Have a house that was built in the 90s? You may be suffering from Louisiana-Pacific (LP) Siding that is cracking, absorbing water, and rotting away on the exterior of your home. Luckily, Webfoot Painting is here for all your siding needs! We offer replacement and repair of damaged siding so you can save and better protect your home. We’re using our many years of experience to answer all your questions about what to do if you have LP Siding:
In January of 1972, the Georgia-Pacific Corporation deconstructed its plywood industry monopoly by order of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Louisiana-Pacific LLC (LP) was born! The resulting spin-off was founded in July of 1972 in Portland, Oregon (and is now based in Nashville, Tennessee). LP quickly expanded. They purchased Fiberboard Corporation and established fifteen building centers throughout southern California. Unfortunately, Georgia-Pacific refused to extend their existing shares of lumber. LP found itself facing the challenge of finding its own source during a shortage of Douglas Fir and Southern Pine.
At the time, there was a soaring demand for exporting lumber for the Japanese home-building market. Simultaneously, there was a lock-up of Federal lands in response to environmentalist calls to protect the spotted owl. As a result, the lumber industry was at high risk during the 70s and throughout the 80s. By 1989, the Washington Post predicted harvests in national forests to drop by 50%.
LP recognized that in order to survive they’d have to make a drastic change. They decided to develop a new type of product that didn’t rely on Douglas Fir and Southern Pine harvesting, and oriented strand board (OSB) came to be. OSB solved their supply issues because it could be created using less-expensive, fast-growing trees such as aspen and cottonwood. It was created by slicing logs into wafers, mixing them with resin, and then pressing the mixture into panels or sheets. First named “Wafer Wood,” later renamed “Inner-Seal,” the product was marketed to homeowners as cheaper, stronger, and arrogantly touted as “the smart man’s plywood.”
Unfortunately for LP, Inner-Seal turned out to be not so smart — or strong — after all.
LP Inner-Seal siding was produced from 1985-1995. In 1996, a class-action lawsuit was filed against LP citing manufacturing issues with the composite siding. This was a big deal. Actually, it was a historically big deal and became “the largest class-action lawsuit in the history of the siding industry.” (Wikipedia) Homeowners reported that their siding was cracking, swelling, discoloring, and even growing mold and fungus. The lawsuit was open to anyone with siding installed on their home prior to 1996. By the close of the lawsuit in 2002, LP had paid out a whopping 130,000 warranty claims.
Inner-Seal siding was a composite wood material that was put together using pressure to create a pressed particle board. Unlike non-OSB wood siding, the boards of this lap siding were composed of stacked pressed sheets held together by glue. Due to manufacturer issues, the siding failed to hold up long-term.
Over time, the glue began to break down and the lower lap edge of the siding would crack, absorb water, and expand. The resulting delamination left the siding vulnerable to the elements. In an area with rain, the excessive moisture resulted in the build-up of mold and fungi. Homeowners were discovering packs of mushrooms blooming from beneath the panels. As a result, they found themselves watching their exterior siding disintegrate off their homes. Even in a dryer area like Central Oregon, the siding was prone to discoloring and cracking over time.
Louisiana-Pacific (LP) re-engineered their siding and released LP SmartSide in 1997. Today, they celebrate “20 years of success” since the historical mistake of Inner-Seal siding.
If your home was built in the 90s, specifically in the years 1990-1996, chances are you have LP Inner-Seal Siding. To be sure, you can take a close look at your siding and find an LP in the knot pattern. This means that if you inspect your existing siding and locate a knot on a panel, you’ll be able to trace a very subtle “L” and “P” in the knot’s lines.
Of course, another indicator that you have LP Inner-Seal siding is looking for signs that your panel siding is deteriorating.
It’s easy to conduct a quick home inspection of your siding to see if it’s in need of repair. Go outside and take a look up at your siding. Ideally, you’d want to see zero cracks or voids, but if you have LP Inner-Seal siding you’ll see signs of fragmentation of the pressed boards.
Examine your home's siding for a web of cracks on the lower lap edge. Can you brush your thumb against the cracks and flake off pieces? This is a sign that the OSB is beginning to delaminate, which results in cracks, pits, and voids that absorb water and cause swelling. This fragmentation is what leads to moisture and the growth of mold or fungi. To be certain that your boards are swelling, you can also measure their thickness and compare the measurement to siding that is weather protected (like siding protected by a porch roof).
After the close of the class-action lawsuit in 2002, homeowners can no longer file a claim with the LP Settlement Administrators.
It’s true, siding can make or break the first impression a visitor has of your home. But, siding impacts the stability of your home, too. Beyond contributing to curb appeal, your home’s siding is important because it protects your home’s frame, walls, and consequently, your roof.
If your siding is damaged and deteriorating, it’s in your best interest to consider replacement or repair.
Investing in siding replacement is investing in the long-term durability of your home. Our experience with siding installations and repair gives us the ability to save you money. We’ll identify what siding needs to be replaced and what can be salvaged.
We treat the siding that can be salvaged through the process of priming and sealing using an elastomeric primer to fill the voids but maintain flexibility. This primer is specially engineered to provide a flexible membrane over your home’s exterior, which helps it last through different temperature extremes. And, it saves you the cost of a full replacement!
For any siding that is beyond repair, we’ll fully remove and replace it. There’s a variety of siding products on the market to choose from, including stucco, wood, and fiber cement siding. We’re happy to answer all your siding questions and advise you on which siding type will be the best value for you and your home. If only a partial replacement is needed, we can match nearly any siding type.
Our full-time carpenters will handle all your exterior siding needs with the same level of service you've come to know with our painting projects.