What is it?

Composite wood siding is made form various combinations of wood veneers, fibers or flakes bound together with glues, resins and/or waxes. Several brands of engineered wood siding, including Louisiana Pacific (LP), Omni-board, Masonite, and Weyerhauser have experienced moisture related failures. Here in Whatcom County, LP siding is particularly common.

Why does it fail?

With LP and other composite siding, you generally find the most failure on the southern and western walls of your home, often called the “weather” sides. The problem occurs on the bottom “drip edge” where rain water collects and wicks up into the bottom of the siding. This causes the composite board to absorb moisture, swell and deteriorate. Problems with these siding products are common, but poor quality construction and siding installation practices add to the potential for moisture damage to your home.

Should I replace my composite siding?

Composite siding that was properly installed and meticulously maintained from the beginning does not always need to be replaced. However, once the siding begins to swell, just painting over it is not the answer. If the faulty siding is left in place, it can allow further damage to your home and eventually lead to water damage and mold in your sub-walls and framing. The timely replacement of damaged siding can avoid thousands of additional dollars in repairs to the structure of your home. If you have LP or other composite siding on your home, you should at least have it evaluated by a professional. Simply caulking and painting may prolong the siding’s lifespan or some or all of it may need replacement.

Can I just replace the damaged boards?

Replacement of individual pieces of siding is not recommended. It is best to replace an entire wall of siding. This allows for inspection of the walls behind the siding and proper installation of new moisture barrier, flashing and siding.

What if I am selling a home with LP siding?

Particularly in today’s real estate market, selling a home with LP siding on it is a liability. Failing siding may play a role in the buyer’s ability to get financing and will most certainly come up on a home inspection. In 2008 research by Hanley Wood LLC and the National Association of Realtors, exterior improvements recouped the largest percentage of project cost out of any type of home improvement. In Seattle, the nearest area studied, replacing siding with fiber-cement siding recouped nearly the entire cost (96.2%) of the project when the home was sold. New siding will look more attractive to buyers and be cost effective for you.

What if I am considering buying a home with LP siding?

We would advise having the siding evaluated prior to purchasing. Not all siding is bad, but once you buy the home, faulty siding and any underlying problems are yours to deal with!

We will gladly evaluate your siding and suggest the best option for you. We have built our business on honesty and reliability and will not tell you to replace your siding if you don’t need to! If your siding does need to be replaced, we can help you figure out the best option, whether it be re-siding just one wall or the whole home.