Sources & Effects of Moisture Absorption in Fiber Cement Siding Field report & discussion of moisture levels in fiber cement siding
MOISTURE ABSORPTION into FIBER CEMENT SIDING - CONTENTS: what are the common sources of moisture absorption into fiber cement siding products? Does siding arrive wet from the factory, does it get wet at the jobsite, or does it absorb moisture from leaks or defects after installation? All three of these possibilities are discussed.
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Wet fiber cement siding; fiber cement shingle, shake or clapboards formed moisture sources & effects:
This article describes the probable causes & effects of moisture-uptake problems that occur in fiber cement siding shingle & shake installations in North America, including fiber cement shingle shrinkage gaps at butt joints, cracks, breaks, and loose or buckling shakes.
The article includes research on the sources, causes & effects of water absorption into fiber cement building products.
Possible Sources & Extents of Water Penetration into Fiber Cement Siding
Why Fibre Cement Siding Products Should be Dry When Leaving the Factory
"The Hatsheck process was initially developed for the production of asbestos composites, but it is now used for the manufacture of non-asbestos, cellulose fibre reinforced cement composites.
In the Hatscheck Process, unbleached cellulose fibers are re-pulped in warm water at an alkaline pH of 11 to 12.5; the re-pulped fibers are refined and then mixed with cement, silica sand, and other additives to form a mixture. The fibre cement mixture, is deposited on a felt band substrate, vacuum de-watered,and cured to form a fibre reinforced cement matrix in sheet form. ... In autoclave technology, polymer based composites are manufactured by applying intense heat and pressure to eliminate moisture from fibre cement materials. This leads to composite consolidation and the result is an extremely strong and robust fibre composite material." - Shera™ Fibre Cement Building Materials, 2426/3 Mahaphant Building,
Thailand, Tel: Europe: +44 (29) 212 86505, Thailand: +66 (2) 291 2888 retrieved 12/20/2014, original source - http://www.sheraeu.com/FAQ.html
Protection of Fibre Cement Siding from Weather Before Installation
OPINION: Consider this simple argument: if fiber cement boards as shipped from the factory are coated with a waterproof coating on all six surfaces, why would they be vulnerable to weather or water damage prior to installation? It's only at installation that the boards are cut.
Now the surfaces of FC siding in storage, transit, handling, may be abraded, possibly compromising the water resistance of the material in less obvious or even subtle ways. See Dargontina (2007).
But I agree that manufacturers may vary in the quality and thickness of coating on the various surfaces of the fiber cement siding and that such might cause variation in moisture uptake during storage.
We'd need to see some independent lab tests but from the products I've seen water entry into the product seems to occur from the following sources:
Building leaks behind installed siding at wall penetrations: Water or moisture enters fiber cement siding possibly through improper flashing and sealing around wall penetrations (windows, doors, etc). Significant wetting of the back side of fiber cement boards or panels is likely to contribute to significantly greater expansion in the material than that anticipated by ASTM C1185. - Doggett (2012)
Building leaks behind installed siding at improperly-flashed butt joints: Water or moisture enters fiber cement siding possibly water leaking into the wall behind siding, but unlikely, through improperly-located (too close in successive courses) butt joints.
Usually the head lap and tightly-butted end-joints avoids this trouble. Failure to prime the cut ends of FC siding may also contribute to moisture absortion of the material but since we see butt-joint curling of FC siding even for un-cut, intact, factory-primed or coated boards on all 6 sides, I [DF] am unconvinced about the priming argument.
See BUTT JOINT CURLING in FIBER CEMENT SIDING
See PRIME COAT on END CUTS of FIBER CEMENT SIDING
Delivery of wet fiber cement siding: Depending on how it was produced, dried or not before packaging, or how siding was stored at the supplier, water or moisture enters fiber cement siding. This seems to occur principally before installation through the product's back side that is not coated similarly to the weather side - usually, but significant water penetration may be occurring after installation for some products depending on product properties and other conditions, as we illustrate
at FIBER CEMENT SIDING DEFECT CATALOG.
Really? We have yet to detemrine how fibre cement siding sometimes shows up still factory-shrink-wrapped but soaking wet - worse, more wet in the center of the pallet than at its perimeter. We'd thought that autoclaved fiber cement siding would be at very low water content when leaving the fabrication process.
See SIDING, FIBER CEMENT MOISTURE LEVELS
Jobsite handling: The fiber cement siding manufacturers all warn about carrying FC boards on the flat. We know from field experience that picking up a long board held flat means it's likely to break. But two workers, picking up a board from a pallet may indeed allow the board to sag before it is moved to an edge-up position for carrying to the wall for installation. One wonders if flexing the board might contribute to microscopic fractures in its surface that in turn affect its moisture resistance after installation. Some simple tests and microscopic examination could probably answer this speculation.
Cooke (2009) also cites job-site stresses due to handling of FC siding.
Environmental contaminants: particularly acid rain may affect the product's weather-exposed coatings. - Cooke (2000)
Water penetration of siding from weather exposure: Water or moisture enters fiber cement siding possibly even through the finish weather side coating - though not demonstrated by independent research I've been able to find.
