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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Customer's house has 8" hardie plank. The house was built about 10 years ago. Every plank seems to have shrunk in length, increasing the gap at the end of each plank to over 1/4".

Any idea why this happened? Install issue or mfg defect?


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I plan on using DAP 3.0 to fill the gaps and paint over it. Short of residing the whole house I havent thought of a way to close the gaps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea, well KB Homes track house. She said she is not going to pay for a complete residing. She has already tried to get them to take responsibility, they are ignoring her. She is not the first owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I want to figure out why this happened because I don't want to caulk and paint then the gap gets worse and I get blamed. I also want to know why so if/when I do a siding job, I can learn from this issue.
 

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Sophisticated Siding Guy.
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Like stated it's a horrendous install. No one does laps like that and provides a quality install at the same time.


1)Make sure it's a James Hardie. I don't think it is. It looks like Certainteed grain and they where very problematic for shrinkage. There was a lot of players in the game at one point that have came and gone. Hardie normally get's the bad rep since they are so big and get called out to warranty issues all time on product that's not there's.

The material could have been installed wet and dried on the wall increasing the little 1/8" shrinkage that is average to 1/4 to 3/8".

2) While caulking it with DAP might work for a couple years at best it will start to crack and fail soon as well. I don't believe DAP is made to to fill joints. It's more of a sealant and doesn't handle well with expansion and contraction. I might look into using something like color matched quad and fill the joints after painting.


To prevent this?

Keep the material dry while it's on the ground. But the joints snug with no pressure. Use color matched flashing behind them so when they do open up a little they aren't so noticeable.

Material has changed a lot over the last 10 years. A lot of bugs have been worked out of the system. I try to install pre-finished only because at the end of the day it's a better product that primed and paint after hung on the wall.
 

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If it's Certainteed, they are having a settlement IIRC. Look into it, it may not be too late to get something for it. I've had Weatherboards shrink and crack all the corners and nearly fall off the wall. Never use it again, and we ran miles and miles of it at one time.

However, the first thing they will say is that you have one butt ugly install, :blink: , and try and find any reason not to warranty it. I wonder if there is any house wrap under that? :whistling


The only good thing about Weatherboards is we may all get paid a second time to replace it with vinyl. :laughing:
 

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On a side note. Anyone remember Maxiplank from the mid 90's. Now there was a great product. :whistling
 

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Wood Craftsman
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It's what it's attached to....it (your hardi planking)is not shrinking...

There is expansion and contraction through out a wood structure,,,,

The way that was outlayed is not a correct IMO ....

Personally,
I would have run a full coarse take the leftover and start the next...as long as it is more than 2',......and so on,....


That was staggered in a defined area , a repeated position in one area......might as well have thrown a neon sign up saying this is where things are going to move,,,, not being smart with you ,...the installation was incorrect,,,,,

Had they staggered the planking through out , I doubt we would be replying to this,,,,,



JMPOV,....


B,
 

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It's what it's attached to....it (your hardi planking)is not shrinking...

There is expansion and contraction through out a wood structure,,,,

The way that was outlayed is not a correct IMO ....

Personally,
I would have run a full coarse take the leftover and start the next...as long as it is more than 2',......and so on,....


That was staggered in a defined area , a repeated position in one area......might as well have thrown a neon sign up saying this is where things are going to move,,,, not being smart with you ,...the installation was incorrect,,,,,

Had they staggered the planking through out , I doubt we would be replying to this,,,,,



JMPOV,....


B,
If it's Hardi, maybe. It still shrinks. Also, Hardi used to say you didn't need to hit studs. Even in OSB. That never turned out well. Especially when guys used smooth shank nails.
 

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Windwash
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I want to figure out why this happened because I don't want to caulk and paint then the gap gets worse and I get blamed. I also want to know why so if/when I do a siding job, I can learn from this issue.
10 years ago the installation directions called for an 1/8" gap and then caulk. The boards would shrink a little bit making the gap 3/16" to 3/8" depending on how much moisture was in them and how close the install gap was to 1/8".
 

