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  1. #1
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    Default Composite Siding

    Would you please comment on above conditions?
    I donít like what I see but is it really a problem?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    As the manufactured/fiber sidings soak up water, they swell. Very much like particleboard. While the siding might not be rot damaged, it is damaged. The only thing to do is replace. Yes, it is a problem that will get worse with age.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Thank you for replay.
    I wish I knew how to explain it in the report.

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    Last edited by Zibby Swieca; 02-11-2008 at 07:26 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    I sometimes struggle with what to say about this type of siding when the condition is not too bad. It's not a question of if but when it's going to fail.

    Luckily, in this case there's no wondering what to write. That stuff is trashed and no contractor with a pulse would ever say anything otherwise.

    When perfectly installed and diligently painted wood composite siding can last 20 or 25 years. The other 95% of the time it's significantly less. In most cases it's pretty bad at 10 years, really bad at 15 and..... well, you get the point.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Quote Originally Posted by Zibby Swieca View Post
    Thank you for replay.
    I wish I knew how to explain it in the report.
    Assuming it's as bad as your pictures everywhere.... I'd say something like....

    The siding throughout the xxx area of the house is a wood composite type that is somewhat prone to water absorption and damage, particularly around fasteners and seams with other materials. A moderate to heavy amount of swelling and damage was found in areas throughout. Further siding contractor evaluation and repair of the wood composite sidng around xxx areas of the house is recommended.

    I might add a bit more fluff but that's the general idea. Honestly, from those pictures, that stuff is pretty far gone.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    This is well said.
    Thank you.
    I donít want to criticize the siding too much.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Quote Originally Posted by Zibby Swieca View Post
    I donít want to criticize the siding too much.
    Don't worry, you can't hurt its feelings.


  8. #8
    Marty Hurst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    That Matt Fellman sums it up pretty good there. If not porperly painted the results will be like your pictures. There was a recall on some of this siding several, several years back because carpenters are not painters.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Looks to me as if the siding installer or carpenter used a bit too much force with the hammer driving in some of the nails.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    You're right Rick... The other comments I have in my 'collection' have to with under-driven and over-driven fasteners. Granted, the guys installing it often do a poor job but it's also just a tough material to do well.

    Honestly, with how poor it performs, I'm surprised it's even sold. If I ran the world this stuff would only be allowed on dog houses.

    Up here in soggy Oregon it just doesn't last.... and we have a ton of it.


  11. #11
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    While I agree with most of the way it's written, I would add that it is in need of *replacement* and that if left "as-is", there are ramifications. Something like this:

    The siding throughout the xxx area of the house is a wood composite type that is somewhat prone to water absorption and damage, particularly around fasteners and seams with other materials. A moderate to heavy amount of swelling and damage was found in areas throughout. It is my recommendation that a siding contractor replace all areas of damage/ rot.

    The client/buyer is hereby advised that this type of siding is at the age that further damage (water damage/ rot/ swelling/ general deterioration) will take place in the near future and the conditions present at the time of inspection will not get better over time. Ultimately the present conditions will cause additional damages that may not be visible.


    Or, the like...
    Rich

    Last edited by Richard Rushing; 02-12-2008 at 09:38 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    That's funny Richard.... I have the same thought on most things but with this I almost hate to imply that keeping any of it is okay.... which would be the case if only the damaged part were to be replaced. But your point is well taken.

    This stuff is such junk that I want to just tell them to throw it away and start over but that's sometimes a tough case to sell (and honestly more than I'm there for) if it's not damaged...... yet.

    As you elude to, my standard verbage is something like.... 'any damaged materials should be removed and replaced'

    At the end of the day just identifying the damage is the most important part. It's definitely something I've gotten better at over the years. Around windows and doors is a hot spot for sure. Sometimes, if it's been freshly painted, it shows no signs but you can stick your thumb through it like oatmeal.

    This is likely going way beyond what most are interested in but, what the hay.... the game I'm watching is a blowout so here goes:

    About 5-10 years ago when LP (Louisiana Pacific) settled one of their class-action suits they agreed to a certain set of specs that would define a 'failed' piece of siding. Although most of the hype was around the horizontal lap siding I believe similar specs applied to the sheet (T1-11) stuff.

