Masonite Class Action

Many houses built from 1980 to 1998 were sided with a series of Masonite products that did not live up to the advertised performance expectations and new owners of those houses may be interested in learning about the Masonite class action lawsuits that were settled on January 15, 1998 and August 7, 1998, . The lawsuits specifically have to do with products called Masonite Hardboard siding and Masonite Omniwood siding, and they were used externally as an alternative to wood, vinyl, or aluminum siding.

The items involved in the Masonite class action lawsuit are forms of an engineered wood product. Both versions are composed of wood fiber, such as sawdust or wood shavings, that is combined with various waxes, resins, and other materials to form a solid composite material. The siding was distributed in two versions. A lapboard version was manufactured that mimics the look of traditional over-lapped wood siding. The second type involved in the lawsuit was manufactured in full sheets. Both versions were available in various finishes and they were manufactured with textured surfaces that mimicked the grain of real wood.

Both product lines involved in the Masonite class action lawsuits were guaranteed to last a certain amount of time, in good condition. Unfortunately, the products would often swell, buckle, rot, or otherwise deteriorate long before the warranty expired. Sometimes, the failure of the siding would cause other damage to the structure onto which it was installed, by allowing water to come in contact with surfaces that the siding was intended to protect.

Those who have been affected by these products have a limited amount of time to benefit from the Masonite class action lawsuits. The Hardboard settlement will expire on January 15, 2008. Homeowners who have Omniwood siding installed have until January 6, 2009 to file a claim. Those who have suffered loss from these products and whish to join the Masonite class action lawsuits should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.

Masonite Siding Class Action

Many people used Masonite siding as a material to build their house. Masonite siding ended up being a bad choice in home construction. Over the past decade many lawsuits having to do with Masonite siding have arose. Masonite siding was easily damaged and ruined in many cases, leading to a Masonite siding class action lawsuit.

Since so many people reported damage to their Masonite siding, a Masonite siding class action suit was started to earn money for those who suffered damages to their home. Faulty siding on the outside of your home can lead to a number of more serious problems. The siding or other exterior coating on your home serves as a protective coating against harmful forces such as weather. Rain and snow can cause water damage to your home that can lead to mold and bacteria infesting your home. If mold or bacteria begin to grow in your home, it can lead to more severe, toxic forms of mold and bacteria that can be not only harmful to your house but to you and your family’s health as well. In addition to problems such as water damage, the problems with Masonite siding included the look of the outside of the home. No one wants the outside of their home to look damaged. The Masonite siding class action suit presents a number of problems that resulted from the faulty installation of certain kinds of Masonite siding.

The lawsuits against Masonite siding hurt the sales of this type of siding. If you purchase a home that has Masonite siding you must be very careful. More information on Masonite siding and the Masonite siding class action lawsuit can be found on the Internet. It is important to read about the problems of Masonite siding if you are going to be involved in the purchase of a house that has it.

Construction Mediation

If your home or another building that you own is experiencing problems that result from poor construction, your first instinct may be litigation.  If you’re choking on mold spores or if your ceiling falls in because of water damage, you may have a good case, especially if your house is newer.  However, construction mediation is a good alternative to litigation that may save you time and trouble in the long run.

Construction mediation means that your attorney will meet with attorneys who represent the builder.  Usually, some sort of compromise will be made, which means that both parties save money on legal costs. You may not win the vast amounts of money you could win by actually suing, but you risk much less in legal costs should you lose.   A settlement reached via construction mediation can be a good way for a builder to avoid the bad publicity associated with litigation, so they will have a strong incentive to negotiate with your attorney.  In addition to saving money on legal costs, mediation is typically less of a hassle than full-blown litigation. 

As part of mediation, you will want to demonstrate the problems your home is having.  It’s a good idea to get an inspector to list the construction problems that have become evident, and to get contractor estimates (on the high end) for what it would cost to fix.   If your construction mediation goes well, you should at least get money to cover your costs of repair, and hopefully you would get additional funds to compensate for the trouble and problems you’ve experienced as a result of shoddy  construction.  Construction mediation is an alternative to the expense and time consumed in litigation, and is often better for both parties. Mediation also can be faster than the process of litigation, as legal cases can take quite a while to be resolved via the court system.