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Wood Craftsman
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I'll agree that it may shrink, but slightly.....not like that....:rolleyes: it cures on the house,,,,,so you have to expect a little but that is pretty bad,,,,,IMO,...

Thing is ,the house is expanding and contracting depending on the season....,...lots going on....






Maybe it's a manufacturers defect...:http://www.westernconstructioninc.com/blog/bid/48946/Fiber-Cement-Siding-Shrink-Issues


Problem with this situation, the installation is not correct......manufacturers will look at that - first...installation process...


Just saying....


B,
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is a new client who is asking me to bid on painting the exterior. As part of doing the bid, I need a plan for how to deal with the gaps before painting. Her idea is/was to pull off pieces and splice in other (1/4" longer) pieces. I explained that this was not possible (or at least way more trouble than just starting over) that we would end up completely residing the home if we started pulling planks off.
There is a similar gap that has separated at EVERY butt, on all sides of the house. The south facing side has slightly larger gaps, these pictures are the south side. It looks like the original butt joints were 3/16"-1/8" gaps.
Thesidingpro, you said that 1/8" shrinkage is average, how and when does this happen? Hardie install instructions don't mention letting the siding dry or shrink before caulking and painting. This siding has only shrunk another 3/16"-1/8" per plank since it was caulked and painted.

Install issues
1) Butt joints were not tight at installation
2) Joints were not staggered randomly
3) Flashing may not have been installed behind butt joints (it did look like there was tar paper there)
4) Used combination of Face nailing (not high wind area) and blind nailing
5) Did something wrong such that several corners are broken off
6) May have installed wet or cheep product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So if plank siding is known to shrink as it cures, should the house be left uncaulked and unpainted for a time while it cures? Or just plan on recaulking and touch up paint after *** months?


BTW if this turns into more than just caulking the joints and painting, this won't be a job for me :)
 

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Pack the joints with portland cement, prime, paint. It will look like a millions bucks for a while, and then in two more summers when the hot Texas sun finishes popping this siding off the walls, some guy can come along and install it right. I fail to see how a good paint job will ever correct a bad installation. The fact is that the structure, the siding and the caulking/sealant all have different expansion rates. When the sun heats that wall up in August the wall is going to grow longer and the siding is going to shrink up on very cold days, hence the color matched joint flashing. You might try some Bondo, it is what it is.
 

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KemoSabe
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The only way to make that install look better is to take muriatic acid and dump it in your eyes.:blink:

The installation is obviously the work of unskilled labor. If the finished product looks that bad, the preparation is either non-existent or improper. There are also details such as butt flashing at every joint that need to be incorporated into the installation after initial prep.

The corners are most likely broken off due to over driving the nails at the butts, however, if shrinkage beyond a normal rate has occurred, that may also be a factor.

If I had to paint that without getting into replacing siding, I'd buy a few cases of Quad and fill those joints completely. If you take a stiff putty knife and drag it from top to bottom, it will help to texture the caulk and simulate the grain pattern. Nothing you do will make it look correct, but the joints will be sealed and texturing the caulk will make it less obvious. You will never make the improper install look better.


Upon looking more closely at the pic with the broken corners, it appears that they only lapped the coarses by about a quarter to 3/8 of an inch. Hardie requires a minimum 1 1/4" overlap. If I'm seeing things correctly, the lap line is clearly marked on the product and is clearly far below the lapped coarse above.
 
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It will look as bad or worse in a year or two, and it will then be your fault. If you have to do it, make it a best-efforts contract, warrantying nothing.
 

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Most guys here when putting on FC use joint covers ,which does help in seeing the gaps. But what you have here is a total mess nothing is ever going to make it look right now short of a reside.
 

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I would use a very flexible non hardening caulk like big stretch or sikka flex(May flash if not primed) to fill with but would in writing explain clearly that you are not warranting that area due to prior improper installation. I would also add plenty to my bid to cover callbacks. Personally I love taking jobs no one else will touch. It is a challenge to see just how good you can make it. There is no good way to tell the client they are #@&. Good luck, am curious to see your results
 
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