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TimberSIL Wood Products Rotting, Despite 40 Year Guarantee

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After Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans, Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation stepped in and rebuilt 100 homes that were designed to be energy-efficient and eco-friendly. Unfortunately, some of the wood  products, specifically TimberSIL,  used during the construction of the houses is now rotting.

TimberSIL, is touted as  an innovative glass-infused wood by the manufacturer,  and was used  on outdoor steps and front porches of houses in the Lower 9th Ward, the New Orleans Advocate reported. Although the wood was guaranteed for 40 years, it has already begun rotting, a Make It Right spokeswoman told the New Orleans Advocate.

The company that manufactures TimberSIL describes its product as offering an effective barrier in lumber to rot, decay and common wood problems without using toxic ingredients. It also boasts that the absence of chemicals in the TimberSIL wood made it eco-friendly because it could be mulched and composted at the end of its life cycle.

Unfortunately, Make It Right has found that TimberSIL can’t withstand the moisture produced in New Orleans and has turned dark gray and started to fall apart, The reported. The organization has already replaced wood in 30 of the homes.

This is not the first time TimberSIL has caused problems. According to, a project in Western Massachusetts had to be repaired when the builders found the wood absorbed too much moisture and was unable to hold paint.

The installation of TimberSIL also allegedly caused renovations at a 19th-century inn in western Massachusetts to stall after contractors who had used the wood to build deck rails realized the product would not even hold a single coat of paint or holdup against the area’s climate, the New Orleans Advocate reported. Local News reports said the contractors were stuck with an additional $100,000 cost to replace the material. Despite the previous failings, Make It Right officials still went with the wood product on the basis of their trust in the manufacturer’s 40-year guarantee. Since 2010, the foundation has changed back to traditional yellow pine wood.

The situation is also somewhat similar of what happened when groups like Habitat for Humanity installed toxic Chinese drywall in hundreds of buildings in the New Orleans area after Katrina, according to the New Orleans Advocate. Those organizations had to return to the building sites to gut and rebuild the homes.

Make It Right spokeswoman Taylor Royle told the New Orleans Advocate the foundation has contacted the manufacturer to inform it of the problems associated with the product and to seek to recoup their costs. So far, the company has been unresponsive, she said. disclaimer: This article: TimberSIL Wood Products Rotting, Despite 40 Year Guarantee was posted on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 at 5:18 pm at and is filed under Construction Defect Lawsuits.

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