Q. Particle Board Siding

Q. Hey Mark,

I’m in the process of buying a 35-year old home and just had it inspected. The inspector said the siding is particle board siding. Is that bad?

Doug J.

A. Doug,

Not necessarily. There have been particle board siding that has failed, and there have been several lawsuits over them. However the simple fact that it is particle board, in and of itself, doesn’t make it “bad”. Did the inspector say it had somehow failed? Are there any signs of moisture or mold? If not, then continue to maintain it., because it is prone to failure if it is not properly maintained. And unfortunately most if not all of the lawsuits have been settled.

Here is a comment that I often use in my reports when I see hardboard siding that shows no signs of failure…

In the 1990’s hardboard type siding has been identified as a potential risk of early failure and a risk for increased levels of mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can be a health risk. There does not appear to be an issue with the siding at this time. Since this home has hardboard siding, you will need to insure that it is maintained properly. Siding from the late 1970’s may be at risk. Legal action is in the process against several siding manufacturers – Weyerhaeuser Co., Louisiana-Pacific Corp., Masonite Corp., and Georgia-Pacific Corp. For more information contact: Louisiana-Pacific 800-245-2722 Deadline for filing claim – Dec/02; Masonite Corp. 800-330-2722 for siding installed between 1/1/80 to 1/15/98. Deadline to file claim for siding installed between 1/1/80 – 1/1/89 was 1/18/05. Or call your State’s Attorney General’s office for further information about any of these or any other manufacturers.

Mark Nahrgang is the owner of Kingdom Inspection Network Group – St. Louis and is a professional NACHI certified building inspector in the St. Louis metro area. Mark performs home inspections as well as commercial inspections throughout St. Louis and St. Charles County.

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