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Zct6 04-08-2013 08:44 AM

Please help, mystery Masonite siding installed like vinyl...
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My fiancÚ and I just bought our first house and there seems to be an issue. The house was advertised as having aluminum siding and it got past everybody; the inspector, appraiser, agents, and me. Mostly because it looks very much like aluminum siding and it's even installed like it. Aluminum j-channel around the windows and doors and corner caps on outside corners. The thing is, it is NOT aluminum siding. I think it's Masonite but I can't find any marking on the back to see what type. I have scoured the Internet and found nothing that looks like this stuff. I see some light mold starting on the one side of the house and I'm not sure how worried to be. What really scares me is that they installed it like you would aluminum so the edges of the laps aren't sealed, they are basically just exposed to the weather except for being tucked into the j- channel.

We were going to replace the siding some day anyhow but not any time soon. I'm worried this will force our hand into doing it sooner than we want. I don't know if it's original siding or not or how long it's been on there although I might be able to find out. If you're wondering how we missed this, it was February in Iowa when we did our inspection and everything so we didn't spend much time outside. It was advertised as aluminum, inspector said it was aluminum, and it looked like aluminum so nobody probed any deeper...lesson learned on the first time home buy...

So the big question I have are:
1). Does anyone know what exactly this stuff is? Brand etc?
2). Does anyone have any idea about life expectancy of this stuff?
3). Is it possible that in my sleep someone made fibrous boards immune to moisture and this stuff is installed correctly? It just can't be...
4). Any idea why it would have been installed this way other than laziness and stupidity?
5). Finally; does anyone know if we have any recourse against the listing agent or inspector for misrepresenting the siding? We obviously don't want a court battle but if we end up having to drop 10k on new siding in two years because this stuff starts rotting out, I'm going to want to know what my options are.

Hopefully the pics show up below. Thanks to anyone who takes a look at this!

Zct6 04-08-2013 08:45 AM

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Another pic...sorry couldn't figure out to get these all in one...

Zct6 04-08-2013 08:46 AM

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Yet another...

Zct6 04-08-2013 08:48 AM

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An last but not least...there are no knots in this siding to use to identify it either...

joecaption 04-08-2013 08:53 AM

A blind man would be able to figure out that was not aluminum siding.
Just tapping it with a finger would have told them it solid not hollow.

If it was Masonite it would say so on the back side.
There's several companys that make that style siding.

And yes they all would have used the same looking trim as a vinyl sided house.

jagans 04-08-2013 08:55 AM

Yet another case where a whole house "Inspector" should be taken to task. It is obvious to me by looking at the lap that it is a single lap of some type. I would have investigated and found out from there, because the bottom is so thin compared to real wood lap siding. Is it swelling or delaminating at end cuts or where it enters the J channels? Joe will know who made it, he should be along soon. Probably Tempered Masonite. The "last but not least" picture clearly shows that it is not aluminum due to the fraying at the cut.

joecaption 04-08-2013 09:11 AM

Depending on what's under that siding replaceing it with James Hardee may be a good option. That way you could leave all the old trim in place.

Zct6 04-08-2013 10:37 AM

Jagans - it doesn't appear to be swelling or decaying at the edges in the j channel which amazes me quite frankly. Then again I don't know how old it is.

Joe - I can't find a pic of the smart lap that fits what I have exactly but you might be right there. What I continue to be baffled by is the fact that someone would install this stuff in the same way you would aluminum or vinyl. They didn't caulk it or anything...that just has to be trouble...

Thank you guys very much for your help, it means a lot to me. I'm just trying to get an idea of what kind of trouble I'm in for here. Maybe I will take a couple more pics tonight for more clarity...

jagans 04-08-2013 10:50 AM

Caulking in the wrong place can produce big problems by sealing water in. They usually install a strip of asphalt saturated felt behind a butted end seam that directs water back out to the surface of the siding. If the material is Tempered Masonite it is pretty darn resistant to moisture intrusion, so don't force moisture in by caulking in the wrong place.

Regarding recourse, I am not sure, but most of the agreements that I have seen between the buyer and a whole house inspector state that they are not responsible for anything. Personally, I do not see how that would hold up in court, but I really do not know.

If the seller got a copy of the inspection and had to execute it, affirming that the information is true to the best of their ability, then it comes to whether they even knew what the siding was. Most would probably play dumb, even if they knew.

Zct6 04-08-2013 12:57 PM

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Jagans - yes I agree, recourse would probably be slim to none. I'm a little angry with the inspector and listing agent. If the inspector makes that kind of screw up and sent responsible for anything then what am I paying him for? As for the listing agent, I don't see how they can misrepresent something so major without repercussion. This is kind of a big thing to miss...

Anyhow the folks at LP think it might be Canexel. I guess this was a siding they brought in from Canada for a while. Here is a bigger picture of what it looks like. I still can't ind anything with the same grain pattern.

Zct6 04-08-2013 01:01 PM

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Here is an example of some mold I'm seeing that has me worried. Also it looks like they styrofoamed the structure then felt paper then went over the top with this stuff. Is that all okay? Should there be OSB under there? By the way, all my pictures are being turned on their side for some reason.

jagans 04-08-2013 01:13 PM

Try washing it with TSP and a little bleach, and dish soap in warm water. Maybe that coating is vinyl of some sort. I would consider the listing agent less culpable than the inspector. He is supposed to know everything. At least that's what their title implies. :laughing::laughing::laughing:

Fix'n it 04-08-2013 08:24 PM

perhaps that is just primer. and it needs to be painted to get its durability. i have trim on my new garage that is like that, i have to paint it one of these days.

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