Quantcast

Caulked Hardie Joints

Help Support House Repair Talk:

DC-PV

New Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Ks
I had Hardie lap siding installed less than two years ago. Our installers made a special point to tell us to not caulk the joints. Although, my siding is the primed version in which my understanding is that Hardie says flashing behind the joint is preferred because it looks better and doesn't require maintenance, but caulking is acceptable.
Anyway, recently a painter caulked the joints in my siding. The twist...I didn't hire the painter, he started work on my house by mistake (he was hired to paint another house on my street that looks similar). The people that hired him caught the mistake before more work was done.
Since then, I have reached out to siding companies, including the one that installed our siding and have not gotten any answer other than the caulk can maybe be removed, and no interest in providing an cost estimate for what they think it would take to address it. I have also contacted Hardie to ask about the warranty, they said this would not void the warranty. I also asked about the possibility of warranty voiding damage caused by removing the caulk, in particular if a knife damaged the flashing, and the Hardie guy only said he had heard of that happening.
So, right now, it looks like I'm stuck with either accepting the caulk and likely future increases maintenance and/or degraded appearance, or risk having the painter remove the caulk (assuming he is still willing) and risk the possibility of underlying damage being done and also the possibility of incomplete removal still causing future maintenance issues and/or degraded appearance.
If I had hired this painter, I could live with this because much of the fault would be mine, but I didn't, and I want the cost of replacing the siding+painting it. I don't want to take on any risk, no matter how small. Am I wrong for this?
Asking the painter to remove the caulk and repaint would probably cost him a day of a work and maybe a few hundred bucks, if that. Asking him to pay for replacement would cost him probably at least $10k and probably $15k+ (he claims to be insured, so the real cost to him is probably much less). Im well aware that is a big ask for an honest mistake, but I believe it is the only solution that guarantees my siding is just as good as before. This could also lead to a lawsuit, which I'm not sure I can afford, and am not confident the facts will support my case for replacement cost rather than "try to remove the caulk and hope for the best" cost.
 

oldognewtrick

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
11,466
Reaction score
1,726
Location
Nashville, TN
You said you contacted the mfg and they said it won't void the warranty, can you get that in writing?
 

Snoonyb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
3,989
Reaction score
767
It's the painting contractors mistake, have him do the "honorable business practice", and correct it, however, be careful about being so dogmatic that "you" bring on an unnecessary legal action.
 

DC-PV

New Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Ks
Yes, I do want to avoid a legal issue. I also want to be fair. This mistake has already cost me significant time in research and contacting companies. I would just accept the caulk job had I hired this guy, and pay him what I owe him without further complaint. However, I did not hire him. I am blameless, and now my new $30k siding has caulk on it against the manufacturers recommendations, and I'm not sure it can be fully removed without possibly causing some damage or at least leaving some residue that could degrade the appearance of the siding.

At this point, I do believe he wants to fix his mistake, and this was truly an honest mistake.

I could ask him to just paint over the caulk; however, there is a good chance I would then have to have the caulk residue removed and repaint in a few years (which would be at my expense, not his).

I could ask him to try to remove the caulk, and then repaint. This could damage the siding, it could also leave behind enough residue that an additional paint job some years from now would be required that otherwise wouldn't have been (again, all at my expense).

Or...I could ask for full the cost of replacement of the caulked sections, which would be entirely at his expense, and it would be a very significant expense at that.

Those are the options that come to mind. None seem great. Asking him for what could be $20k just for putting caulk on my house does seem like a lot on the face of it, and me accepting that I will likely have to spend time and money repainting my previously perfect siding, and it could be damaged and never look as nice, in just a few years for someone else's mistake is also a lot to ask.
 

Snoonyb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
3,989
Reaction score
767
Interesting.
Something that is missing, is where this is on the dwelling, IE. street side, garage, side, rear, etc.

The point being, what are the esthetics, and their value.

Have you asked the offending contractor to show you what his method/s of correction are, so you can make that decision?

This would never, for me, be an option; "Or...I could ask for full the cost of replacement of the caulked sections, which would be entirely at his expense, and it would be a very significant expense at that."

Why?, Because it is the social propensity of homeowners to paint, because of fading, weather discoloration and upgrading the color scheme. Dwelling occupancy often change every 7yrs, on average
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
5,691
Reaction score
2,018
Location
Erie, PA
I wasn’t going to reply but it has peaked my interest. So he showed up to your home (the wrong home) and started working. I gather you were not home at the time and at some point you asked him what he was doing or he figured it out on his own? He was hired to paint a house down the street that also had Hardie siding and his normal practice is to caulk the joints before painting. Hardie has no objection to that method of doing the job but the people you hired use a different approach and flash behind it to match the color.



I’m no expert on Hardie siding but I did once oversee a large house going from stucco to Hardie and the guy doing that job told me Hardie is a great product but it is the cut end joints that cause the most problems. He said when you make a cut and remove the factory primer that cut end has to be primed before going up and that is how they did it. He then said for extra protection he would caulk all the joints before finish paint.