Masonite Siding Lawsuit

If you have had Masonite siding installed in your home or business chances are good that you have heard of the Masonite Class Action lawsuit against Masonite Hardboard Siding.  The Masonite Siding Lawsuit was brought to the Circuit Court of Mobile Alabama in 1994 and settled on January 15, 1998.  People and businesses all over the country can benefit from the Masonite Siding Lawsuit settlement.

If you have proof of damage associated with Masonite Hardboard Siding then you are eligible to participate in the Masonite Siding Lawsuit.  You must submit your claim form for Masonite siding that is in current state of failure or a claim form for Masonite siding that has already been repaired for your unreimbursed expenses.  You must make sure that you have un-reputable proof that it was Masonite siding that failed such as bills, invoices and photographs.

If you have sold your home or already submitted a claim without the help of an attorney then you are still able to submit a claim.  As long as you have proof that you went through a process of failure due to Masonite Hardboard Siding you are eligible for a piece of the Masonite settlement under the Masonite Siding Lawsuit.  You are entitled to a refund of any amount of expenses that were not covered for your Masonite repair or any amount that was not previously returned to you when you submitted your previous claim without the help of a lawyer.

Before you begin your claim you may want to hire an Independent Inspector to access the damage done to your property.  You will need to have an inspector come out to your home at some time during the process of receiving your Masonite settlement so you want to make sure your claim will fit the guidelines of the Masonite Siding Lawsuit.  If you follow the guidelines set out in the Masonite Siding Lawsuit then you may get retribution for a failed Masonite product in your home. 

Construction Law Firm

If you have used EIFS products to refurbish your home or business only to have it fail not soon after due to water damage then you should speak to a construction law firm.  There is no need for you to have to suffer from water damage that could lead to mold and infections when a good construction law firm can get you compensation for your damages and get the work replaced. EIFS is a great product but if it was installed poorly then it can lead to a myriad of problems.

The folks at construction law firms have seen all the problems that poor insulation and ventilation can cause to your home.  If water gets trapped in your walls and the proper steps have not been taken to assure that water can easily escape then you will end up with mold.  Mold, and specifically black mold, can result in mycotoxins that will get into the air and cause carcinogen gas that can result in lung infections, ear infections, skin infections and flu-like symptoms.

Since removing mold can be a very time consuming and meticulous process, before you call a mold removal service, you should call a construction law firm.  The people at a construction law firm may have dealt with your previous contractors before and will know what the options are for you.  There may be a case pending on the company that you are currently having a problem with and a solution may be in the works for all the people who had work done by these folks.  By calling a construction law firm you will have people who understand what you are going through and who will help it get fixed for you. 

You may want to contact construction law firms before you have an EIFS system or other work done on your home or business.  A construction law firm will be able to tell you if a local contractor has had many problems in the past and what the company’s reputation is.  If you do a little bit of research on the onset of a project it may prevent you from having mold in the end.

Masonite Class Action Lawsuit

In 1994 Judy Naef along with other home owners across the country filed the Masonite Class Action lawsuit that came to be known as the case of Naef, et.al. V. Masonite Copr.,et.al. No. CV944033.  Ms. Naef brought the case against Masonite based on all Masonite Hardboard Siding that had been installed between January 1, 1980 and January 15, 1998.  The Masonite Class Action lawsuit lasted from 1994 to January 15, 1998.

The Masonite Class Action lawsuit was brought up on the basis of faulty product by Masonite.  Ms. Naef and others claimed Masonite was negligent, breached express warranties, and fraud.  It was said that siding manufactured by Masonite on or after January 1, 1980 will rot, buckle, deteriorate, discolor and damage other parts of the said building it was installed into.

On November 15, 1995 the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama declared the Masonite Class Action lawsuit official.  As the Masonite Class Action lawsuit was official a notice was published and “Class Members” were given the ability to opt out of the suit if they so desired.  “Class Members” are defined as people or businesses who own property where Masonite siding has been installed in the period of January 1, 1980 up to January 15, 1998.

In August of 1996 the first part of the Masonite Class Action lawsuit took place to define what defective meant.  At the close of the first part of the Masonite Class Action lawsuit it was decided that in some states the Plaintiff: Masonite, was covered and in some cases the Defendant: Class Members were covered.  At the end of the first part of the Masonite Class Action lawsuit there was no definition of what the settlement should be.