Water penetration behind the film surface coating of FC siding: depending on the coating nature and properties it is possible that un-primed ends of fiber cement siding may permit water to travel along the length of the board from the un-primed cut-end. Cooke (2000) has described the properties of Hatschek machine produced fiber cement products in some detail and supports our [DF] view that the front and hidden sides of FC exterior siding products may have different properties that may contribute to moisture absorption as well as curling in some circumstances.
Examining FC products, and citing curling in FC roofing materials,
Cooke(2000) noted that Hatschek-made cellulose-fiber reinforced cement used in CRFC's
... does not have a homogeneous strutgure and this is a result of the manner of its formation on the Hatschek machine ... by filtration of a dilute slurry of fibers and equidimensional sand and cement particles. This filtration process produces a film that is typically around 0.25 to 0.40 mm thick and each fiber cement sheet comprises a stack of these films. Thus, an 8mm (5/16") thick sheet will consist of between 20 to 30 or more thin films.
... The films themselves are not uniform in composition but have a fiber rich side and a fiber poor side.
Another consequence of the Hatschek process is that the front face of the sheet is also fiber rich ...
concluded in a summary in his paper examining the determants of Hatschek-made cellulose-fiber reinforced cements (CRFC's) this remark that
The paper concludes that 50 years durability for CRFC is a reasonable expectation providing that it is selected, installed, and maintained in a manner appropriate for its anticipated exposure. - Cooke, (2000)
- Thanks to reader E.D.
Cooke's research reports both constradictions and some agreements on FC siding weathering effects, with some showing "no change in properties" (analysed only for rather brief periods of 4-7 years compared with the asserted 50-year life on a building - Ed).
Weather & cycling exposure conditions including temperature variations, moisture levels both constant (seaside) and seasonal, and in some climates freeze-thaw cycles may induce mechancial stresses that might affect the water resistance of the material coating or its moisture uptake. Temperature and moisture variations, because they cause some shrinkage and expansion of the material, may also contribute to micro-fracturing of the material that may affect its moisture uptake.
For FC-covered buildings in deep snow areas (Buffalo NY, USA) the subsequent melting of accumulated snow against this siding (or any building siding material) risks water entry behind the siding and concomitant damage to or deterioration of the siding.
And for structures covered with fiber cement siding in high wind zones (Wellington NZ) or active earthquake zones (all of New Zealand, for example), there are additional repetitive mechanical stresses on the material.
Wet fiber cement siding from production processes: High moisture content or even soaking wet siding may be delivered in that condition from the factory. Water is used in the production process of wood and fiber cement products. See SIDING, FIBER CEMENT MOISTURE LEVELS for an example of siding delivered wet still in the factory shrink-wrap and siding delivered wet after having been re-packaged at the supplier's storage yard.
Wetting of fiber cement siding at the jobsite: very commonly we see fiber cement siding that is not protected from the weather after it has been delivered to the jobsite.
Watch out: If fiber cement siding was installed wet or if the siding's interior surface becomes wet after installation shrinkage, buckling, and related problems may be encountered. Here is what the NichiBoard specification warns:
Do not install boards or components that appear to be damaged or defective. Do not install wet boards. . - NichiBoard_3-part_Spec.docx retrieved 12/16/2014 original source http://nichiha.com/images/uploads/NichiBoard_3-part_Spec.docx
The reader-comments appearing at points in this article were provided by a reader whose siding is further illustrated and discussed at SIDING, FIBER CEMENT SHINGLE-BOARD DEFECTS - Troubleshooting gaps, breaks, peeling, bowing, loose fiber cement siding: causes, remedies. Nichiha Fiber Cement products, performance & warranty field report.
Take a look at these photos taken this morning of the worse area.
There's been a noticeable change -- to me at least -- after the heavy rains here these last few days!
Defects are still obvious but the boards look like they are lying much flatter! And gaps closing!
The photos I took when the apparent warping looked the worse were taken at the end of the summer (a long drying season here -- although we often do get wet fog). I really don't think it looks anywhere near as bad right now as it did back then.
(* that's my own home made duct tape flashing that I put up over the worse spots where house wrap had split)
If the installed fiber cement siding is absorbing water and expanding or swelling this may be worrisome since closing up board butt joint gaps in rain suggests that the material is absorbing water from normal weather conditions and that in this case siding movement in response to moisture changes may be a factor in buckling or fastener failures you reported earlier.
Now siding movement not itself weird: vinyl siding expands contracts in response to temperature swings and therefore is both overlapped and "hung" rather than nailed tightly to the building to avoid trouble. Wood clapboards and other materials also absorb moisture and then dry out as weather cycles occur.
But if the absorption and dryout cause product complaints or failures: buckling, bulging, fastener failure, and then shrinkage, gaps, more leaks, that does not sound promising.
Reader comment: claim that fiber cement board shrinkage or curling is due to absence of end cut primer
My building scientist says:
"Finished products may be either pre-primed or unprimed. It is important to note that coverage of pre-primed surfaces may vary, resulting in uneven protection. Fibers and matrixes may be further exposed through minor cracking, abrasion, and field cuts.
