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Rise in Claims Against Hardiplank?


Jim Katen
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I've heard from an insurance agent that there is an increase in complaints against home inspectors regarding Hardi Plank failure. According to his sources, Hardi Plank is putting less cement into their product to reduce shipping weight.

Has anyone else heard this?

Has anyone seen an increase in Hardiplank failures in recent years?

Is anyone aware of the source of this rumor?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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About 3 1/2 of an 8 hr CE class I attended this spring, was dedicated to fiber cement siding products. We heard everything negative about them, but that. It seemed more like a warning class than anything. I've got to believe, if the instructor was armed with that information, he would have passed it on.

I also saw and had in my hand, a piece that delaminated like layers of shale after sitting in a cup of water for a little less than five hrs. This was not done by the instructor. Another inspector did it out of curiosity.

About sixty others including another who frequents this forum, saw it. I'd rather not say here, who's product it was.

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I also saw and had in my hand, a piece that delaminated like layers of shale after sitting in a cup of water for a little less than five hrs.

I can almost guarantee that the piece was delaminated prior to its immersion. About the most destructive thing one can do to fiber cement siding is bend it during handling. I sent back a whole skid that was delaminated by the boom operator; he let the pile drape over the forks.

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I also saw and had in my hand, a piece that delaminated like layers of shale after sitting in a cup of water for a little less than five hrs.

I can almost guarantee that the piece was delaminated prior to its immersion. About the most destructive thing one can do to fiber cement siding is bend it during handling. I sent back a whole skid that was delaminated by the boom operator; he let the pile drape over the forks.

I'd say, that's one more strike against it, when you think about the number of times it gets handled in transition between the factory and it's final destination.

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Just for kicks, go down south after the next big hurricane and see whose house still has siding. (hint, It's not vinyl or brick veneer)

Seriously, I'm almost done pimping fiber cement... it's pretty hard to find a lot of fault with a product that pre-dates e plywood, vinyl, osb, lvl, osl, psl, pvc, abs, hdpe, TV and uh electricity in most homes. Unless they mess with the formula, steam cured portland is pretty dependable.

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Just for kicks, go down south after the next big hurricane and see whose house still has siding. (hint, It's not vinyl or brick veneer)

Chad, if you're referring to NOLA after Katrina, I'd suggest to you that those failed brick veneers were from massive wave action and rapid receding of flood waters which resulted from the failed levees. The wave action broke the brick and the rapid receding pushed it out from the inside. I was there too. Lower 9th Ward and upper St. Bernard Parish. They put me right in the middle of the 'dead zone' for 5 months. In the absence of a surge, brick veneer is the last to go. My own brick veneer house has been through at least half a dozen bad ones, but no surges have reached here yet. Too far inland.

Marc

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I've heard from an insurance agent that there is an increase in complaints against home inspectors regarding Hardi Plank failure. According to his sources, Hardi Plank is putting less cement into their product to reduce shipping weight.

Has anyone else heard this?

Has anyone seen an increase in Hardiplank failures in recent years?

Is anyone aware of the source of this rumor?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

I read a similar description of failing fiber-cement siding (excluding the HI stuff), but it wasn't a Hardi product. I think the product was called MaxiPlank. I found that it was never distributed in my area, so I didn't pay too much attention to it. It might be a common product in your area.

Perhaps the rumor is due to the similar name and type of the product.

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I haven't heard of anything but have seen a couple instances of water damage lately... something I was almost sure was impossible with this stuff. Here's a 2001 installation with some damage due to improper clearance.

Funny thing is I've probably seen and written up improper clearance 1000 times but had never seen any damage before this.

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif Hardie Damage.pdf

49.54 KB

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I haven't heard of anything but have seen a couple instances of water damage lately... something I was almost sure was impossible with this stuff. Here's a 2001 installation with some damage due to improper clearance.

Funny thing is I've probably seen and written up improper clearance 1000 times but had never seen any damage before this.

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif Hardie Damage.pdf

49.54 KB

That's probably partially because they didn't seal the cut end with the "approved" proper sealant required on every cut or penetration.

Did you know, any hole bigger than a dime calls for replacement of the whole piece? Page 17 of the install manual.

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  • 1 month later...

Getting in here a little late but here are a bunch of pictures of cement board siding failures. These are all due to the installation methods of the installers and not following the instructions.This is all freeze damage but shows the delicate nature of this product. It is not concrete siding as so many fondly call it. If I install one of each of the sidings that we have used over the years, too close to the roof plane, Fiber cement will be the first to fail.

Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif 1 Cement board siding damage4perpg.pdf

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Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif 2 Cement board siding damage4perpg.pdf

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Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif 3 Cement board siding damage4perpg.pdf

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Download Attachment: icon_adobe.gif 4 Cement board siding damage4perpg.pdf

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I've heard from an insurance agent that there is an increase in complaints against home inspectors regarding Hardi Plank failure. According to his sources, Hardi Plank is putting less cement into their product to reduce shipping weight.

Has anyone else heard this?

Has anyone seen an increase in Hardiplank failures in recent years?

Is anyone aware of the source of this rumor?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Hi Jim,

I'd meant to respond to this thread weeks ago but I'd forgotten all about it. After your initial post I wrote to James Hardie directly and quoted you. Here's the response I got:

Michael-

This is simply incorrect and I'm am not sure where a rumor like this would be coming form. In fact quite the opposite, we have over the last year launched our HardieZone System http://jameshardie.com/builder/hardiezone.shtml, which is a product line that is specifically Engineered for Climate based on our significant Research and Development into fiber cement technology and our 30 years of proven performance in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

What kind of complaints is he/she referring to?

Dale Knox

Technical Manager

909 319 1382

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I've heard from an insurance agent that there is an increase in complaints against home inspectors regarding Hardi Plank failure. According to his sources, Hardi Plank is putting less cement into their product to reduce shipping weight.

Has anyone else heard this?

Has anyone seen an increase in Hardiplank failures in recent years?

Is anyone aware of the source of this rumor?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Hi Jim,

I'd meant to respond to this thread weeks ago but I'd forgotten all about it. After your initial post I wrote to James Hardie directly and quoted you. Here's the response I got:

Michael-

This is simply incorrect and I'm am not sure where a rumor like this would be coming form. In fact quite the opposite, we have over the last year launched our HardieZone System http://jameshardie.com/builder/hardiezone.shtml, which is a product line that is specifically Engineered for Climate based on our significant Research and Development into fiber cement technology and our 30 years of proven performance in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

What kind of complaints is he/she referring to?

Dale Knox

Technical Manager

909 319 1382

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Thanks, Mike. Can you forward me the actual e-mail?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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  • 2 weeks later...

Related, but a slight drift here ...

Had 'head' about this from another HI in Texas as it relates to E&O and what I 'heard' was confirmed:

New policy for my E&O (renewing on 09/17/2010) excludes "cement board siding" and "precast stone veneer".

Too many pending lawsuits according to agent.

BTW - I'm changing carriers as there were just too many "exclusions" added to the list this year. I've been trying to figure out what "was" or "would be" covered.

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