    Anyhow, there were specs for moisture content, amount of swelling (measured with a micrometer) and one other criteria I can't remember (at least I think there were 3 things). Specialty siding companies would come and measure out the house to determine a precise % of failed siding which would in turn calculate out to an amount of money the owner was due.

    Unfortunately for a lot of people they waited for a bigger settlement that never came about. The most I ever heard of anyone getting was about 40 cents on the dollar for the cost to replace with new materials.

    Having lived and done home inspections exclusively in Oregon I don't really know how much of a situation this was in other areas. Around here it was pretty major. I'd say at least half of the houses built around here from the late 80's to the mid-90's either still have composite siding (rare) or have been replaced (common).


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    Further siding contractor evaluation and repair of the wood composite sidng around xxx areas of the house is recommended.
    Matt,

    I read that and cringed ... there was that dreaded "further ... evaluation" by someone else and no straight out recommendation for repair.

    Then I read this and went ... huh??????

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    with this I almost hate to imply that keeping any of it is okay.... which would be the case if only the damaged part were to be replaced.
    First, you push off making your call onto some contractor for them to 'approve it' if they so wish and not tell your client that it needs to be replaced 'now or later' - that choice is yours to negotiate, but it *WILL* need to be replaced.

    Then you say you hate to imply that keeping it is okay ... but that IS what you did.

    Followed by you stating ...

    This stuff is such junk that I want to just tell them to throw it away and start over but that's sometimes a tough case to sell (and honestly more than I'm there for) if it's not damaged...... yet.
    But ... THAT IS what you are there for - to provide your professional opinion on the house you are inspecting, including the crap installed on the house being used to protect the house from the elements.

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

  14. #14
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Here is an "educational" comment I place in my reports as needed. Then if damage is noted comments are added for that as well.

    ================
    Composition board siding is also known as "pressboard siding", "hardboard siding", "waferwood siding" and "inner-seal siding". All these names refer to the composite wood product made from wafers of wood, coated in resin and formed into a mat. An overlay is placed over the mat and pressed into the panels by heat and pressure and the panels are then cut into boards to make lap or panel siding. The major manufacturers of this product include Louisiana-Pacific (L-P), Georgia-Pacific and Masonite, usually identified by the manufacturer's seal on the underside of the siding board.

    Wood, by its very nature, has a tendency to expand and contract. Compressing the wood during the manufacturing process has placed the wood in an unnatural state. Wood will expand if it is exposed to moisture -- the compressed cells in the wood will expand and swell. Proper installation and maintenance are critical for this product to perform. Exposed edges must be sealed with a good coat of paint, and the wood must remain sealed throughout its life. If the composition board siding is improperly installed or maintained, the siding retains moisture and begins to swell, crack and rot.
    ================


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Keep it simple:

    The siding on this home is hardboard siding, I do not know what brand it is. Over time and many times due to a poor installation the siding will swell as it absorbs water. I found damaged siding in the following locations ............ Replace all of the moisture damaged siding on this home.

    This is pretty much what I say when I find hardboard siding on a home and it has a problem. It pretty much covers everything.

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

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Matt,

    I read that and cringed ... there was that dreaded "further ... evaluation" by someone else and no straight out recommendation for repair.

    Then I read this and went ... huh??????



    First, you push off making your call onto some contractor for them to 'approve it' if they so wish and not tell your client that it needs to be replaced 'now or later' - that choice is yours to negotiate, but it *WILL* need to be replaced.

    Then you say you hate to imply that keeping it is okay ... but that IS what you did.

    Followed by you stating ...



    But ... THAT IS what you are there for - to provide your professional opinion on the house you are inspecting, including the crap installed on the house being used to protect the house from the elements.

    By this logic I'd walk up to a new house and recommend that it all be replaced?????

    According to most industry SOP's, including my state's, we're there to 'determine if a given system is serving its intended function, taking into account wear and tear, etc., etc.'

    I can not like the product or the way it perfoms and I can inform my client of that. In my opinion, going past that is too much.