Manufacturers’ requirements for caulking or priming damaged surfaces are poorly achieved under routine installation practices. These exposed fibers create important pathways for moisture absorption, freeze-thaw damage, and fungal colonization. While they may span relatively small areas, these unprotected surfaces can significantly reduce the material’s overall durability even in the absence of extreme moisture or other deleterious agents."
He goes on to describe the various stages of the life cycle of cement fiber at the molecular level -- initially strengthening for a few years after manufacture and then gradually degrading depending upon installation factors. I see mine entering the post-5 year softening phase. - E.D.
Reply: Moisture entry through larger fiber cement board areas is the dominant effect
Really? It's the total area of board that is both exposed to water or moisture absorpation that is key in explaining both board curling complaints and, if installed wet or moist, board shrinkage gap complaints.
If the back surface of a fiber cement board is moisture permeable, or more moisture permeable than the weather side of the board, that is an enormously larger total board area than the end cut exposure. There were other reasons for priming end cuts including avoiding deterioration. We agree with the hint given in your building scientist's quote, that the water resistance of fiber cement board or panel coatings may be compromised by abrasion or other events.
In at least some fiber cement board products, the back surface is visibly less coated or sealed than the weather side. Differences in moisture resistance may be present even when the coatings appear the same to the naked eye (confirmation research needed). If the boards were really waterproof on all surfaces the manufacturers would be less worried about protecting the product from the weather prior to installation - a requirement we see in the installation specifications of every fiber cement board installation guide we've surveyed across several manufacturers.
But it's also important to follow the water. The missing flashing throughout the installation of your siding forms a huge number of water penetrations into the wall, sending far more water down the back side of siding than just what would be absorbed into board end-cuts.
On homes where we removed FC siding we could often see the water marks running down the housewrap, and we also often found significant leaks at window and door tops that had been improperly flashed and sealed.
For the end-prime argument to be determining in water absorption we'd have to agree that the back of a board were waterproof. I'm not convinced that's the case. Boards, even coated, are exposed to abrasion in handling and storage; and the boards of various types and materials that I've examined at suppliers and installed or on jobsites (which do NOT include this product line) manufacturers, I have not found that the back-side of a board was ever coated to the same standard as the weather side.
Here is what Nichiha says about the product's coating:
Every product we make comes off the line with three protective coatings; 2 coats of primer and an anti-efflorescence coating that prevents chalky residue from appearing. The result is a product that holds paint better and looks better longer. We’re confident enough to back that up with the strongest warranty in the business. - original source: http://www.nichiha.com/products/our-process-awp retrieved 12/16/14
And repeating an earlier quote from Nichiha:
Sierra Premium and NichiFrontier products MUST be
kept dry, and stored in a covered area or covered with
a tarp before installation. Moisture saturation before
installation may result in shrinkage and board damage.
Do not install saturated boards.
All pre finished products are required to be stored in
a covered area.
If the boards can become problematically wet before installation, and if water is leaking into the wall after installation, it seems to me that the same risks about which the company warned still pertain.
Don't agree. OK when it rains ... but that's almost never! (why I live here).
On the other hand -- lots of overnight fog and humidity. The house is often "dripping" wet in the morning before the sun comes out. That water easily infiltrates the butt joint/open ends and likely not much further. E.D.
When you can see the back surface of a board it will be instructive to compare its coating to the front side. If we ultimately agree that the back surface is as water-resistant as the exposed weather side that leaves principally but not only the un-primed ends to suspect since IF there is water in the wall it has more time to soak on the back than on the air and sun exposed front of the siding.
And if failure to prime end cuts is the prime problem source we ought to be able to confirm that by in-situ examination of a representative number of butt joints, identifying those that were factory primed, those that were site primed (if any) or otherwise sealed (the manufacturer permits but does not prefer caulk), and those that were left cut-bare.
Keep in mind those repeated warnings from the manufacturer about protecting the material from weather before installation. What are they worried about? Water absorption into the material from immersion, lying flat, not draining. Similar water absorption problems may occur from wet wall conditions.
If/when siding is removed from this home one would want to look closely at the housewrap and at the backs of siding boards for water marks to indicate the areas and amounts of water passage.
[Click to enlarge any image]
I'm not ready ready to give up on back of board entry or blame it all on unpainted ends yet.
Take a look at attached photos.
A single 8 ft length of uncut board with factory primed ends. E.D.
Something happened to the whole board? Both ends lifted and its pretty much making normal looking contact in the middle?
Above, photos show the ends of a factory-primed board curling upwards at left (edge A) and right ends (edge B).
Even with a pound of field experience and a half-pound of forensic lab expertise I can never be as smart diagnosing by e-text nor by photos (I only see where someone else aimed the camera) as can be an on-site observer who has an ounce of sense.
But I'd like to know if you are seeing buckled FC siding ends only at ends that were field-cut and left un-painted, and I'd like to hear that you have inspected factory-sealed ends and found those boards behaving more nicely.
In your photos I see buckled board ends but I can't see the actual cut edge.
On your Edge A Gap photo at above left it looks to me as if the board is lifted for more than a foot and a half along its length.
The idea that moisture got that far into the length of the board only from an entry point at its cut-end is a challenging one.