From my limited knowledge and depending on how much he had done before it was discovered and that he didn’t get a chance to paint your house.



I would tell him you messed up and here is what I want you to do to make it right. I want the rest of that side caulked and that whole side painted to match the rest of the house. That is if when I vetted him I felt he was a qualified person to do this to my satisfaction. I likely would give him a chance to finish what he started in a way of making it right.

I actually think if I was having Hardie done or doing it myself I would caulk the joints. IMO more in terms of water penetration is better than less when it comes to that siding
 

DC-PV

New Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Ks
The caulk is on the front and both sides.

I understand that caulking these joints has been a common practice, and some people prefer to doing so as well. However, I know Hardie says flashing and no caulk is preferred, and I agree, that's what I want. That's what I had.

I also understand homes need to be repainted, the point I was making is that this caulk will likely cause me to need to repaint sooner and perhaps even more often. Which would be at my expense, and an expense I otherwise would not have had. I don't think, under the circumstances, I am ridiculous for not wanting any possibility of increased future expenses and hassle from this.

Lastly, asking him how he would fix it is fine, it may be a nice gesture, but he made the mistake and I'm not sold on being in the position of letting him dictate how to address it. Which is how I expect that conversation to go.
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
5,691
Reaction score
2,018
Location
Erie, PA
Then you feel strongly enough there is only one solution and it doesn’t involve the offending painter at all. You need to hire a lawyer and petition the courts to have him pay a judgment in the amount of the total cost to have the original company come back and remove all the siding on three sides of your home and redo it all like it was.



The courts will allow him to make his case and your lawyers will state you want to be made whole.



A few years ago I answered an ad on Craigslist where someone was selling all the expensive flooring in their 2500 sq foot home. It seems the dishwasher leaked and damaged a couple sq foot of flooring in the kitchen and that same floor went throughout the home. It was no longer in stock and nothing was a perfect match. The insurance wanted to just replace the kitchen and the homeowner said no it has to match the whole house. It got tied up in court and the homeowner won. So I bought a whole garage full of brand new slightly used floor for 350 bucks.



Hopefully the painting company is big enough to absorb the hit or the increase in insurance costs, but that is no concern for you. I bet the painter gets fired and the new policy will be not to get a tool out of the truck unless the homeowner is there and signs a release to allow work to start.

Oh and Welcome to the forum. :welcome:
 

mabloodhound

Restoration & Renovations
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
316
Reaction score
106
The caulk really isn't a problem. I've done a lot of Hardie siding and normally use the flashing method but on occasion I have caulked per homeowner's request with no negative affects. Sounds like this painter is an OK guy and maybe you can have a good relationship with him without a court case. If you have him remove the caulk, check to make sure the flashing is good afterwards. I use aluminum flashing so it is plenty strong.
 

DC-PV

New Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Location
Ks
I've talked to Hardie, they said painting over it is the only "fix", and noted it will fade and crack. I also confirmed the tight installation gaps will likely make future issues worse. So, this leaves me in a tough spot. The caulk, I think, degrades the appearance of the siding as it is. It will also likely cause increased maintenance (more painting, likely scraping out dried up caulk). In other words, even it's not a problem exactly today, it will be eventually.
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
5,691
Reaction score
2,018
Location
Erie, PA
I've talked to Hardie, they said painting over it is the only "fix", and noted it will fade and crack. I also confirmed the tight installation gaps will likely make future issues worse. So, this leaves me in a tough spot. The caulk, I think, degrades the appearance of the siding as it is. It will also likely cause increased maintenance (more painting, likely scraping out dried up caulk). In other words, even it's not a problem exactly today, it will be eventually.
As I mentioned earlier you will never be 100% happy unless it is brought back to 100% the way it was before the mix up. It was no way your fault that the guy came to the wrong house so the offence is little different than someone coming up and spray painting graffiti on your home and you catching them. The only difference is one is an insured company that made an honest mistake and the other is someone wanted to damage your property. In the case of the graffiti your homeowners insurance would pay and the offender might go to jail but will never pay because they have no money. I don’t think the mistaken house was criminal but nonetheless in your opinion your home was damaged. The company I’m sure will want to work something out, but I doubt they will be willing to pay to have your whole house new Hardie sided. So the end result is going to be in court and a judge will decide with court costs and all the rest.



This forum is set up to discuss home construction and DIY methods of those of us with some skills and experience help others with DIY or finding the right people to do the work for them. As far as I know no one here is a lawyer and the question you ask is more about law than the practice of applying or painting or maintaining siding.



You have heard from some amateurs like myself and seasoned pros like @mabloodhound and we agree with you but seem to think there is some middle ground to be found. You disagree and that is fine and Hardie seems willing to back you up in court.

If it was mine I would pick a number out of thin air say $5k and tell the guy write me a check for 5k and I will forget it ever happened. Then put it behind me and move on. But you are not me and it is clear you wont be happy unless it is returned to pre incident. So that’s the direction you need to move in. We can only give our opinions on matters we are not professionals at, and when asking for free advice on a public forum you get what you pay for.
 

Latest posts

Top