Many homes in Browne’s Ferry, especially those in “Browne’s Ferry I” at the front side of the neighborhood, were built in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, and sided with a compressed paperboard siding from Abitibi. A class-action lawsuit made small settlements available to owners of homes that used Abitibi, but the statute of limitations on payment is 25 years from the time of installation. For many Browne’s Ferry homeowners, this window has closed.

How can you tell if your hardboard siding needs to be replaced? Here are a few signs:

1. Water Damage

Water damage results from water infiltrating the paper cover on hardboard siding, which results in a rippled looking texture. This can often been seen where nails were used to secure the board to the wall, and at edges and joints. If you have water damage, you’ll need to replace those boards.

2. Animal Damage

Woodpeckers can easily drill holes into the siding, which then leaves the siding unprotected from rain and insects. If the hole is small enough, you can use an exterior wood putty then repaint to match your home color. If the damage is more extensive, you’ll need to replace the board.

3. Slipped Nail Holes

Damaged siding can create larger holes around the nails intended to secure the boards, which can cause the siding board itself to slide off the wall. Because the integrity of the board has been compromised, it is better to replace the board than attempt to repair it.

Replacement Options

Any exterior alterations will require approval from the Architectural Review Committee. Forms are available online.

Abitibi folded years ago and was bought out by Masonite. It is hard to find replacement siding boards that will match the style and lap of what is currently on many Browne’s Ferry homes. However painting professionals often have alternatives that will match the existing siding for spot repairs.

Hardiplank is a cement-based siding option that closely matches Masonite/Abitibi siding. It is available at home improvement stores, and can be painted to match your home’s exterior.

Some homeowners have also opted to replace their home’s siding with vinyl. Homes in “Browne’s Ferry II” (the interior of the community that was built slightly later than the front of the community) often have vinyl siding, and today’s vinyl siding options can closely match the look and feel of Masonite siding.

NextDoor is a great resource for finding contractors used by other Browne’s Ferry homeowners when replacing or repairing/repainting their siding: brownesferry.nextdoor.com.