Hardboard Siding

I cannot recommend hardboard siding. It is not in my interest to put a product down, but I have to be honest.

I have a good reason to feel this way.

Back in 1988 I bought a house. It was a newer house in an older neighborhood. I think it was about three or four years old when I bought it. I had no problems with the house for the first few years. Then, about 6 years into owning the house I noticed the paint was looking bad in places.

I called Mark Holt, a painter friend of mine from my Army Reserve unit. He came out and gave me a quote, but he warned me that I needed to re-side the house. He explained that the siding they put on the house was supposed to have a protective primer put on the back-side. Georgia Pacific sold it without that layer and told the contractors that they needed to apply it. The contractors did not, so all over the country houses were starting to look like mine.

He showed me how water from condensation from the house would roll down the plank and collect on the underside and then seep into the hardboard. It would then swell, causing the paint to peel, but eventually would also start to disintegrate.

Hardboard siding is an interesting product. It is a little like cardboard, but to keep all the fibers together they use lignin, the same material trees use. Both the lignin and the fiber comes from the trees, so its a very green product. Unfortunately, if it is not properly protected from moisture you end up with my problem.

I could not afford to side my house so Mark gave me a cheap quote because he knew the paint would not last no matter how good a job he did. He was just helping me to get by.

Sure enough, I had to replace the siding about three years later.

It hurts me to write this because, in doing research on siding I have discovered that there was a class action lawsuit on this product. Georgia Pacific paid to have millions of homes resided. If only I had known.

Since hardboard siding is still being sold, I assume that the current suppliers of this product have addressed the problems and maybe you won't have any problems. Maybe.

But there are some amazing products out there. Fiberglass siding and fiber-cement siding are excellent alternatives. Please check these products out before committing to hardboard.

And good luck on with all your house projects.

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