How to Identify Masonite Siding Problems

Masonite siding, otherwise known as hardboard siding, is siding for your house made from wood fibers held together with glue or resin through heat and compression processes. Hardboard siding is popular because it's strong and can be cheaper than alternatives like vinyl siding. Unfortunately, Masonite siding can also run into some problems during its lifetime. Here's how you can identify Masonite siding problems around your house:

  • Discoloration Look for any places where the hardboard appears to have changed color. Even slight color changes can signify that the siding is beginning to rot or decompose [source: Dickinson].
  • Buckling Look for abnormal bulges or curves in the Masonite. Your siding was designed to be flat and stiff. Anything different means it has been absorbing moisture and expanding. Over time, this problem will only grow worse [source: Dickinson].
  • Blistering Sometimes, when hardboard siding is beginning to fail the layers of compressed wood particles separate from within, causing blisters. Feel around to see if your siding is no longer hard somewhere. If so, then it's probably blistering and will fall apart soon [source: Dickinson].
  • Deterioration Check to see if any chunks or pieces of material are missing from your Masonite. These signs, such as holes and cracks, should be obvious that something's wrong with your siding and it needs replacing [source: Dickinson].
  • Insect infestation Carefully inspect the outside of your house for signs of bugs, especially near the foundation of the house or the bottom of the siding. Insects can eat or breed in Masonite and destroy it. If you find bugs, immediately get rid of them with repellents or insecticides. Look for signs of rot in your hardboard siding to see if you need to replace it [source: SidingKey].
  • Coating Your Masonite siding should be treated or painted at all times to help keep out moisture, fungus and other damaging external forces. Most hardboard siding comes pre-treated, just make sure to maintain this coating [source: SidingKey].
  • Caulking Spaces between pieces of Masonite siding and along edges should be sealed at all times. Inspect your caulking regularly to make sure your siding's protected [source: SidingKey].