    I've run into this stuff over 1000 times and have never heard a negative word back yet so I can't be too far off on the way I write it up.

    A) Inform the clients it's a poor product and has longgevity problems
    B) Identify and explain the damage (location, severity, etc)
    C) Recommend a course of action.

    According to my contract and standards I've done what I agreed to do. Trying to get into the head of every siding contractor, buyer, seller and realtor that might happen upon the house seems to be setting me up to need more minutes on my cell phone plan.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Fellman View Post
    By this logic I'd walk up to a new house and recommend that it all be replaced?????
    If it is damaged, ABSOLUTELY!

    That *IS* what we are talking about.

    According to most industry SOP's, including my state's, we're there to 'determine if a given system is serving its intended function, taking into account wear and tear, etc., etc.'
    "taking into account wear and tear, etc." Huh????

    Where did you get that from?

    Either: a) It is working as designed and intended; or, b) It is NOT working as designed and intended.

    If it is "damaged", it obviously is not longer "working as it was designed and intended" to work, I seriously doubt that any manufacturer, when they designed and constructed the product, designed and intended it to fall apart like that siding does. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

    And, IF it is damaged, are you going to write it up for "further evaluation" or call it out for "repair or replace"?

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

  18. #18
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    Smile Re: Composite Siding

    " I seriously doubt that any manufacturer, when they designed and constructed the product, designed and intended it to fall apart like that siding does. I could be wrong, but I doubt it."

    Jerry
    I think that many products are designed and intended to fall apart,
    Siding is but one of them.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    Jerry
    I think that many products are designed and intended to fall apart,
    Siding is but one of them.
    Rick,

    Well, then, IT IS working as intended and does not need replacement of repair, does it?

    Wait ... we can't say 'it is working as intended' unless we also know 'when it is designed and intended to fall apart', 5 years? 10 years? 6 months? Guess we would need to contract the manufacturer and ask them ... wonder when they will say it is designed and intended to fall apart ...

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

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    "taking into account wear and tear, etc." Huh????

    Where did you get that from?

    State SOP's...

    "Submit a report to the client that shall....

    State whether any inspected systems or components do not function as intended, allowing for normal wear and tear; and how, if at all, the habitability of the dwelling is affected"

    That particular part of our SOP's got changed a few years ago and my initial quote was more from the old verbage that's stuck in my head. It was very similar.

    As for rest of it... you've lost me. I think the OP gets the point.


  21. #21
    Jim Zborowski's Avatar
    Jim Zborowski Guest

    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Add one more. In the early and mid seventies a well known manufacturer of pre-fab homes which was fairly popular in our area had their own product which was a ten inch wide siding made of a pressed cardboard.
    Any way you look at it, in its deteriorated condition, it will only degrade faster.
    I would just recomend replacement before the underlying structure suffers damage, if it hasn't already.
    To me, if some white thing with webbed feet waddles up to me and quacks....I call it a duck......no need to defer to a veteranarian. But, thats me.


  22. #22
    Sheryl Davidson's Avatar
    Sheryl Davidson Guest

    Default Re: Composite Siding

    Just to throw in my two cents since I have inspected the various composite sidings under class-action suits for the past 10 years. This does not appear to be any of the sidings currently under class-action. However, I do see it alot and it normally has some type damages. It would not surprise me if it one day does become part of the class action party.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Composite Siding

    It seems that the chances of being targeted in a class action suit go up linearly with how much is sold.

    Everybody always wants to know, "Is it LP?" - OSB board installed poorly and not painted sold under the 'Louisiana Pacific' brand seems to swell up and fail much like OSB board installed poorly and not painted sold by 'Acme Company'

    I still can't believe composite wood siding is even sold. If builders had any scruples at all they'd never touch the stuff. At best it's just barely working. And that's when it's installed well and dilligently painted.

    I might have a somewhat thwarted view since I live and inspect in the soggy Northwest.

    As a side note, it's been at least 10 years since cement fiber siding (mostly H Plank) has been the material of choice and I haven't heard so much as a whimper as to a problem with the material as a whole. Sure, there are isolated installations where it's butchered but for the most part it's lasting very well. I mainly mention this because when it first started people were doubting it.


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