 and plank siding).
    And what do you check off when you see those other siding types?

    Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled programming ...

    The answer to this question: "Next time, could you please specify if the hardboard siding is hardiplank or clapboard in the commentary?" is

    "Hardboard" siding is a pressed fiber product which is know for its failures and that is the type of siding which is on that house.

    "HardiePlank siding is a cementitious cement-fiber board siding which is not "hardboard".

    "Clapboard" siding is a style of siding, originally horizontal wood planks in various profiles. "Clapboard" siding can be wood board, hardboard, HardiePlank, or other products, in fact vinyl siding produces a "clapboard" style look.

    I checked "hardboard" as that siding is "hardboard" and there is no relation between "hardboard" and HardiePlank, and "clapboard" is simply a style which the siding is horizontal planking, which that house has.

    I hope this explains the different types of sidings sufficiently where you will recognize "clapboard" as a "style" and "hardboard" as a type of material in future reports.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    This part is. There is a comment box at the bottom of the first page for any details concerning hazards and "conditions" that the insurance companies would want explained further. Otherwise, the only other areas of "free writing" are where I would put the year built of the home & square footage. So, for the most part, yes, it is a checklist report.
    I would say that more comment is necessary, particularly if there is any damage. The pic that you posted shows what appears to be swollen bottom edges of the siding. That would be a reportable condition.

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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    I would say that more comment is necessary, particularly if there is any damage. The pic that you posted shows what appears to be swollen bottom edges of the siding. That would be a reportable condition.
    Actually I did comment on this siding's condition. That it was chipping and swollen.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Kirk,

    What other options for the siding do you have?
    - clapboard, cement fiber, new england shingles, shakes, t-111, wood plank, vinyl, aluminum, brick and stone veneers, solid brownstone, hardboard, stucco, steel, window wall, log, poured concrete and a couple other variatons.


    And what do you check off when you see those other siding types?

    - I enter a percentage. If the house only has one type of siding, then it's 100%. If there's more than one type then I add the linear footage of the exterior walls and get my percentages by dividing into the total amount.

    "Clapboard" siding is a style of siding, originally horizontal wood planks in various profiles. "Clapboard" siding can be wood board, hardboard, HardiePlank, or other products, in fact vinyl siding produces a "clapboard" style look.
    That sort of says it the opposite way around. Hardboard may not be clapboard or hardiplank, but clapboard can be hardboard.


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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    Actually I did comment on this siding's condition. That it was chipping and swollen.
    Did you report it as "siding is in need of replacement"?

    You should have.

    There is no "repair" for hardboard siding, only "replacement".

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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    That sort of says it the opposite way around. Hardboard may not be clapboard or hardiplank, but clapboard can be hardboard.
    Umm... Not exactly.

    Hardboard is a material. Hardieplank is a brand name of a cement-fiber material. Like plywood, solid wood, OSB, stucco, brick, metal, vinyl, etc are different types of materials.

    More accurate to say hardboard is not Hardieplank rather than hardboard may not be Hardieplank.

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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    I think would report it as being at or close to the end of its usefull life and will need replacing very soon.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Did you report it as "siding is in need of replacement"? You should have. There is no "repair" for hardboard siding, only "replacement".
    Actually, in these reports, the description of the condition along with the photo is all they request. I could say that I think it needs replacement, but they don't care that much what I think. They'll make the judgement. Plus, they know about hardboard, so they're the ones to determine any solution.


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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    Actually, in these reports, the description of the condition along with the photo is all they request. I could say that I think it needs replacement, but they don't care that much what I think. They'll make the judgement. Plus, they know about hardboard, so they're the ones to determine any solution.
    Most contracts for the purchase of a house include an inspection clause which includes repairing or giving money for deficiencies in the inspection, by simply describing what you are seeing without stating what should be done does not make it a deficiency, just an inspector observation, which does not help your client out at all, in which case why even hire you?