But if I understand correctly you are showing end-curling at both ends of a board that was not cut in the field, whose ends remained factory sealed, and whose board ends are nonetheless curling upwards in response to moisture.
In my OPINION this would be consistent with water entering through the back side of the board and consistent with more water being present at butt joint openings both at this board and above it. A related argument is simply that the board ends are innately less secured against curling than the board center.
Reader Follow-Up: Fiber Cement Siding Performance when Installed using Best Practices
Today I found another Nichiha [fiber cement-sided] house on the island (its a small place and I thought I'd already found them all)!
Every single house I'd seen (except one) had been installed by the same siding company that did mine -- and there were problems with every one! That exception is an interesting data point. Lots of details from the owner who was intimately involved in every aspect of the construction. They used factory primed but unpainted Nichiha -- did "almost" everything right per install instructions with the exception of butt joints landing on studs and screwing down corners at butt joints.
They caulked vertical abutments, flashed every butt joint and then painted after the install. The overlay was 1 1/2" rather than 1 1/4". Not one rattle or loose board. Very tight. The job was done by finish carpenters during the housing recession here about 4 years ago. Until today it was the best looking Nichiha I'd found.
All the boards are lying flat with no obvious defects. But even here after about 4 years the boards were separating at butt joints -- no warping or curling BUT there are fairly uniform flat separations are occurring at many butt joints in the range of about 3/16" - 1/4" (that the owner is now attempting to caulk) (although at the time of this installation (and mine) the Nichiha recommendation was for a minimum 1/8 gap at joints (now they say moderate contact).
This house I found today was also done just about the same time as mine (according to hearsay) -- by the same installer who did mine! And from what little I was able to see from a cursory examination of one wall, the difference was night and day!
The areas I could examine were unbelievably tight! I couldn't easily identify a single butt joint! It took a while and I did locate a few -- but they were so tight they appeared to be hairline cracks! One big difference between this house and mine is that it doesn't have a large surface area exposed to the sun. I intend to go back again for a closer look at all sides of the house.
But one measurement I did take was overlay -- and this house also used 1 1/2" ! I don't know -- there may be something here! Not one rattle or even slightly loose board. Very tight.
I know that Nichiha came out with a new product line this year. The width was changed from 9 1/4" to 9." The minimum overlay was left at 1 1/4". This automatically gives you a slightly reduced exposure and a reveal the same as these houses. Maybe this is their attempt at trying to fix the issues I'm experiencing? Maybe I'll go even further, to 1 3/4", on my next install? - E.D. 12/17/2014
Reply: High pressure on siding contractors & job costs preclude perfectly dry fiber cement siding installations
I do not think the width reduction addresses shrinkage problems nor nailing issues as the head-lap was left unchanged. Manufacturers change siding width for current market - style reasons as well as to reduce the actual product production cost. Like shrinking chocolate bars sold at the same price as before. Shrinkage gaps won't be affected by a reduced exposure. Buckling might be but not meaningfully.
The Best-Workmanship Fiber Cement Siding Installation Case You Observed
In my experience even in a "perfect" installation FC siding shrinkage shows up to at least some degree. No one measures moisture at the time of installation, the factory typically doesn't even acknowledge that moisture can be measured, and there is no explicit moisture standard (other than what I've published). Rather the manufacturers give subjective guidance "don't install it if it's wet" - which is safe for them to say.
In my OPINION if FC cement later has opening butt joint gaps then it was installed at a moisture level that led to that trouble. How quickly the gaps appear, how wide they are, and where they are depend on original product moisture, sun exposure, and similar factors.
I do not (yet) think that we can explain any meaningful amount of FC shrinkage as occurring because dry-installed product got wet after installation. If the product were installed really dry, butted tightly, then got wet, it'd expand and buckle.
What is also interesting is the observation that at least some FC siding comes visibly wet right from the factory in the original factory-sealed plastic wrap. If at a particular job the FC siding that was delivered was in fact quite dry that job will have the least shrinkage showing up later.
"Send it Back if Wet" vs On-Site Drying of FC Siding
On the "everything right job" that I've detailed the contractor tried leaving boards in the sun, moving them indoors into a dry garage at night, measuring moisture, and keeping work otherwise protected. We even took care to prevent boards from contacting a dry concrete floor.
IT is in fact completely impractical for a contractor to measure every board much less to try to dry them out before installation. There is not enough dry, conditioned, sheltered space, not enough measurement time, and the job bid won't include the costs of such an approach.
When the manufacturer said that the contractor should just send back or refuse to accept doubtful FC siding she was being at best glib.
The contractor has not only bid on a job without assuming extra time and labor to try to dry materials, but w/he has a work schedule committed.
Bailing out on a wet FC siding job for re-scheduling, hoping for a delivery of more dry product (which is itself unpredictable) leads to very large financial losses for the contractor as well as angry clients whose work is delayed.
In sum the contractor is under terrible pressure to keep going and do the best s/he can to fix or minimize problems as the job proceeds. I suspect that it's not one in 1000 cases that a siding contractor rejects FC siding even if it is visibly wet in the package.
