Problems With James Hardie Siding

Do you have problems with James Hardie siding? While this siding has grown more popular with builders, it may not be right for you. You'll be tempted by James Hardie siding since it sounds like a wonderful product on paper, and it comes with a warranty, but, like all forms of siding, it isn't perfect.

What is James Hardie siding?
James Hardie siding is fiber-cement siding that many builders have used on new homes in the past 5 to 10 years. James Hardie siding is marketed with the HardieZone System, which recommends different products and installation based on your region. James Hardie siding has grown in industry recognition over the past decade, and more and more builders have been using it on their homes.

The famous James Hardie warranty.
One of the biggest selling points of this type of siding is the famous James Hardie warranty. The James Hardie warranty varies depending on the product, but most James Hardie products are covered for 30 or 50 years. This gives many consumers confidence when selecting James Hardie siding, but the warranty's fine print negates the benefits. The James Hardie warranty applies only if the siding is "properly" installed; otherwise, the warranty is void.

Common problems with James Hardie siding.
In many cases, James Hardie siding has no problems at all. In some cases, however, the following problems can occur:

  • Rips, tears or holes in siding;
  • Leaks behind the siding into the house;
  • Deterioration of the sheeting or home construction materials;
  • Siding falling off;
  • Enlarged nail holes due to vibrations.

Any of these siding problems require immediate repair. Failure to repair these problems can result in lasting damage to your home's underlying construction.

Causes for problems in James Hardie siding.
Any of the following issues can cause mild or serious problems with your James Hardie siding installation:

  • Over-driven nails;
  • Under-driven nails;
  • Using both blind nailing and face nailing;
  • Using the wrong nails;
  • Installing the siding too close to hard surfaces, such as decks, roofs, driveways or steps;
  • Installing the siding too close to the finished grade;
  • Failure to install the proper flashing;
  • Installing too close to flashing or caulking in the wrong place.

Warranty claims for James Hardie siding.
Most people believe that James Hardie siding is as good as the company claims, and many of the problems with James Hardie siding are actually a result of improper installation. For that reason, you must make sure that you, the builder or anyone you hire follow the instructions to the letter. If the installation techniques were faulty, you can't file a warranty claim with James Hardie. You must instead contact the builder or siding installer, and you may need to file a lawsuit to recover your damages. 

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