Winter conditions make tracing water leaks & rot easy (C) Daniel Friedman Exteriors of Buildings
Drainage, Drives, Grading, Gutters, Landscaping, Paint, Patios, Siding, Trim, Walks: Install, inspect, troubleshoot, repair

  • EXTERIORS of buildings - CONTENTS: How to Detect,Diagnose & Repair Building Exterior Defects, Failures, Leaks, & Other Problems in exterior drainage, building doors, siding, trim, windows, and all other exterior components & conditions
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about troubleshooting, installing, repairing, & maintaining the exteriors of buildings

InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.

Building exteriors & building sites: these articles explain how to find, diagnose, and repair building exterior defects on residential and most commercial buildings, including chimneys, decks, drives, exterior paint and stain, gutters, patios, rot, mold, or termite damage, exterior stairs and railings, wall siding and trim, windows, doors, & walks.

From choosing an adhesive to water entry & winterizing a building we explain how to diagnose & cure troubles on the building exterior. This website explains to find, diagnose, repair & prevent building exterior building & building site defects for most building types and properties.

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Guide to Diagnosing & Repairing Building Exterior Defects, Failures, Leaks, & Other Problems

Wind damaged vinyl siding (C) Daniel FriedmanBuilding exterior troubleshooting from A to Z: seelinks listed at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article or scroll down to see detailed articles on building exterior component inspection, diagnosis, and repair. chimneys, vinyl siding, hardboard siding, synthetic stucco, lightning protection, paint failures, oil storage tanks, roof leaks, slate roofing, asphalt shingle roofing, and septic systems.

This includes explanation of causes of building exterior defects, how to spot them, how to repair them, and how to prevent them.

Building exterior troubleshooting topics explained include attic condensation, chimneys, environmental hazards, vinyl siding defects, masonite or other hardboard siding, exterior paint failures, lightning protection, above ground and buried oil tanks, septic systems, termites, and structural rot. proper use of vapor barriers,

We explain how to identify, diagnose, repair or prevent building defects and environmental hazards associated with building exteriors, site conditions and the building envelope. Links on this page direct the reader either directly into an in-depth article on the topic or to our collection of such articles.

A Quick Photo Guide to Building Architectural Styles

The illustrations of building architectural types shown below are provided courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates, a regular contributor to (Click to enlarge).

Early Classic Revival Architecture (C) Carson Dunlop Associates Greek Revival Architecture (C) Carson Dunlop Associates Adam Achitecture (C) Carson Dunlop Associates

See ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID for our quick photo/image guide to residential building architectural styles, building types, roof shapes and types, window types

Building Exterior Problems: Inspection, Diagnosis, Repair

Guide to Inspecting, Diagnosing, Repairing Skylights, Windows & Doors

See WINDOWS & DOORS for our complete list of articles on building skylights, doors and windows, including the topics listed just below.

Steel casement windows with lead putty glazing (C) Daniel Friedman

Synthetic Stucco, EIFS Siding Products, Failures, Litigation, Services

Photograph of EIFS synthetic stucco building interior.

EIFS is an abbreviation for "Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems" or "barrier", a synthetic stucco material which is usually applied over a system of solid foam insulation board and synthetic fabrics to form a stucco building exterior surface.

There have been substantial building failures and costly damage at many EIFS covered buildings, primarily because the EIFS-covered building exterior may leak into the building walls but the foam insulation used beneath this stucco method may not allow moisture to escape from building cavities.

See SIDING EIFS & STUCCO for details about this topic. Readers should also see STUCCO OVER FOAM INSULATION.

Hardboard, Composite, List of "Masonite"-type Siding Failures & Claims Information, Hardboard Siding Failure Diagnosis, Repair, Proper Installation

Photograph of deteriorated hardboard siding.

Hardboard, Composite, "Masonite"-type Siding: failure and leak inspection, siding repair, siding litigation, hardboard siding class action lawsuits and settlements are listed here

Hardboard siding failure, inspection, diagnosis, repair, and warranty claim links are given just below. For full information on hardboard siding, see SIDING HARDBOARD.

  • Abatibi-Price Hardboard Siding Failures
  • ABTCO hardboard Siding Failures & Claims: see
  • Boise Cascade Hardboard Siding Failures: examples and documentation. Mail claim to: Boise Cascade Corporation, Timber & Wood Products Division, Attn: Tana Rasmussen, P.O. Box 62, Boise, ID 83707, 208/384-6162; A Boise Cascade hardboard siding claim needs to include six photos, one of each side of the building & two close-ups that show the problems.
  • Forestex Hardboard Siding Failures & Claims: Contact Stimson Corporation, 520 S.W. Yamhill, Suite 325, Portland, Oregon, 97204-1319.
  • Georgia Pacific Hardboard Siding Failures & Claims: last date for filing claims under the settlement was August 18, 1998.
  • Louisiana Pacific Siding Failures: A class action settlement ended on December 31, 2002. Claims: contact Louisiana Pacific Corporation's product warranty department 877-677-6722 for LP siding installed before January 1996 or call 800-450-6106 for LP installed after January 1996,including Smart System® Products by Louisiana Pacific
  • Masonite® hardboard siding failures: On January 15, 1998, the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama, granted final approval to a Settlement in the lawsuit known as Naef v. Masonite, CV-94-4033. The Settlement provided a program for eligible claimants to recover the costs associated with damage caused by the installation and incorporation of Masonite Hardboard Siding. The deadline to file a claim has passed. For more information call 800-330-2722. Also see
  • Masonite OmniWood Siding claims: On January 6, 1999, the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama, granted final approval to a settlement in the lawsuit known as Cosby v. Masonite, CV-98-2446. The Settlement provided a program for eligible claimants to recover the costs associated with damage caused by the installation and incorporation of Masonite Omniwood Siding. The deadline to file a claim has passed. For more information call 800-256-6990. Omniwood® is a registered trademark of Masonite Corporation. Also see
  • Shakertown Panel Siding Failures: some writers report Shakertown panel siding failures on product manufactured before 1992. Shakertown manufactures premium Western Red Cedar shingles for residential and commercial siding applications, available throughout the United States and Canada. See
  • Weyerhaeuser Hardboard Siding claims: see
  • Wolverine DuraPress® siding: this product is now sold as Weatherboard® by Certainteed - see
  • Siding Links to other websites and articles: EIFS, Georgia Pacific Siding, Louisiana Pacific Siding, Masonite and other Hardboard Siding failures, Siding Book

Note: Some construction writers are of the opinion that Fiber cement building siding, originated by James Hardie Products (HardiePlank®) is a more durable alternative to hardboard siding. Other fiber cement siding product lines include Maxi-Panel, Maxi-Plank, Cemplank, & FortaFiber.

Vapor Barriers on and in buildings; needed behind vinyl siding

Vinyl Siding Failures, Diagnosis, Repair, Proper Installation

Photograph of - damaged vinyl siding

Vinyl siding used as building exterior wall cladding has its own installation requirements, inspection methods (which should look for failure-related installation errors such as improper detailing of J-channel around windows, as well as its own reporting and repair requirements.

  • Vinyl Siding - Main Web Page on Vinyl Siding, includes review & comments about moisture & vapor barriers
  • Vapor Barriers - discusses the Need For and Role of Vapor Barriers Beneath Vinyl Siding



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EXTERIORS of buildings at - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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