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Moisture-Related Problems with Engineered Wood Siding
A ToolBase TechNote
Engineered wood sidings are made from various combinations of wood veneers, fibers or flakes, bound together with glues, resins, and/or waxes. Plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), and hardboard are basic engineered wood siding materials. Several different types and brands of engineered wood siding have experienced moisture-related failures due to product or installation defects, or improper maintenance.
IDENTIFYING SIDING MANUFACTURERS/PRODUCTS
Look for names, logos, etc. on the back side of the siding. It may be possible to see the back without removing the siding in places such as unfinished garages or attics. If siding is removed, it is best to remove a full-length piece to ensure that any markings printed on the back will be found.
Contact manufacturers or settlement claims websites/call centers for information on particular identifying characteristics.
Obtain The Siding Book: A Field Manual for Identification of Composite Siding and Damage by Siding Solutions, Inc. (see Resources).
Consult a home builder, siding installer, building materials or siding supplier, home inspector, and/or siding consultant such as Siding Solutions,
Manufacturers or others may be of greater assistance if you can provide them with any or all of the following information:
Class action lawsuits (national- and state-level) have been filed against several manufacturers. Settlements have been reached in some cases; others are pending or have been dismissed. Contact manufacturers, your state's Attorney General's office, and the Defective Hardboard Siding Information Center (see Resources) for up-to-date information regarding legal actions.
Manufacturers/products having reached final legal settlements:
Inner-Seal brand of OSB (oriented strand board). Lap and panel
products (earlier known as Waferwood). A claim for damages can be filed until
January 1, 2003.
Claims phone: 800-245-2722.
Lap and panel hardboard siding products; available in various external textures
designed to resemble conventional lumber products. Typically identified by a
stamp with the name "Masonite" and/or the number "X90".
Final Settlement approval was granted on January 15, 1998, in the lawsuit known
as Naef v. Masonite. The Settlement provides a program for eligible claimants
to recover the costs associated with damage caused by the installation and
incorporation of Masonite Hardboard Siding. If you own Masonite Hardboard
Siding installed on a home or other structure between January 1, 1980 and
December 31, 1989, you must file your claim(s) by January 15, 2005. If you own
Masonite Hardboard Siding installed on a home or other structure between
January 1, 1990 and January 15, 1998, you must file your claim(s) by January
Claims phone: 800-330-2722
Manufacturers/products with pending or ongoing lawsuits or preliminary
Jarratt and Catawba hardboard lap or panel siding. A
settlement, which has been preliminarily approved by the court, still must
receive final court approval (as of 8/18/98).
Claims phone: 888-882-5246.
Omni-Wood OSB-based siding. Lap or panel siding, or trim product. On
August 7, 1998, a settlement was granted preliminary approval. A final hearing
was set for January 6, 1999. You must file by December 20, 1998, in order to be
excluded from the settlement.
Call 800-256-6990 for more information.
Hardboard siding manufactured by ABTCo is the subject of one or more class
action suits. The law firm handling the case in Alabama (potentially a national
class action) is Ezell & Sharbrough, 407 Conti Street, Mobile, AL 36602.
Jefferson Smurfit Corporation
Cladwood siding product. Following information quoted directly from
the Defective Hardboard Siding Information Center website visited October 2,
"Jefferson Smurfit Corporation and Smurfit Newsprint
Corporation, its wholly owned subsidiary ('SNC'), have been served in a
purported class action entitled Carolyn Cave-Woods, et. ano. v. Jefferson
Smurfit Corporation, et al, No. 97-2-19958-ISEA (Washington Superior Court)
alleging negligence, unfair trade practices and breach of express warranty
regarding SNC's Cladwood siding product. On April 17, 1998, the Court in this
case denied the plaintiff's motion seeking to certify a nationwide class, but
did certify a class of all persons who own or have owned buildings in
Washington and Oregon with Cladwood siding. The Company and SNC intend to seek
discretionary review of the Court's class certification ruling and to defend
the action vigorously."
Hardboard siding. State-level class actions exist in many states.
Composite Panel Association
18922 Premiere Ct, Gaithersburg MD 20879
Phone 301-670-0604, Fax 301-840-1252
Siding Solutions, Inc.
3535 SW Multnomah Blvd., Suite #104, Portland, Oregon 97219
Phone 503-244-6610 Fax 503-452-0653
Consultant and publisher of: The Siding Book: A Field Manual for Identification
of Composite Siding and Damage