Market Impact of Wet FC Siding Shrinkage
However from a few siding contractor conversations I've had on this topic, once the contractor has been burned in job cost, time, losses, or customer complaints, the contractor is simply going to either refuse to install FC siding on future jobs or will take great care to explicitly exclude cosmetic or shrinkage or warping-related issues from any warranty or job responsibility. That's what they tell me.
This problem is not unique to siding of course. There are plenty of other frustrating or costly examples in construction such as some roofing products, even nuisance tripping of AFCI protected electrical circuits.
It's rained again since those first pictures I sent you of the job down the street from me. In between they've since been working their way down the stack installing the wet boards. - E.D. 12/17/2014
More Research Needed on Fiber Cement Siding Complaints
There has been considerable research on fiber cement materials and their properties, including fiber cement siding failures & complaints, cited in the companion articles listed below.
Yet in our OPINION the science is incomplete: we'd really want to make more controlled measurements of moisture levels and shrinkage as well as more detailed analysis of details or hypotheses such as:
If fiber cement products expand due to moisture uptake after installation can that contribute to nail or fastener failures and thus explain buckling or loose boards?
As butt joints are points where wind-driven or other rain or water can enter the siding, to what extent does water penetrate to the siding back surface. Observations of buckling or cupping that find those details only at butt joints would be informative.
To what extent does the product back surface coating repel water uptake?
If the back coating is as effective as the exposed coating why is there a concern for weather or water exposure prior to installation?
How much water intake into the boards occurs through a cut, un-primed end versus through the back side of the siding at a butt joint?
Also see research citations provided at REFERENCES
Composition of fibre cement siding boards and panels - research citations
NichiBoard specifications indicate the product's composition:
Fiber cement panels are manufactured from a pressed, stamped, and autoclaved mix of Portland cement, fly ash, recycled rejects, and wood fiber bundles. - NichiBoard_3-part_Spec.docx retrieved 12/16/2014 original source http://nichiha.com/images/uploads/NichiBoard_3-part_Spec.docx
The product specification also lists first among its performance requirements the following:
A. Fiber Cement Cladding – Must comply with ASTM C-1186, Type A, Grade II requirements:
1. Linear Variation with Change in Moisture Content: 0.08% linear change.
2. Wet Flexural Strength, lower limit: 1015 psi.
3. Water Tightness: No water droplets observed on any specimen.
4. Freeze-thaw: No damage or defects observed.
5. Warm Water: No evidence of cracking, delamination, swelling, or other defects observed.
6. Heat-Rain: No crazing, cracking, or other deleterious effects, surface or joint changes observed in any specimen. - NichiBoard_3-part_Spec.docx retrieved 12/16/2014 original source http://nichiha.com/images/uploads/NichiBoard_3-part_Spec.docx
That some fiber cement siding products contain wood or cellulose fibers including materials from cotton or paper is clear from some research on the topic. Fiberglass is also used in some fibre-reinforced cement products while asbestos was previously used.
See ASBESTOS CEMENT PRODUCTS for a history of the contents & manufacture of these materials.
ASTM C1185, "Standard Test Methods for Sampling and Testing Non-Asbestos Fiber-Cement Flat Sheet, Roofing and Siding Shingles, and Clapboards", retrieved 12/20/2014, original source http://www.astm.org/Standards/C1185.htm
Abstract: These test methods cover sampling and testing of non-asbestos fiber-cement flat sheets, roofing shingles, siding shingles, and clapboards. These products may be smooth or surface textured. The following test methods shall be performed: acceptable quality level; flexural strength; density; dimensional measurements; moisture movement; water absorption; moisture content; water tightness; freeze/thaw for cladding products; warm water; heat/rain–wall structures; heat/rain–roof structures; and freeze/thaw–roofing products. ... These test methods are utilized in evaluating products cited in Specifications C1186, C1225, C1288, and C1325.
ASTM - C20 Test Methods for Apparent Porosity, Water Absorption, Apparent Specific Gravity, and Bulk Density of Burned Refractory Brick and Shapes by Boiling Water
ASTM C1154 Terminology for Non-Asbestos Fiber-Reinforced Cement Products
ASTM C1186 Specification for Flat Fiber-Cement Sheets
ASTM C1225 Specification for Fiber-Cement Roofing Shingles, Shakes, and Slates
ASTM C1288 Specification for Discrete Non-Asbestos Fiber-Cement Interior Substrate Sheets
ASTM C1325 Specification for Non-Asbestos Fiber-Mat Reinforced Cementitious Backer Units
ISO ISO3951 Sampling Procedures and Charts for Inspection by Variables for Percent Nonconforming
Black, Andrew, James Gleeson, Donald Merkley, and Steve Terzian. "Fiber cement siding planks and methods of making and installing the same." [Patent Disclosure] US 20030056458, US Publication No. US20030056458 A1, Published Mar 27, 2003 US, Also published as CA2442840A1
Excerpt: While panels and planks made from wood, wood composites, and fiber-reinforced cementitious materials are inherently solid and thick, further increases in thickness of the fiber cement are not practical for reasons of material cost, weight and handling characteristics of long siding planks. Rather, an assembly that allows the use of less material while maintaining perceived thickness when installed would be beneficial.
