What we see in our world may be at times an illusion, a trick. Magicians make a living out of tricking our eyes, really our brains into believing something that has not actually happened. In life we may have the misfortune of being duped by a real life “magician”, a conman or just someone dishonest.
As a home inspector, an investigator of sorts, I see the results of trickery. In some cases it is coupled with ignorance. Not knowing however doesn’t excuse the deed.
I was contacted concerning an issue with a newer set of buildings where the siding was not holding paint and as a result deteriorating. The siding material was fiber cement type manufactured by James Hardie Corp. It is a good product that holds paint well. The issue was odd to say the least and also a bit intriguing. Long story short the buildings management company had contacted the manufacturer who basically said the issue is water/moisture related. I was contacted to conduct an infrared scan of one of the three building in hopes of locating the source of the problem.
Not unlike most building products, James Hardie siding has a set of best practices for installation. One of these is clearances at surfaces where water can affect the product, for instance where the roof and siding meet. Failing to adhere to these parameters will almost assuredly result in problems with the product such as deterioration.
One area on these buildings with paint and deterioration issues is where the siding meets the roof. The siding is right against the shingles. The results have been as would be expected, ugly. More revealing is what the infrared camera sees.
While the deterioration and peeling paint on the surface is about one foot from the edge, the IR camera shows the moisture extends much further and in other areas that have yet to manifest. The issue is throughout the entire building. The very simple reason is the product was never installed correctly.
When the buildings were completed, I was told the exterior looked fine, “beautiful”. Was it an illusion, a form of trickery perpetuated by a conman? Perhaps it was because of ignorance or worse negligence.
The reasons are never to be known, but the truth is someone has been tricked.
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