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Lerch Bates observed the façade of a multi-family project under construction that utilized fiber cement wall panels over the exterior sheathing of the building. The installed panels exhibited horizontal cracks appearing to originate from the fasteners. Upon further observation, Lerch Bates determined that improper preparation of the substrate material and fastening likely led to water infiltration and temperature fluctuations. This in turn, created extensive expansion and contraction, causing the panel cracks.