Bomers, Joseph JP. "Laminated board." U.S. Patent 4,361,616, issued November 30, 1982.
Cooke, A. M. "Durability of autoclaved cellulose fibrecement composites." In 7th Inorganic-bonded wood and fibre conference. 2000.
Coutts, Robert SP, and P. D. Evans. "Natural Fibre-cement Composites: An Australian Perspective." In ACIAR PROCEEDINGS, pp. 131-139. ACIAR; 1998, 2002. - retrieved 12/20/2014, original source: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/135379/2/PR107.pdf#page=128
Coutts, Robert SP. "A review of Australian research into natural fibre cement composites." Cement and Concrete Composites 27, no. 5 (2005): 518-526.
"Cementitious Roofing And Siding", U.S. Patent 3,841,885, issued October 15, 1974. The process of making a nailable, lightweight, fireproof and waterproof construction slab includes: A. combining Portland cement, perlite, glass fiber, cellulose pulp, slaked lime and water to form an aqueous admixture, and B. forming and curing the slab from said admixture, said curing including subjecting the formed slab to pressurization to squeeze water therefrom.
Dargontina, Jason E., and Donald W. Boespflug. "Abrasion resistant coating for stacks of fiber cement siding." U.S. Patent 7,238,391, issued July 3, 2007.
Doggett, Steven M., Unexpected Expansion of Fiber Cement Panels, [PDF] The Building Exnclosure (website), (14 Feb 2012), retrievedf 12/21/2014, original source: https://builtenv.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/ unexpected-expansion-of-fiber-cement-panels/
Dolmans, Toussaint, and Bertrand Van Acoleyen. "Cementitious building panel with cut bead." U.S. Patent 6,138,430, issued October 31, 2000.
Gleeson, James A., Kalynne H. Paradis, Brian P. Sloane, David L. Melmeth, and Dean M. Seligman. "Fiber cement building materials with low density additives." U.S. Patent 6,572,697, issued June 3, 2003.
Guthrie, Bernard M., and Robert B. Torley. "Composite materials made from plant fibers bonded with portland cement and method of producing same." U.S. Patent 4,406,703, issued September 27, 1983.
Johnson, Robert M., and Elmer M. Melling. "Reinforced cement sheet product containing fibers other than asbestos, clay and thickener." U.S. Patent 4,363,666, issued December 14, 1982.
Merkley, Donald J., and Caidian Luo. "Fiber cement composite materials using sized cellulose fibers." U.S. Patent 6,676,745, issued January 13, 2004.
Merkley, Donald J., and Caidian Luo. "Fiber cement composite materials using cellulose fibers loaded with inorganic and/or organic substances." U.S. Patent 6,676,744, issued January 13, 2004.
Mohr, B. J., H. Nanko, and K. E. Kurtis. "Durability of kraft pulp fiber–cement composites to wet/dry cycling." Cement and Concrete Composites 27, no. 4 (2005): 435-448.
Murdock, John B. "Roofing or siding article." U.S. Patent 4,288,959, issued September 15, 1981.
Shao, Yixin, Jun Qiu, and Surendra P. Shah. "Microstructure of extruded cement-bonded fiberboard." Cement and concrete research 31, no. 8 (2001): 1153-1161.
Fiber cement manufacturers advise not to install the siding if it is too moist, too wet, or in words of one, "saturated", but no one will tell us what is "too moist". Worse the customer service rep with whom I spoke told me (incorrectly) that "... it is impossible to measure the moisture level in fiber cement siding" at the same time that she told me "... if the siding is too wet the contractor should refuse the shipment, send it back, or not install it". [paraphrasing]
It is true that a particular moisture meter may not use a scale that has been calibrated specifically for fiber cement products, and that a pin type moisture meter may not adequately measure moisture deeper in the material.
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Chang, Aries Feng-Cheng. "Literature review On Properties and Market Opportunities of Wood-Plastic and Wood-Cement Composites." (2006).
Doggett, Steven M., "Unexpected Expansion of Fiber Cement Panels ", [PDF] The Building Exnclosure (website), (14 Feb 2012), retrievedf 12/21/2014, original source: https://builtenv.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/ unexpected-expansion-of-fiber-cement-panels/
Fairfax, Richard, Don J. Lofgren, David C. Johnson, and Terry L. Walley. "OSHA Compliance Issues." Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 1, no. 1 (2004): D1-D6.
Pekmezci, Bekir Y. "Properties of PVA-reinforced cement-bonded fiberboards processed with calender extrusion." Science and Engineering of Composite Materials.
Coutts, Robert SP, and P. D. Evans. "Natural Fibre-cement Composites: An Australian Perspective." In ACIAR PROCEEDINGS, pp. 131-139. ACIAR; 1998, 2002. - retrieved 12/20/2014, original source: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/135379/2/PR107.pdf#page=128
Coutts, Robert SP. "A review of Australian research into natural fibre cement composites." Cement and Concrete Composites 27, no. 5 (2005): 518-526.
Eusebio, Dwight A., Florence P. Soriano, Rico J. Cabangon, and Philip D. Evans. "Manufacture of Low-cost Wood-Cement Composites in the Philippines Using Plantation-grown Australian Species. I. Eucalypts." In ACIAR PROCEEDINGS, pp. 105-114. ACIAR; 1998, 2002.