    From your statement I think you need to rethink how you are doing your reports.

    How long have you been in the business?

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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Kirk,

    I am not sure you understand the terms you are using.

    Clapboard is STYLE of siding.

    Hardboard is a MATERIAL.

    Clapboards can be made of several types of material including but not limited to cement, vinyl, wood, and hardboard. Clapboard is not a material, it is an horiztonal installation style of overlaping materials.

    Hardboard is a material, with a "cardboardy" feel/look.

    Sounds like you are doing an inspection for an insurance company and not necessarily a home inspection for a buyer. The inspection company may have its own checklist form and you may not be checking the boxes correctly or the insurance person does not know what question they really should be asking.

    As already mentioned, they probably want to know if there is hardboard material or not.

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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Most contracts for the purchase of a house include an inspection clause which includes repairing or giving money for deficiencies in the inspection, by simply describing what you are seeing without stating what should be done does not make it a deficiency, just an inspector observation, which does not help your client out at all, in which case why even hire you?

    From your statement I think you need to rethink how you are doing your reports.

    How long have you been in the business?
    Ah Jerry, I think you might have forgottent that I do insurance inspections and not home inspections. These only pay $15/job. Sometimes the inspection may be due to an insured changing their policy or agent/company. The photos and inspectors comments are the meat of these reports. Along with the square footage, story height, etc . . . the insurance company has been satisfied with my reports as has the company I have been working for for over 2 years now. Same company and 1000 inspections later (some interior, some exterior, some high value).
    As for how I do my reports, I guess a little extra detail can't hurt in the comments section (as I said, there is no other way to do my reports since I basically just check boxes and type in numbers).

    Remember my initial question only had to do with the reviewer wanting to know if the siding was one type of hardboard or the other.


  31. #31
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Kirk,

    I am not sure you understand the terms you are using.

    Believe it or not, I do. I think the reviewer might have gotten mixed up as I received an email this morning by someone higher up (in Quality Management) that is looking into this.


    Sounds like you are doing an inspection for an insurance company...

    There ya go.


    The inspection company may have its own checklist form and you may not be checking the boxes correctly. . .

    Thankfully, I did check (or type in 100% as it were), the hardboard siding.

    . . . or the insurance person does not know what question they really should be asking.

    There's a possibility.

    As already mentioned, they probably want to know if there is hardboard material or not.

    And it is, as it was what I chose for the siding type. The question posed by the reviewer was what type of hardboard siding is it; clapboard or hardiplank. Which as I am gathering is not really an educated question.
    Next . . .


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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    It could get better because some of the hardboard siding is made to look like clapboard siding!

    I would not even try educating them. Most likely the underwriters have a "Black and White" form that does not allow for variations.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
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  33. #33
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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    I apologize for not reminding everyone that I am an insurance inspector. That may have lessened some of the misunderstanding. I am letting QM figure out what they want, since there is only one selection I can make, other than commenting in the comments, its best this way. By the way, here is an example of the form.

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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    Hardboard is a material, with a "cardboardy" feel/look.
    Have you ever noticed that there is only ONE LETTER different between "cardboard" and "hardboard", or, as I have called it "hardlyboard" as it is "hardly" a "board" .

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    Ah Jerry, I think you might have forgottent that I do insurance inspections and not home inspections.
    Kirk,

    Guilty as charged!

    Sorry.

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    Default Re: Hardboard and HardiePlank

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Hersee View Post
    By the way, here is an example of the form.
    That form is incorrect in that it lists "clapboard" by itself. The next choice over is "clapboard, redwood". The first choice should state "clapboard, wood" ... or better yet, drop the "clapboard" from both as "clapboard" is a style, not a material and they are listing material.

    The insurance company could definitely use some feed back and change their form.

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    Default Re: Hardboard and Hardiplank

    Ohhh-Kaaayyy. This whole conversation makes a lot more sense now. Could not figure out why an HI would just state 100% hardboard and not go much further.

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