Many homes in the greater Atlanta market built from the 80's to later 90's likely contain one or more components that owners or buyers should be very concerned with. One of the single most troublesome things was "Louisiana Pacific (LP) Inner Seal" siding. This siding is made from chips of wood glued together to make a building material commonly called OSB "oriented strand board". OSB is widely used as a substitute for plywood, mainly due to cost. Louisiana-Pacific used this OSB material, formed it into siding panels and lap siding and embossed it with a covering pattern that imitated the look of natural wood grain. The lap siding was a disaster; water penetrates the edges and nail holes as paint breaks down and once in, the siding delaminates and swells. It's non reversible and the rate of failure led to class action lawsuits which ultimately paid out in excess of a reported $500M. It's pretty easy to spot...

Here are two homes that are perfect examples of what to look for and to be aware of....


This siding is all over the greater Atlanta real estate market in homes built in the 80's-90's. It's not a question of if it will fail, it will. Once the siding swells you cannot reverse the deterioration, in fact, painting can seal moisture in and accelerate the process. The fix is to remove the compromised siding and replace it, most commonly with cement siding. Buyers that see this need to factor in possible replacement costs as well as any future impact it will have on value and or marketability.

And two other things...

This time period also saw extensive use of EFIS stucco (Exterior Insulating Finish System); many times used in conjunction with LP siding. EFIS is notorious for moisture problems, wood damage and mold...and termites. This is another siding material that should raise flags with every buyer agent and buyer, but many have no idea of the potential issues. Often the damage is unseen behind walls until it becomes apparent or someone goes looking for it. The resulting damage can be financially devastating. Another key point about stucco that most don't realize, many relocation firms strongly advise against or prevent employees coming to Atlanta to buy stucco homes. They understand the potential issues and associated stigma associated with stucco.

water damaged stucco sidingThe third leg of the triple threat for 80's-90's homes is polybutylene plumbing pipes. Used extensively from the late 70's into the 90's, it was touted as the "future" of plumbing and the replacement for copper. Until it wasn't. Two fatal flaws result in the pipes failing; chemical reaction and improper installation. Oxidants in the public water supplies, such as chlorine, react with the polybutylene piping and acetal fittings causing them to scale and flake and become brittle. Micro-fractures result, and the basic structural integrity of the system is reduced. Compression bands used on joints break down the integrity of the walls, this reduces the ability to resist pressure and the pipe blows. This is very common outside the home before the pressure reduction value found inside. 

These three issues are common around the Atlanta area. Buyers that don't pay attention and fail to work with experts will not be happy

The pandemic swelled the agent population to records highs, there are no standards to become an agent. These hobby agents will cost people significant money through ignorance of the process. The importance of working with a skilled buyer's agent cannot be overstated. Buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions some one makes, not working with the very best professional agent, inspector, lender.....is fool hardy. Don't step on a financial landmine.


The Hank Miller Team puts 30+ years of full time sales & appraisal experience to work for you. Act with complete confidence & make sound, decisive real estate decisions. 678-428-8276 and info@hmtatlanta.com

Posted by Hank Miller on

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