Cooke, A.M., "Durability of Autoclaved Cellulose Fiber Cement Composites", 7 th Inorganic- Bonded Wood and Fiber Conference, 2000, retrieved 12/19/2014,
Cited by the above paper are other in-depth writers on the properties of fiber cement composites:
Akers S A S, Studinka J B, Meier P, Dobb M
D J and Hikasa J,
durability of PVA reinforcing fibres
in a cement matrix” International Journal of Cement Composites
1, (2), May 1989
International Journal of Cement
and Lightweight Concrete, 11
Part 1: Dry testing” International Journal of Cement Composites
and Lightweight Concrete, 1
International Journal of
and Lightweight Concrete, 11, (2), May 1
Concrete, 6, (2), May 1984
Reinforced Cement and Concrete, Rilem Symposium FRC 1986.
composites”, Durability of Building Materials, 3 (1986) 255-37.
R, “Durability of
Fibre-Concrete Sheet Claddings” NZ Concrete Construction, August 1983
inforced Cement and Concrete, Rilem Symposium FR
International Journal of
and Lightweight Concrete, 11, (2), May 1989
for External Use: M.O.A.T
No 48, Ma
Cook, D.J. "Advances in Cement-Matrix Composites: Natural Fibre Reinforced Concrete and Cement - Recent Developments", Materals
Research Society Symposium L, November 1980.
Hannant, D.J., "Fibre Cements and Fibre Concretes", 1978, John Wiley & Sons
Nichiha Fiber Cement, 6465 E Johns Crossing, Suite 250 Johns Creek, GA 30097, USA, Tel: 1.866.424.4421
Fax: 770-805-946 , Website: http://www.nichiha.com/ Email: email@example.com
The company provides a variety of technical details about their fiber cement products, found at http://www.nichiha.com/resources/technical-documents including
General Instructions for All Nichiha Siding Products, http://nichiha.com/images/uploads/Sierra_Install_Brochure.pdf
These instructions include this advice: Contact your local dealer or Nichiha Customer
Representative toll-free at 1-866-424-4421
immediately, should you have any questions about
Sierra Premium and NichiFrontier products
 "James Hardie's Mesothelioma and Asbestos Legacy Continues, 2009", web search 03/01/2011, www.survivingmesothelioma.com
 " Anyone else have HardiePlank siding on their house?", Early Retirement.org online blog, retrieved 1/14/2013, original source: http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f27/anyone-else-have- HardiePlank-siding-on-their-house-19475.html
 - DIY Chatroom, retrieved 1/17/2013, original source http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/ certainteed-weatherboard-vs-HardiePlank-4638/
 Certainteed Weatherboard fiber cement siding and trim products - see certainteed.com/ or see certainteed.com/resources/sidingandtrimspecsheet.pdf
[5a] "CertainTeed WeatherBoards™ Fiber Cement Siding Installation Manual", CertainTeed Corporation, 2012, CertainTeed Corporation, PO Box 880, Valley Forge PA 19482, Professional Help Line: 800-233-8990, Consumer Help Line: 800-782-8777, Website: Certainteed.com www.certainteed.com/resources/fc017.pdf retrieved 4/11/2013, [copy on file as Certainteed_Fiber_Cement_Siding_Install_fc017.pdf ]
[5b] "Certainteed WeatherBoards™ Fiber Cement Siding Best Practices for Effective Job Site Management", CertainTeed Corporation, retrieved 4/15/13 original source: www.certainteed.com Copy on file as Certainteed_FC_Handling Brochure-Contractor_FC063.pdf
 "Moisture Control in buildings: Putting Building Science in Green Building," Alex Wilson, Environmental Building News, Vol. 12. No. 5. [Good tutorial, "Moisture 101" outlining the physics of moisture movement in buildings and a good but incomplete list of general suggestions for moisture control - inadequate attention given to exterior conditions such as roof and surface drainage defects which are among the most-common sources of building moisture and water entry.--DJF]
 J. Tibbets, "Green Houses", NCBI, retrieved 1/17/2013, original source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1469482/
 Gleeson et al, "Fiber Cement :Building Materials with Low Density Additives", U.S. Patent 8,182,606, B2 5/22/2012, [adding low volumes of volcanic ash & hollow ceramic microspheres to cellulose fiber-reinforced building materials.
 Thanks to reader Marie Carr for James HardiePlank siding photograph and case history information.