On January 15, 1998 the settlement of the Masonite Class Action lawsuit was determined.  The Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama settled on a compromise of action to be taken on behalf of the Defendants: Masonite.  The Masonite Class Action lawsuit was a large trial to make sure that the consumer is not being treated poorly or to poor product by the Masonite Corporation.  Masonite held firm that their product was not faulty. 

Construction Law Firms

Construction can be a tricky business. A lot of money goes into the construction of new homes and buildings. Whenever a lot of money and time is invested in something, there comes the threat of disagreements. In the business world, disagreements can often lead to lawsuits. This makes the job of construction law firms so important in the world of construction.

Lawsuits can arise in a variety of areas of construction. When buildings and homes are being constructed, many people and sometimes many companies can be included in the process. I one disagrees with the other or one does not hold up to their end of the agreement, a lawsuit can often result. Construction law firms specialize in lawsuits that center around construction. Construction law firms will take on a number of types of cases that have to do with the construction world.

If you are involved in a dispute having to do with the construction of a home or business, it is a smart idea to research different construction law firms in your area. Construction law firms can be found in different areas around the globe. With houses and buildings always being built, there is always a need for construction law firms.

When seeking the help of a lawyer for anything, it is important to find a lawyer who knows about the type of case you will be involved in. When it comes to construction, construction law firms are the way to go. Construction law firms specialize in matters having to do with construction so you can be sure that your lawyer will know his stuff when it comes to your construction problems. Construction law firms will defend both plaintiffs and defendants. No matter what your lawsuit may be about, you are sure to find a construction law firm right for you.

Construction Lawyer

Everyone dreams of owning their own home, having the opportunity to use their money to purchase something that will appreciate and not have to rent or pay someone to live in a place that does not belong to them.  While the American dream of owning a home is often a great one, sometimes people are not as lucky as they hoped, and sometimes come into contact with problems in their homes that can be hazardous to their safety and well being. 

When buying a new home, even a home that has just been built, it is often a good idea to contact a construction lawyer to see what they have to say about the home owners rights as a buyer and what to look for concerning construction when shopping for a home.  A construction lawyer can well a home buyer what elements must be in the home to make it safe, and which elements of construction should cause the home buyer to be nervous. 

For example, a construction lawyer can inform a home buyer about foundation construction, and what are signs of a good or bad foundation.  If a foundation shows lines where the cement has cracked, the construction lawyer can advice the homeowners what precautions they should take and what elements they should out into their offer, such as money requests for a fixed foundation or the request the foundation be fixed before the move in date.  Another good thing about a construction lawyer is that they can provide a homeowner or future homeowner with information concerning their rights if something were to go wrong soon after to move in date.

When purchasing a home, many homeowners who are not well versed in the construction of homes and the problems to look out for, it is a great idea to contact a construction lawyer to know what they are getting themselves into.  With the proper guidance, anyone can be a well informed homeowner, making the American dream because a flawless reality.

Exterior Insulation

Insulation is used to help prevent heat from entering or escaping your home.  In the winter, insulation helps to keep your house warm, and in the summer it helps keep your house cool if you use an air conditioner.  Insulation is not put into the walls in the middle of your house since it doesn’t matter much if you lose heat from one room to another.  Where it does matter though is in exterior insulation, the walls exposed to the elements.

The most common kind of exterior insulation is fiberglass.  First invented in the 1930’s fiberglass insulation is composed of many bundles of glass fibers.  Fiberglass insulation replaced asbestos insulation which was commonly used previously.  While asbestos is a great insulator, sometimes even superior to fiberglass, it is extremely dangerous and frequently causes an often incurable and deadly lung disease called mesothelioma. 
One of the most important factors when it comes to exterior insulation is how well it can restrict the flow of heat.  Many types of insulation operate by creating many small pockets of air which heat has a difficult time flowing through.  Other things you’ll want to consider when picking insulation is how susceptible it is to water.  Fiberglass insulation is not damaged by water.  Aside from that you’ll also want to consider the ease of installation and any kind of maintenance that would be required.  Once again fiberglass is popular here because you can simply unroll it to install it and it requires zero maintenance.

