February 1996 Edition

Is Our Lap Siding Defective?

We have oriented strand board lap siding on our house and it is showing signs of separating. How do you tell if it is Louisiana-Pacific siding and how do you tell if it is defective?
First of all, there are basically two types of composition siding. The first is commonly called hardboard and appears to be compressed cardboard. The second is commonly called OSB or oriented strand board and appears to be pieces of wood chips or wafers of wood glued together. The majority of the problems are with the OSB siding.
According to Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, their Inner-Seal lap siding is 16-foot long wood boards. The boards are 7/16” thick and are either 6”, 8” 9 1/2” or 12” wide. Lap siding is installed horizontally with the top portion of each board overlapped by the board above. Most of the Inner-Seal lap siding has a textured surface, designed to look like rough sawn solid wood. Some lap siding was sold with a smooth surface. The bottom edges are either slightly beveled or cut at an angle. They are not rounded.
Other tips for identifying Inner-Seal siding is to:
  • Ask your builder.
  • Think back to when the siding was installed. Inner-Seal siding comes from the factory painted a light grey color.
  • Tap the siding to be sure it sounds and feels like wood. Vinyl, aluminum, solid wood, or cement fiber sidings are not Inner-Seal.
  • Inner-Seal was first introduced in 1985. If your siding was installed prior to 1985, it cannot be Inner-Seal.
Sometimes the siding has an excellent clue. The grain pattern is embossed using a specially made metal plate. Engraved on that plate is the distinctive knot shown above. The knot is about 2 1/2” high and should appear on most installations, although not on every board. If you find the knot, it’s a good indication that you may have Inner-Seal siding.
The boards begin to deteriorate by absorbing moisture through the bottom edge. You will see separations or cracks forming and the boards will begin to swell. As the swelling increases the nails will appear to recess in the face of the boards. In the advance stages, you will be able to flake off sections of the boards along the bottom edge.
It is difficult to determine if the siding was improperly maintained or if the siding is defective. To determine that the siding is Louisiana-Pacific Inner-Seal siding, you can call Louisiana-Pacific at (800) 648-6893 and arrange for a representative to come out and inspect the siding.
You may qualify for payment if:
  • Louisiana-Pacific Inner-Seal siding was installed before January 1, 1996 on the exterior of your home.
  • The siding is showing signs of deterioration.
  • You already replaced damaged Louisiana-Pacific siding at your own expense.
  • You were not fully compensated under the Louisiana-Pacific warranty program.
To get an Updated Status on this case call 1-800-245-2722.
Note: A claim for damages can be filed until January 1, 2003.

Dryer Vent Problem?

My husband and I are having an argument about our dryer vent. I say it is okay to vent it into the crawl space because it helps to heat it during the winter. My husband says it is not okay because the moisture will hurt the wood framing. Who is right?
I do hate to take sides in a family argument, but I have to side with your husband. The crawl space must be ventilated to remove moisture and when you deliberately exhaust moisture into the crawl space, you are asking for trouble. The moisture can cause fungus to grow on the wood framing and could cause wood decay.
All dryers must be exhausted to the outside of the structure. When running the ductwork, there are some guides you should follow. As a rule, try to limit the ductwork to a maximum of 22 feet. The shorter and straighter the better. Use as few elbows (the 90 degree connectors) as possible. Each elbow you use reduces the overall length  by 5 feet. In other words, if you use two elbows, the straight pipe should be no longer than 12 feet. The reasoning for this is because the lint will build up in longer sections of pipe and will eventually block the pipe. It is not a bad idea to inspect the pipe every year as part of your home maintenance. One way is to check the air output at the rain hood on the outside of the house. Look at the damper and be sure it opens fully when the dryer is turned on. Another way is to remove one of the elbows and visually look inside the duct.
When running the straight sections of duct, never use flexible vinyl duct. This is okay to connect the dryer to the ductwork but is not a good material for the duct itself because it could be a fire hazard.  Also, stay away from flexible metal ducts because the inside surface is not smooth and will trap lint. The smooth round metal ducts work the best.

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Standard Inspection Price List

Homes/Condos $150,000 And Less: $200.00

Between $150,000 - $250,000: $225.00

Between $250,000 - $350,000: $250.00

Between $350,000 - $450,000: $275.00

Over $450,000 Call For Quote

For Code Compliance Inspections on New Homes Only, Add $25.00.

(Single Family Homes In Metro Atlanta Area. Prices May Vary Due To Age Or Location-Please Call For Quote)

Quote of the Month

“Wrinkles merely indicate where smiles have been.”

- Unknown

A Tip Of The Hat To:

Diana Coombs

Century 21/Richard Williams, Inc.

Lilburn, Georgia

**** Thank You****