 JamesHardie HardiePlank® Lap Siding information can be found at the company's web page on this material:
 "30-Year Limited Warranty
HardiePlank® HZ5® Lap Siding, HardiePanel® HZ5® Vertical Siding,
HardieShingle® HZ5® Siding, HardieSoffit® HZ5® Panels", 1-800-9-HARDIE
10901 Elm Avenue Fontana, CA 92337, retrieved 1/18/2013, original source: http://www.jameshardie.com/pdf/warranty/hz5.pdf [copy on file as Hardieplank_Warranty_hz5.pdf]
 James Hardie Building Products, James Hardie CustomerLink™ Service Centre, 10 Colquhoun Street, Rosehill NSW 2142, Tel: 13 1103, Outside Australia 61 2 8837 4709,
Fax: 1 800 818 819. Hardie has operations in Australia, Asia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand, United States, and the Philippines. The company is a significant producer of fiber cement siding and backerboard. Email: info@JamesHardie.com and Website http://www.jameshardie.com/
[12b] "Technical Bulletin #9, Joint Flashing at Field Butt Joints", JamesHardie, retrieved 4/15/2013, original source: www.jameshardie.com, copy on file as James_Hardie_9-joint-flashing.pdf - quoting: This Technical Bulletin is an explanation supporting the
announcement made by James Hardie on September 8th, 2008
withdrawing its recommendation on the use of caulk at field butt
joints for HardiePlank® lap siding.
 Instructions for application of HardiePlank lap siding can be found at http://www.jameshardie.com/homeowner/products_siding_hardieplankLapSiding.py?openTab=jsnavLink4
 "Homeowners Care and Maintenance Tips", 1-800-9-HARDIE
10901 Elm Avenue Fontana, CA 92337, included with product warranty information, retrieved 1/18/2013, original source: http://www.jameshardie.com/pdf/warranty/hz5.pdf [copy on file as Hardieplank_Warranty_hz5.pdf]
 "HardiePlank HZ5 Lap Siding Installation Requirements - Primed & Colorplus® Products",JamesHardie, November 2012, 1-800-9-HARDIE,
10901 Elm Avenue Fontana, CA 92337, retrieved 1/18/2013, original source: http://www.jameshardie.com/pdf/install/hardieplank-hz5.pdf, [copy on file as Hardieplank-hz5_Install.pdf]
 Technical Bulletin #9,
Joint Flashing at Field Butt Joints, James Hardie corporation, retrieved 1/19/2013, original source: http://www.jameshardie.com/pdf/technical-bulletins/9-joint-flashing.pdf
 Technical Bulletin #17,
Fastening Tips for HardiePlank® Lap Siding, James Hardie Corporation, retrieved 1/19/2013, original source: http://www.jameshardie.com/pdf/technical-bulletins/17 -fastening-tips-for%20-plank.pdf [copy on file]
 Technical Bulletin #8,
Expansion Characteristics of James Hardie® Siding Products, James Hardie Corporation, retrieved 1/19/2013, original source: http://www.jameshardie.com/pdf/technical-bulletins/8-expansion-characteristics.pdf [copy on file]
 Eric Galow, Galow Homes, Lagrangeville, NY. Mr. Galow can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 914-474-6613. Mr. Galow specializes in residential construction including both new homes and repairs, renovations, and additions. Personal communication 3/20/2013.
 Eric Galow, Galow Homes, Lagrangeville, NY. Mr. Galow can be reached by email: email@example.com or by telephone: 914-474-6613. Mr. Galow specializes in residential construction including both new homes and repairs, renovations, and additions.
 James Hardieplank, personal communication with Daniel Friedman, 6/6/2013. We called James Hardie to ask for guidance in determining just how much moisture was "too much" in Hardieplank siding, after observing that siding at a job arrived visibly wet from the factory even though still inside its original sealed plastic wrapping. We called James Hardie's technical support line where a courteous representative told us he would refer us to Hardie's expert Benjaman Batres. Our call to Mr. Batres was returned by Stephanie (declined to give last name) from James Hardie's customer warranty service department. Stephanie informed us that there are no moisture numbers, that it is not possible to measure moisture in fiber cement siding (utter nonsense!) and repeatedly advised "Just read our instructions" or "So file a claim". Don't count on much help from James Hardie's customer warranty department on siding shrinkage or butt joint gap concerns. Gaps at Hardieplank siding butt joints continue to appear in the Hardieplank installation.
Sealants, Durability of Building Sealants (RILEM Proceedings), J.C. Beech, A.T. Wolf, Spon Press; illustrated edition (1995), ISBN-10: 0419210709, ISBN-13: 978-0419210702 This book presents the papers given at the RILEM Seminar held at the Building Research Establishment, Garston, UK in October 1994. The book provides an opportunity for researchers to review up-to-date progress towards the achievement of the objectives of the standardisation of laboratory techniques of sealants in the variety of service conditions to which they are exposed.
Staining, Prevention of Premature Staining in New buildings, Phil Parnham, Taylor & Francis; 1996, ISBN-10: 0419171304, ISBN-13: 978-0419171300 The appearance of ugly staining early in a buildings life, ruins an otherwise pleasing appearance, tarnishes the image of the owners and gives rise to costly refurbishment works. In this book Phil Parnham raises a number of questions that should be considered whenever a new building is being designed or built. These are: * why has staining become so prominent; * what causes premature staining; which parts of new buildings are likely to be affected; * how can it be avoided? By using a number of highly illustrated case studies, the author answers these questions and ends by suggesting measures that should be taken by all design and construction professionals to prevent premature staining.
"Weather-Resistive Barriers [copy on file as /interiors/Weather_Resistant_Barriers_DOE.pdf ] - ", how to select and install housewrap and other types of weather resistive barriers, U.S. DOE
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
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The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
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