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In 1994, a massive lass-action lawsuit was filed against the Masonite Corporation due to a manufacturing defect that made Masonite siding prone to rot and deterioration. The company was also accused of creating a product that has low quality asbestos. This product poses a health risk to homeowners, yet has been sold to millions of people throughout the years. One of the main selling points was that it’s a cheaper product than vinyl siding, and the manufacturer neglected to tell customers about the many downsides to their product. The lawsuit resulted in a settled of more than $1 billion. The product has been discontinued since 2001 and is considered one of the worst building materials. Click here to learn more about masonite siding.

How to Know If You Have Masonite Siding

One way to detect if your home has Masonite siding or not is go into an unfinished area like the attic or garage, and pull back the tar paper from the back of the siding and look for markings. See if you can locate either the manufacturer’s name of AHA code. If you’re unable to identify it this way, there’s a few common visual distinctions.

    • Exposed face nails
    • Swollen siding around the nail heads or the bottom head of each board
    • Carolina Beaded siding
    • Cracks or Chips in the Masonite Siding
      • Look for particles like plywood. These would be little chips of wood, like you might see in a hamster cage. Another example would be the interior of the siding looks like OSB plywood. With that example, it would either be Masonite or LP siding. The way to tell the difference is by looking at the back of the board, which you can’t do while the siding is on the home, to see if there are noticeable pieces of wood glued together. If you see that, it is LP siding. If you see a brown wafer board, that is Masonite.
    • Go to the side of your home that gets little to no direct sunlight, or has foliage of any kind near it. If you see swelling of the siding, that is a clear indicator that your do have Masonite.
    • If your home was built between 1980-1998, there’s a high chance that Masonite siding was used.

masonite siding damage

Why Masonite Siding Needs to be Replaced

Masonite siding products will inevitably fail, causing structural damages to your home that can cost you a fortune. Structural rot, mold growth, infestations, and many other problems will occur if the aged siding is not replaced. You’re probably wondering why the siding can’t just be repaired piece by piece. Well, when the Masonite siding was installed, the boards are overlapped. So let’s say you have to remove and repair the bottom board, the board above that must be removed as well because the face nails have been installed through both. You can’t remove one without having to remove them all.

Aside from the complexity of how the Masonite siding was installed, the product is no longer being manufactured after the lawsuit. During a full replacement your insurance must cover a product upgrade. The product that is typically used to replace Masonite siding is Vinyl or fiber cement. Vinyl siding is an affordable and reliable alternative to Masonite siding.


When To Replace Masonite Siding

If you Have Masonite siding, its not a matter of if you’ll have to replace it, but when. When considering replacing your Masonite siding, one key first factor to consider is the age of the siding. If your home was built between 1980-1998, your home is already at least over 20 years old, which is the general maximum life expectancy for Masonite.

Since Masonite siding is made up of wood fibers, it is easily susceptible to moisture retention and eventually damage. Wood rot can spread rapidly and cause costly remodeling needs to your siding and your home. In the case of your siding failing and mold growth appears inside of your home, insurance will not cover the interior mold damages on the grounds of “homeowner neglect”.

Another major concern for homeowners with Masonite siding is termites. In the event that the siding has moisture damage, that area acts as harborage for termites. The moisture that has wicked inside the structure from the dirt above grade can allow termites to live without ground contact.

Costs To Replace Masonite Siding 

Your homeowner’s insurance should cover the repairs of both your siding and soffit. The dilemma that homeowners often run into when filing an insurance claim is that the insurance adjuster doesn’t have hands on construction training, so they’re often quoted for less than half of what is needed for the repairs. Insurance companies don’t care about aesthetics either. Meaning they will often attempt to only cover parts of the siding, so homeowners end up with mismatch siding. You can only imagine how strange it looks when each exterior wall is a different product and color.

After the inspection, the homeowner typically signs off on an agreement, allowing us to handle the rest of the claims process on their behalf. We guarantee to always try our best to get the best amount from your insurance carrier!

Protect Your Home

Your home is your biggest investment. Replacing failing products with one that will last will increase your home’s value, aesthetics, and longevity.

For Immediate Masonite Siding Repair Call Odyssey Contracting

Call at 984-272-9712 or send us a message on our ‘contact us‘ page


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Vinyl siding is a great alternative to Masonite. Click here for more info on our Vinyl Siding.


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10% off for all customers who book their appointment through 07/30, and an additional 10% off for customers who move forward at the initial consultation!

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