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James HardiePlank™ cementboard siding product information. This article describes the composition, installation, inspection & maintenance or repair of HardiePlank fiber cement board siding. We include discussion of complaints of paint or coating failures and shrinkage gap concerns. On the James HardiePlank cement board siding shown at the top of this page stain was found flaking off of the siding - a subject of consumer complaint about this home located in central Nebraska. Building paper was installed below the siding, there was no evidence of delamination or water damage, and the siding was delivered to the builder (Wardcraft) already stained.
James HardiePlank™cement board siding is a cementious product that has been installed on more than 5 million homes. This material is NOT the same composition as hardboard siding products sold by Abatibi Corp, Masonite Corp., Boise Cascade, and Georgia Pacific Corp, all of which experience failures of delamination, swelling, softening, and general deterioration when exposed to water and weather, depending on the quality of installation, exterior coatings, and maintenance. (Also see SIDING, ASBESTOS CEMENT).
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Reader Marie Carr provided the page top photograph along with the following case history as part of a an investigation into the most-likely cause of a stain flaking problem observed on this building's siding: (See PAINT FALURE, DIAGNOSIS, CURE, PREVENTION for a detailed paint and stain failure analysis guide.)
Note: James HardiePlank™cement board siding is a cementious product that has been installed on more than 5 million homes. This material is NOT the same composition as hardboard siding products sold by Abatibi Corp, Masonite Corp., Boise Cascade, and Georgia Pacific
Corp, all of which experience failures of delamination, swelling, softening,
and general deterioration when exposed to water and weather, depending on the quality of installation, exterior coatings, and maintenance. (Also see SIDING, ASBESTOS CEMENT).
Typical Steps in Diagnosing & Curing HardiePlank™ or Other Cementious-Siding Flaking and Cracking Problems
We also want to inspect or otherwise see photos of all sides of the home, showing distant and closeup images of the failures. We want to know how the peeling varies by location.
We will also want to know the age and leak history of the home – any leaks of any kind that have ever occurred, and where water passed.
HardiePlank® siding instructions require that the surface be painted; they recommend a combination of factory primer and an acrylic topcoat. They are within their rights to object to coating with a stain.
Once a siding coating failure has been observed, we would not paint over the stain before we have some confidence that we know the cause of the failure, and further, that we have some assurance that the paint-over coating will bond with the surface adequately (special prep may be needed) and that it is chemically compatible with the existing stain. Else you may have a new failure.
A very careful collection of surface samples of peeling material as well as some tape samples of the surface right under where a fresh peeled stain has just come off might be diagnostic.
In the forensic laboratory we can examine, and dissect a short piece of siding that is representative of the failure. To examine a failure such as that described above we would need to study a sample in the lab using several methods including by stereo microscope.
Then we would need to prepare a sample of the peeled-off surface, collecting several samples of the peeling material. Those paint chip samples are then examined in cross-section forensically using high powered microscopy – that can tell us whether or not the stain was coming off due to moisture or from another cause. The fee for that level of analysis was (2010) typically around $500. and of course includes a written report and photographic documentation as well as discussion if you have questions about the report and its findings.
A detailed examination of paint or stain thickness on the siding may tell us if the siding was sprayed, and if it was pre-coated before assembly on the home – that might explain, for example, why the stain is very thin on the upper ridges of the material and thicker between them in the simulated wood grain.
The company offers the following recommendation for paint maintenance:
See PAINT FALURE, DIAGNOSIS, CURE, PREVENTION for a detailed series of diagnostic steps in paint or stain failure analysis.
If you have additional siding product failure examples or questions that are not found addressed at InspectAPedia.com you are welcome to contact the author to provide additional field photos or information that may assist others in identifying and repairing siding failures.
Currently (effective in 2011) the company notes that HardiePlank® lap siding comes with a 30-year non prorated, transferable, limited warranty. The company provides two different warranty documents depending on the product designation as HardiePlank® HZ5® or HZ10® Lap Siding. HZ5® describes HardiePlank siding installed in northern U.S. & Canada while HZ10® describes lap siding installed in the Southern portion of the U.S. The following excerpt is from the HZ5 warranty (additional terms and conditions apply - see the company's complete warranty documents).:
Siding installers should take careful note that the siding must have been stored, handled, and installed according to the company's instructions. Other exclusions include:
Building owners should take careful note that paint & coating failures, mold growth, problems due to lack of proper maintenance will void the warranty as may "repair or alteration".
What about CertainTeed WeatherBoard and other fiber cement siding product warranties?
As we also noted at SIDING HARDBOARD, fiber cement building siding (like James Hardie Products (HardiePlank®)) may indeed be a more durable alternative to wood-fiber-based hardboard siding, though certainly some fiber-cement products have been the subject of failures and class actions see AMERICAN CEMWOOD ROOFING. Other fiber cement siding product lines include Maxi-Panel, Maxi-Plank, Cemplank, & FortaFiber.
James Hardie & Asbestos-Cement Product Claims - Fibro
James Hardie Building Products is a Melbourne Australia company founded in 1888. Hardie mined and distributed asbestos as well as asbestos-containing products including asbestos material referred to in some products as "Fibro" that ultimately led to significant litigation and mesothelioma claims. Hardie began labeling asbestos-containing products with a warning notice in 1978 and ceased using asbestos in its products in 1987.
Hardie manufactured asbestos-cement building products (Hardie's Fibrolite Asbestos Cement Building Sheets" (until March 1987)) and other fiber cement products.
In Australia, driveways and garage floors of certain homes built in the 1970's contained asbestos waste from James Hardie.
Also see Asbestos in Carpet Padding? at CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY for other asbestos materials from Hardie.
Also see AMERICAN CEMWOOD ROOFING, and see other cementious siding materials such as JamesHardie HardiePlank Siding and cementious roofing materials such as Corrugated Cement-Asbestos Roofing and ASBESTOS CEMENT & FIBER CEMENT SIDING. Also see Environmental Issues - Asbestos Roofing/Siding. (Also see Hardie's Fibrolite™ or Fibro where used in Australia). Also see ASBESTOS ROOFING / SIDING DUST.
Readers should also see Vapor Barriers on and in buildings - needed behind vinyl siding, see SIDING WOOD, FAILURES OVER FOAM BOARD for wood siding failures over foam (EIFS isn't the only system that might have difficulties), and readers may want to review POLYISOCYANURATE FOAM INSULATION.
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