Aside from protecting your home from heat loss, insulation also helps to insulate your home from any loud noises outside that might disturb you while you are in your home.  Some types of insulation can even help serve as a firewall to help slow the spread of fires.

EIFS Maintenance Guidelines

PART I – MOLD/MILDEW

General

Mold and mildew are a black/gray, green, red or purple growth that can form at certain locations on the building exterior. The growth of mold is more common in southern climates but can occur anywhere.

Description

Mildew is a fungus that spreads as microscopic spores are carried by the wind. When the spores land on a surface, they feed either on the surface itself or on organic airborne dirt that has accumulated on the surface.The growth of mildew/mold is encouraged by moisture, warmth, organic nutrients, and darkness. (North elevations of buildings are susceptible in particular.)Since the spores travel through the air, their behavior tends to be erratic. During rainy periods, the mildew can appear on previously unaffected areas. To the unaided eye, mildew frequently resembles dirt.

Mildew and mold like warm, moist, shady locations, such as under eaves, near or behind bushes, shrubbery and trees and on soffits and walls that are frequently shaded from the sun. However, during humid and/or rainy periods, mil-dew/mold can obtain a foothold on virtually any exterior area.

Cleaning Recommendations

Option No.1 –   Pre-wet the area with clean water and wash with a solution of three (3) parts water to one (1) part household bleach. Apply solution and let set of 15-20 minutes. Do not let solution dry on the surface. (A mild liquid detergent or soap may be added to this solution to improve cleaning ability.)

Use a soft bristle brush (non-metal) and gently scrub the affected areas. Rinse thoroughly (use low pressure lawn and garden type hose) and repeat as needed. Note: Water down all shrubbery, trees, and flowers near areas where the solution is being used. Wear protective eyewear and protect your hands and arms with gloves and a long sleeve shirt as necessary. Before adding a liquid detergent to any household bleach solution read the labels to see If they contain ammonia or ammonium compounds. Bleaches should never be mixed with any detergents or cleaners containing ammonia. These-mixtures can cause harmful vapors. Follow all instructions on the label.

Option No. 2  –  Use available commercial cleaners specifically formulated to clean mold and mildew from Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems.

Recommendations to Avoid Mildew

1. Mildew/mold is an organic growth supported by warm, moist, shady conditions with the following contributing factors:

        A. Climatic conditions: mold/mildew is more significant in a warm humid environment.

        B. Texture of finish: coarse textures will collect more airborne dirt with potential organic nutrients than finer textures.

        C. The proximity of shrubbery and trees: creates shade and reduces air circulation. This reduces natural evaporation.

         D. Poor drainage from roofs: will maintain a high level of moisture in designated areas.

         E. Internal moisture within Exterior Wall Systems: will maintain a high level of moisture in designated areas. This may be from internal condensation or physical leakage.

As indicated, each of these conditions are contributing factors to mold/mildew. The climatic condition is an environmental issue, however, the locations for trees and shrubbery in southern climates may be positioned away from the building, particularly the north elevation to promote natural air circulation for natural evaporation.

 

PART 2 – AIRBORNE DIRT

General

The accumulation of dust and dirt in many locations can be a constant maintenance problem. Some contributing factors are as follows:

A. Site conditions – sources of dirt

B. Soil splashing against the system

C. Climatic conditions (sun, rain, wind, or temperature extremes)

D. Building location

        1. City (high density- significant vehicular traffic and manufacturing with resultant airborne pollution)

        2. Suburbs (low density- minor airborne pollution)

        3. Near industrial manufacturing facilities

E. Amount of precipitation or rain (insufficient rainfall to be effective for normal self-cleaning action).

F. Exhaust venting onto finish areas.

Description

In general wind born dust and dirt is an inert accumulation that can possibly contribute to the discoloration of EIFS.

Typically, this is an aesthetic issue and will not affect the overall performance of the EIFS.

If it is suspected that a “chemical contamination” is a contributing factor to the discoloration then a sample should be forwarded to an independent test lab to determine the contaminate. This information should then be reviewed with the EIFS manufacturer.

