Defective Siding Products

There are hundreds of potential siding related problems. Most of you visiting this site might be familiar with the obvious ones such as Louisiana-Pacific siding or hazardous asbestos shingle siding. However, siding problems could be the result of poor installation, extreme weather exposure, improper nailing, inadequate flashing, poor paint coverage, inappropriate caulking, fungal growth, or delayed maintenance. These are just a few samples of what might be causing your siding problems. The bottom line is that you have a problem that needs to be addressed before it leads to more significant problems, costs, or headaches.

What is composite wood siding?

There have been well over 100 different types of wood composite sidings manufactured in the last fifty years. They have been manufactured to look like horizontal lap siding, panel (T1-11) siding, board & batten siding, cedar shingle siding, and just about anything else available in real wood.

Most wood composite siding products are made with wood by-products such as Orientated Strand Board (OSB) (also known as Wafer Wood) or sawdust. The by-products are generally mixed with resins and pressed together to make panels typically 3/8" to 5/8" thick. Next, faux wood grain embossed overlays are adhered to the face of the panels with resin and heat. Finally, the large panels are cut into smaller panels or lap siding.

How to identify composite wood siding:

The age of your home might be a good indicator of what type of siding you have.

Your home was built: You might have:
1980 - 1998 Masonite Hardboard Siding
Masonite Omniwood Class Action Suit
mid 1980s - Dec. 1995 Louisiana-Pacific Inner-Seal Siding
1981 - 1999 Weyerhaeuser Hardboard Siding
1982 - 1997 Stimson Forestex
Stimson Forestex Class Action Suit
1992 - late 1990s Masonite Omniwood
Masonite Omniwood Class Action Suit
(most was installed in the Northwest 1994-1999)
after Jan. 1996 Louisiana-Pacific Siding
Most likely the next generation product not covered under the class action lawsuit. You will need to file a warranty claim directly with Louisiana-Pacific if you are having problems.)

The short story about these products is based on moisture.  If the siding is not fully protected from the elements, moisture is absorbed into the siding often resulting in warping, rotting and a need for replacement.  After installation (generally the point you are now in) you will attempt to best maintain these products by keeping the painting secure and by using quality paint when repainting and checking and maintaining the product twice a year with caulking around windows, between connecting pieces of siding where expansion has left a gap, around any other penetrations through the siding (e.g. around plumbing/gas lines, air conditioning lines, etc.), followed by touch up paint to keep best protected from moisture.  Rotten or damaged siding should be replaced.  Since water generally will "hang" on the bottom edge of siding, extra care should be given to fully paint and caulk the lower edge of siding to help prevent "sponging" up into the product.

One issue not in your control is water penetration prior to now, prior to your ownership or even prior to the siding being installed.  Since the siding may have even been left outside and unprotected next to your home prior to its even being installed and first painted, there could even be moisture damage to the product before the home was first sold.

Homeowners all over the country live everyday with different defective materials in and on their homes.  You should have a professional inspector or specialist help you to evaluate the extent, if any, of damage to your home and potential actions you can take from there.




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