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Buyer Beware: Weatherside Cladding
Home buyer beware: Weatherside Cladding
As an inspection company that was established over ten years ago we have seen more than our fair share of properties.
When speaking to home buyers we’re often surprised that they either, haven’t heard of Weatherside cladding, or they didn’t think Weatherside was still around.
The truth is that we are still finding properties with Weatherside cladding on the market today and purchasers need to be aware of the risks associated with this product.
What is Weatherside?
Weatherside is a cladding material which was most commonly used between 1975 – 1985 and is often mistaken as a fibre cement weatherboard called Hardiplank. The two can be hard to distinguish, with only small visible details differentiating them which can often only be identified by a trained eye.
What’s the problem with it?
Weatherside is a tempered hardboard, made from wood fibres which have been glued together. Issues occur when moisture ingress causes the glue in the cladding to fail, this is often due to un-maintained paint systems, cracking, or damage to the cladding. The cladding would then swell, delaminate, and turn into “Weetbix”. Left in this condition it could also allow moisture to penetrate and rot the timber framing.
Following the failure of the product, it was withdrawn from the market in the late 1980’s and homeowners were offered compensation packages by the manufacture, Carter Holt Harvey. However not all homeowners replaced the Weatherside cladding with the compensation money, and they would later go on to sell the properties to unsuspecting purchasers who now have to deal with the consequences.
What if my current home has Weatherside cladding?
If you are currently in a home with Weatherside cladding, the risks associated with it can be managed by maintaining the paint system and ensuring the cladding remains free of cracks or damage.
However you need to be aware that your insurance company are unlikely to accept a claim related to the product. I have recently read a story of someone who had unknowingly purchased a Weatherside clad property; the paint system had been maintained and the cladding had never caused a problem until a flood went through the property. The bottom section of the cladding swelled requiring replacement and the insurance company wouldn’t accept the claim as it was a product known to fail.
How to avoid buying a house with Weatherside cladding?
Our advice to all purchasers is to firstly ask about the cladding material, and secondly (and most importantly), have it inspected by a professional inspection company who are trained to identify these types of materials. That way, you can rest easy in your new home.
If you require an inspection on the condition of your Weatherside cladding, call us today on 0800 487 884!