Cleaning and Prevention Recommendations

Option No. 1 For dirt accumulation at the first floor/ foundation from splash-back due to uncontrolled drainage from the roof.

*The cleaning procedure should consist of a household liquid detergent mixed with water.

        1. Pre-wet the affected areas

        2. Apply soapy water with soft bristle brush, scrub gently, let set for15-20 minutes. (Do not let solution dry on surface.)

        3. Rinse off thoroughly with low pressure garden type hose.

*Try the cleaning procedure in a small inconspicuous area to make sure it does not adversely affect the EIFS.

For more stubborn stains, it may be necessary to use a stronger cleaner formulated for EIFS.

Prevention of splash-back: Remove a layer of soil next to the foundation and replace with a layer of crushed stone or other mulch material to prevent splash-back of water onto the building.

Option No. 2  –  This is for general airborne dirt accumulation. An evaluation should be made when it is aesthetically desirable to clean the entire building.

 

PART 3 LAWN SPRINKLEROVERSPRAY

General

Reddish colored staining typically originates as a metallic stain from excessive chemicals or iron oxides, contained in the local water supply. This discoloration is a result of a stain from sprinkler overspray on the exterior wall system.

Description

These areas of discoloration generally are an aesthetic issue only. They can be removed with a commercial cleaner formulated for EIFS.

The longer these types of stains remain, the more difficult they will be to remove. In two-three years, these stains may become permanent. If the stains are permanent, it is necessary to neutralize the stains to prevent bleed-through and re-coat the affected area.

Recommendations to Avoid Lawn Sprinkler Overspray

I . Readjust or relocate the sprinklers that are the cause of the overspray.

 

PART 4 – SEALANT JOINTS

General

EIFS is a monolithic, barrier wall-type system, sometimes also referred to as a face sealed system.

The integrity of this barrier must be maintained with a correctly performing sealant joint at all dissimilar materials (i.e., windows, doors, louvers, etc.), to prevent moisture intrusion.

If the sealant is not maintained through some type of minimum Preventative Maintenance Program, water infiltration problems may occur over time.

The life expectancy of a quality, correctly installed sealant material is 3-5 years under severe ultra-violet (sunlight) and weather extremes. In less than severe conditions, 8-10 years is likely before replacement should be considered. (Consult the sealant manufacturer for the additional information.)

Recommendations for Observation of Sealant Joint Performance

EIFS when correctly detailed and properly installed does not allow water migration through the wall.

The water migration (leaks) will typically occur at one of the following:

I. Failure of sealant at building expansion joints.

2. Failure of sealant at transition to dissimilar material

        A. Flashing component

        B. Window/head, jamb or sill

        C. Louver/Head, jamb or sill

        D. Penetration through EIF System

        1. Handrail connection details

        2. Electrical conduit

        3. Utility Piping

                  4. Etc.

All leaks should be documented as to their location and whether they appear in gentle rains, or wind driven rains and from what direction. Also, determine how long the leak continues after the rain stops.

This information, in conjunction with a thorough observation of the exterior wall system, will assist in quickly locating the source of the leak for remedial repairs.

Field “Trouble Shooting” Guide

1. Observe the joint. There should be a uniform bead of sealant (uniform in width and appearance.)

2. Observe any separation within the sealant joint.

        A. Adhesive failure – separation of sealant from dissimilar material.

        B. Cohesive failure – separation of the sealant internally.

3. Observe aging. This is a progressive, natural change in the chemical and physical properties of the sealant material.Two-part Two-part olyurethane type sealants are self-sacrificing. The surface is constantly wearing  away and appears as a chalking or oxidation type film that is constantly washed away by rainstorms. This is normal for this material and does not indicate failure. Two-part polyurethane type sealants are self-sacrificing. The surface is constantly wearing away and appears as a chalking or oxidation  type film that is constantly washed away by rainstorms. This is normal for this material and does not indicate failure.                                                                                      

4. Observe any discoloration and/or bleeding.

This may represent a defective product defective product deteriorating.

5. Observe deformation.

This is any change of form or shape produced in a body by a stress or force.

6. Observe cracking, crazing or “alligatoring”.

These conditions represent a deterioration within the sealant joint induced by either excessive movement or aging.

Please contact the EIFS manufacturer for any additional information.