Share useful tips on home improvement.

All About Masonite Siding: 12 Common Problems and How to Fix Them

Masonite Siding: 12 Common Problems and How to Fix them
Masonite siding is extensively used in constructions. It helps in protecting a structure from damage caused by weather and other external factors. However, if not properly maintained, it will deteriorate. Here's a look at some of the common problems arising in Masonite sidings, and the ways to fix them.
Anup Patwardhan
Last Updated: Dec 09, 2017
In 1898, before Masonite was invented, waste paper was hard-pressed together to form a commodity that was similar to Masonite.
Masonite is a hardboard made from wooden fibers. The process that converts wooden fiber into Masonite was patented by William H. Mason in 1925. He was a protégé and friend of Thomas Edison. The wooden fibers are steam-cooked and pressure molded to form the hardboard - Masonite.
Masonite is used on a large scale in the construction industry. It is preferred over wood owing to various factors. Masonite sidings are used to prevent a structure from damage, as well as to make it attractive. These sidings are relatively less taxing on the environment, as fewer trees are cut down for manufacturing them when compared to wooden sidings. They are also more durable. There is significant decrease in the risk of infestation by insects due to its synthetic nature.

However, with excessive exposure to external weather conditions for a long period of time, there will be many issues that will begin to arise in Masonite, and it will start deteriorating.
Common Masonite Siding Problems
Buckling: Buckling can happen in Masonite owing to the continuous load that it is subjected to when used in a siding structure.
Rotting: Masonite can rot when it comes in contact with water or when it is exposed to extreme humid conditions for a long period of time.
Softening: It can soften on exposure to water for extended time spans, and also because of insect infestation.
Blistering: Blistering is again a result of it coming in contact with water for a long time. It can also be a result of insects eating through it.
Swelling: Masonite can swell on excessive humid conditions and/or exposure to liquids.
Irremovable Mildew
Irremovable Mildew: Mildew is usually typical to the areas with high moisture content in the atmosphere. It is a thin layer of fungal growth on the Masonite surface.
Bowed Wall Studs: Wall studs can bow owing to changes in climatic conditions and variations ranging from extremely humid to very dry. This can also be a result of the Masonite drying up after it has soaked water in large quantities.
Indoor Leaks: Indoor leaks are a result of condensation of humidity on cold surfaces, or deposition of vapors from melting snow and other sources.
Buildup of Toxic Molds Within Walls: Toxic mold can build up within the walls due to humid weather conditions. It can also be a result of water logging. This is harmful to the walls as well as those who are residing within the walls.
Cracked Exterior Paint
Cracked Exterior Paint: Cracked exterior paint will expose the Masonite and subject it to the harsh weather conditions, causing it to wither away.
Damage by Nails: Damage caused by nails can weaken the structure of the siding. This will also be a cause for its decay.
Insect Infestation: Masonite is nothing but thickened wood fiber. As such, it is bound to attract insects. This will compromise the structural stability, and also facilitate exposure to a host of insects which can be responsible for various health hazards.
Repairing Masonite Siding
On discovering any of these problems, fix it before it escalates out of hand. Here are a few tips on how to repair Masonite siding.
Primer: If the Masonite is already compromised, scrape off the area in consideration. Then apply some primer over the affected area.
Caulking: This will take care of any cracks that may have developed on the Masonite. Caulking will help negate the structural instability, if any.
Painting: Painting will make it resistant to damages caused by weather fluctuations as well as insect infestation.
Putty: Using putty for holes present in the Masonite helps in retaining the structural stability.
How to Clean Masonite Siding
Some of the repair processes are also helpful in cleaning the sidings. Besides painting, the siding can also be scrubbed for cleaning purposes. Make sure to scrub only the compromised area of the siding, so that the structure remains unaffected. When washing, allow it to dry completely for a day or two, before treating or curating it further. This will drain all the water out, preventing any damage that prolonged exposure to water may cause. Pressure washers can also be used for cleaning purposes.
Replace the siding when the damage is large-scale or beyond repair. However, replacing the whole structure is pretty expensive. If the damage is caught early and only a small part of the siding is affected, then only that part can be replaced. To catch the problem early, keep looking for any discoloration in the siding. Discoloration signifies that the siding has begun to rot and decay. Also, to increase the longevity of Masonite, repaint it every few years. This is much better than having to replace the whole siding altogether.