Fiber Cement Siding and class action Lawsuits

By
Real Estate Agent with Better Homes and Gardens Realty Partners

If you have been in real estate long enough you will come to love siding issues.  I didn't have my first client compalin about siding until I was about a year into the business.  This home had LP siding on the south side of the home that started to show problems, since my client wanted nothing to be wrong with the home he requested the whole home be resided with a fiber cement product.  Needless to say we didn't come to an agreement on that home. 

Where I am heading with this blog is I have started to see fiber cement siding have cracking issues and possible water intrusion. The church I attend has been having problems for over two years with there fiber cement siding cracking and shrinking even after it has been cauled twice. 

My question to the masses is this just a localized problem or is the rest of the united States starting to see issues and possible class action lawsuits upon the makers of fiber cement siding?

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Rainmaker
286,754
Barb Van Stensel
Chicago, IL

Hey Adam, with anything, cement fibreboard has to be applied the correct way.  But before you start flinging darts at me and tell me that this is a typical cliche, it is not.  Alot comes into play here, for instance:

Does or did the subject property have proper overhang extensions on the house? That being, depending upon the height of the building, it's exposure to the elements, if there is not a proper extension then water - doesn't matter if it is fiberboard or vinyl siding - will run down between the siding and the insulated fibrewrap. 

That right there can be problem #1.

Problem #2, how the fiberboard is applied to the building and how the building is prepped makes all the difference in the world.  Done wrong, yes, you will have that problem.

Problem #3, ever see vinyl siding warp?  Who hasn't.  One of the causes is that the installer doesn't allow for movement on the siding when they install the nails. 

Best time to install siding is when the building is not wet or moist after a rain. 

Problem #4, the siding could be moist and should be allowed to dry before installation.

Problem #5, improper drainage from the roof!  Yup!  If you have noi overhang whatsoever, nothing is going to stop the water from running down the inside of that board!  Nothing!!!  Caulk all you want, after time, it will happen.

Here's the way I look at it or as Opa, my grandfather always said:  "if you do it right the first time, you don't have to worry about it."  I'm going to add something here and that being, every house requires proper maintenance and consistent maintenance.   Not everybody understands how to apply siding, and I even visited the manufacturers to tell them (they asked me to come) how to stop ways of reinventing uses for a product that in the long wrong would be detrimental. 

Everybody is sue happy because something wasn't done right.  Church or home, doesn't matter.   I should know because I'm the lady that is cleaning up Chicago when it comes to these types of problems.

 

 

Jul 29, 2008 03:07 PM #1
Rainer
10,778
Adam Zagel
Better Homes and Gardens Realty Partners - Oregon City, OR

Barbara,

thanks for the input I will forward your comments to the person who is having problems with the siding. 

 

Jul 29, 2008 03:13 PM #2
Anonymous
Anonymous
Correct Answer

Get Structual Fiberglass Siding, Problem Solvedwww.tectonproducts.com

May 14, 2009 05:02 PM #3
Anonymous
Anonymous
Peter

We've been installing fiber cement in New England, specifically Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire for about 10 years.  We see some of the harsest weather conditions in the continental US.  I'd guess we've done over 500 projects in that time span, and we've never had serious issues with the product.  Their have been a few select cases where the coating in very small areas did not adhere properly, but it was due to poor drainage, gutter issues, roof issues, etc.  In those few cases we simply retured to remedy the problem. Barbara is right. proper installation is KEY, even more so then with other siding products.

<a href="http://www.unitedhomeexperts.com/james-hardie-siding/">More details about fiber cement siding</a>

Dec 11, 2009 10:31 AM #4
Anonymous
Anonymous
Mike

We had cement siding installed in 2005 on our new home.  Ever since it has continued to shrink!!

The butt ends are what are most noticeable.  When we complained in 2007 the builder sent a form letter saying the shrinkage was within normal tolerances, but they would caulk the ends. 

I asked 'what are normal tolerances?', and got no repsonse.

What is the best way to respond now almost 3 years later?

Thanks!

 

 

 

Apr 21, 2010 07:53 AM #5
Anonymous
Anonymous
Mark Harner

I am a general contractor in central Il. we built a home for some clients and now they are having cracking problems with there fiber cement siding and this is a SIPS home it has house rap on it and was caulk from the start it is a Passive solar home as well I have not been able to find out what the problem is as of now.

 

8/21/10

 

Aug 23, 2010 12:04 AM #6
Anonymous
Anonymous
John

Be careful to stay away from generic fiber cement manufacturers that use FLY ASH in their products.  FLY ASH has a history of causing shrinkage and cracking.  Proper installation is important, but make sure you do your research on the fiber cement manufacturer of choice. 

Dec 09, 2010 03:24 PM #7
Anonymous
Anonymous
Fiber Cement

However, asbestos fibres are inevitably released during machining operations of the objects made of fibre-cement and by long-term erosion of the materials exposed to atmospheric weathering and wind when cement degrades

 

http://www.hekimyapi.com

Feb 23, 2011 08:33 AM #8
Anonymous
Anonymous
Russ Harding

We purchased a house in Colorado Springs in 2007 that has a concrete siding on the exterior of the structure.  I have been in the remodeling business for 12 years and am familiar with the product.  I always thought that it was a superior product.  After living in this house for 2 years I have noticed that I have up to 1/4" cracks in the middle of the boards all over my house.  I wanted to see if there is any kind of recall or replacement due to manufacture defect.  I am very worried about water penetration.

Thanks Russ

Mar 13, 2011 12:02 PM #9
Anonymous
Anonymous
Peter

We've installed over 600 fiber cement projects and are now moving towards using more Everlast Composite Siding.  It has no problems with moisture since it has no wood.  It's completely inorganic and can be installled in direct contact with other surfaces.

http://everlastcompositesiding.com/

 

Feb 02, 2012 02:59 PM #10
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Rainer
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Adam Zagel

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