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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Iowa City, IA
    Posts
    97

    Default Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    I observed a lot of vertical cracks within the East exposure of an attached garage. This was a large and expensive home built in 2006. The cement fiberboard was limited to two attached garage areas, and the vertical cracks appeared to be limited to this single exposure. The cracks also appeared to have developed at the central most area of the individual pieces of siding, but all the way across and throughout the East exposure. Has anyone seen this type of condition and have any idea what may have caused the cracks. No cracks or signs of issues were visible within the visible portion of the poured concrete foundation below this side of the garage, and there was nothing reflected through the interior sheetrock wall, or signs of problems in the garage floor. Could this have been caused by an installation issue?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    I have not seen that before. I would be leaning toward a defective product, might try to find out what brand was used and have the owner put in a claim with the manufacturer.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,251

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    The cracks are 'V' shaped, not sure if that indicates anything or not.

    I've seen similar cracking (except not a 'V' top to bottom) when blind nailing was used and the nails not driven tight - the boards crack over the protruding nail heads.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    I would be leaning toward a defective product or more likely mis-handled product during delivery or installation.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,340

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    If it's localized to one elevation, it's likely an installation error, not defective product.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,777

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    Is there a possibility that the wall framing had a bulge in that area? Meaning the boards were bent/stressed as they were nailed.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    rockport texas
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    Improperly stored at the job site or installed when the product was wet


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Lansdale, PA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    It would be interesting to know whether the cracks are generally at the same location from the ends of each piece. If so, a bundle or more may have been bent and cracked.

    - - - Updated - - -

    It would be interesting to know whether the cracks are generally at the same location from the ends of each piece. If so, a bundle or more may have been bent and cracked.

    Also could have been dropped.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    FL, TX
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    Quote Originally Posted by stanley frost View Post
    Improperly stored at the job site or installed when the product was wet
    From my experience being wet does not cause any issue at installation of concrete based siding. When using circular blades to cut concrete siding we use water to inhibit dust regularly. Of coarse concrete board shears are much better to use..

    I have installed thousands of square feet of concrete siding and no issue from moisture. It dries readily long before one would paint.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by stanley frost View Post
    Improperly stored at the job site or installed when the product was wet
    From my experience being wet does not cause any issue at installation of concrete based siding. When using circular blades to cut concrete siding we use water to inhibit dust regularly. Of coarse concrete board shears are much better to use..

    I have installed thousands of square feet of concrete siding and no issue from moisture. It dries readily long before one would paint.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Reinmiller View Post
    It would be interesting to know whether the cracks are generally at the same location from the ends of each piece. If so, a bundle or more may have been bent and cracked.

    - - - Updated - - -

    It would be interesting to know whether the cracks are generally at the same location from the ends of each piece. If so, a bundle or more may have been bent and cracked.

    Also could have been dropped.
    It would make sense to utilize any damaged siding in a less conspicuous place if some homeowner or builder decided not to toss that material.

    The other (more unlikely) possibility is that the foundation settled in that area causing the cracks. If it is a garage wiht unfinished interior or visible foundation inside that is very easy to check. CHeck the garage foundation and if no problem just note the damage and that it may have been installed that way.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    579

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    Possible impact damage from kids hitting soccer balls, base balls, etc. against the house? It's a possibility.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Marietta, Georgia
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    I have seen this really quite often and have always attributed it occurring on the sunny side of the home where there is a great deal of expansion and contraction from the sun. However, it is often only one panel here and there and never a pattern indicating settlement of the structure. I am surprised we don't see it more often considering it is rather rigid and easily breaks at corners and if too much material is notched out around a window or other opening. One to two boards here and there do not get much mention from me in the report.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    Looks to me like an attachment problem. The boards don't seem to lie evenly against the course below. Do they sag? That would account for the V-shaped cracks, and the fact that they are near the center of the boards. Is the other exposure as wide?

    Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago.
    - James Burgh, 1754.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
    Posts
    1,842

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    Mechanical damage from the assembly?
    Maybe pneumatic fasteners poorly placed loosening and protruding back out the studding onto the cement board causing mechanical damage.
    What neck of the woods was that home built? 4 season climate.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lake Barrington, IL
    Posts
    1,363

    Default Re: Vertical Cracks in Cement Fiberboard Siding

    The cracks I will see are quite a bit smaller and usually more numerous on the boards. Fiber cement has it's limits when bent. Hairline cracks usually won't be recognized as a defect and will likely be attributed to improper storage and / or transport. James Hardie, builders and contractors will often duke it out when placing responsibility.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

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