Latest Discussions : Roofing & Siding

colleengervolino

01:39PM | 10/10/04
Member Since: 07/29/04
3 lifetime posts
I live in the northeast and I am adding on to a turn of the century victorian. My builder used particle board siding when the plans called for Plywood. It has been exposed to the elements for 2 months (many rainstorms).

Is this going to be a problem in the future?

Should I have them remove it and replace it with plywood?

Thank you

homebild

07:39AM | 10/15/04
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
As long as you mean OSB (Oriented Strand Board) type plywood that the builder used, (and not real 'particle board') you will have no problems.

OSB is engineered to have nearly the same performance characterstics than conventional plywood but with one major significant advantage: OSB is FAR cheaper than plywood and few builder use conventional plywood anymore for this reason.

OSB is much more environmentally friendly being able to use wood fibers that are otherwise just thrown away.

prajna

12:03AM | 06/19/05
Member Since: 06/18/05
1 lifetime posts
We used osb on my personal craftsman home. We have found it very vulnerable to any wetness, and rots incredibly easy. It appears the glues used in it are organic, and grow some amazing molds on it if any water infiltrates and increases it's moisture content. We live in the Pacific NW.

Enviromentally responsible? Are they leaving the old-growth by using this product? No. They just cut the trees even younger.

As an architect, I will never specify this product again.

dodgeroof

06:56AM | 06/19/05
Member Since: 03/27/05
95 lifetime posts
To OSB,never again..........

regardless of the claims made by manufacturers and retailers......YOU'RE RIGHT. OSB is not as good as CDX plywood. I don't base this on "scientific studies" I've made, but experience with working with it over the years, since it came out.

Besides it being more prone to deterioration due to getting wet....where the "chips" can actually start flaking off, it does not hold nails anywhere near as well as plywood. During

roof wind-damage situations, I've seen many cases where the nails came right of of the OSB, along with the roofing.

It's cheaper, and that's all.

I'd say if your specs called for plywood, that's what you should have gotten. And if it's to late for that, you should be credited the difference in price between the two.

A roof CAN be your friend

homebild

06:31PM | 06/26/05
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
That OSB is inferior to plywood, or that plywood is superior to OSB board, is a myth that is propogated by the ignorant.

In fact OSB is superior to plywood in several key areas which include:

-stronger sheer strength and greater resistance to blowing off in high winds

-better ability to span distance and bear weight per equal thicknesses.

OSB also shows no difference at all in nail holding power to plywood.

OSB has been proven to actually repel water better than plywood.

All major code, manufacturers and scientific studies and organizations list plywood and OSB, both engineered wood products, as EQUAL in overall performance with only minor differences between the two for application consideration.

If your OSB rotted eaily, it was likely not OSB at all, but rather a separate grade of waferboard or 'Aspenite' which is not the same thing.

In my 30 years of homebuidling experience, I have never seen any major differences in performance between OSB and plywood and have even conducted my own tests on the products which support the scientific findings.

OSB is more environmentally friendly than ply because it uses wood products that would otherwise be sent to the garbage heap.

OSB makes better use of limited natural resources getting more product out of a single tree with less waste.

Here is a helpful link to dispel the many myths about OSB and plywood:

http://www.umass.edu/bmatwt/publications/articles/osb_vs_plywood.html


dodgeroof

02:40PM | 06/27/05
Member Since: 03/27/05
95 lifetime posts
My "ignorance" is based on working with plywood, OSB, and the older solid deckings. Now really...no reasopn to get personal, stemming from some complex.

OSB may even have some theoretical rating in some catagory which is higher than plywood....all based on lab tests.

All I know is,in 23 years of working with all three. if I had to trust my life with any of these, OSB would be last.

Aluminum wiring used to be better than copper....aluminum siding used to be better than wood, PERMATEK and WOODRUF used to be better than real cedar shakes.....and they also had their lab tests and their stuctural and longevity capabilities stated as being superior.

It was funny to all but those who got stuck with them.

I think it has to do with the necessity of those pushing the latest and greatest replacements for proven products to divert attention away from the substandard essence of the replacement.

But, this is only my opinion, and that of many others I know, who, while always open to alternatives which may cost less, will not jump on a me-to/save-me-money-to-bandwagon...for nothing more than the "save-me-money" part.

I'm not saying that wafer sheets, made from itty bitty wood chips do not have their place in construction. But don't try to foll those of us who work with these materials every day.

Is someone wants to save some cash on cheap carpet or paint, I see no problem.

A roof CAN be your "friend"...rather than "that thing you hate".

homebild

04:52AM | 06/29/05
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
There was nothing personal stated from me here, Dodgeroof and 'ignorant' defined means:

" lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified..."

Which is precisely the situation for those who refuse to acknowledge the well established scientific research and data concerning the parity between OSB and plywood.

But as you said: "But, this is only my opinion..." and I agree. And it is NOT the professional opinion of most contractors and is especially not the consensus of the sceintific community...

In fact, my professional 30 year experience supports the research that plywoods and OSB are engineered to have nearly the same performance characteristics and in many cases OSB's performance is significantly better than plywood.

The only ones who are apprantly being 'fooled' here are those who reject the research data and the proven field performance records of OSB in favor of their own personal myths.

dodgeroof

05:35PM | 07/01/05
Member Since: 03/27/05
95 lifetime posts
If the OSB works for YOU, hack away with it. When I need a bit more structural integrity on surfaces I'm working on, I prefer the field proven PLYWOOD. Besides, as I said, the nails do not pull out in strong winds as they do with OSB.

I'm waiting for the recycled OSB-OSB version.

A roof CAN be your "friend"...rather than "that thing you hate".

Piffin

03:15PM | 07/02/05
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
it's interesting that this has devolved into a debate on the merits or demeerits of osb when the original poster asked about particle board.

PB should never be used for anything other thana carpet underalyment IMO.

If it was used as sheathing, it should definitely be replaced.

Hoimebuild - you state, "In my 30 years of homebuidling experience, I have never seen any major differences in performance between OSB and plywood and have even conducted my own tests on the products which support the scientific findings."

There is a fine error here. OSB has not been on the market for thirty years. You make much of your years of experience, which is certainly worth something. I agree with most of what you say in these forums. So I will qualify my own opinion with my thirty seven years of construction experience. I staarteed out sheathing with boards.

OSB has only been with us for a little over twenty years - perhaps as much as 25, but no more. before that, its predecessor was waferboard which is the source of much bad publicity, well deserved.

I can accept modern OSB for sheathing in place of plywood. One reason is not that I favor OSB, but that Plywood has seen better days. It is no longer the product that it once was. delamination is far too common.

But I will never allow it on any roof that I build. It is not acceptable for that use. Seams will telegraph and dips will show through an asphalt roof. it has not the same lateral strength needed to support snow loads. Perhaps you live in an area where snow is light.

I have used and been more than happy with the latest generation of this product though. Huber's Advantech is far superior to OSB in water repelancy and overall integrity. The glues used are waterproof and of high strength. I have never seen it delam or edge swell the way OSB does. There is another company making a comparable product as well, but not marketing it as OSB by name. perhaps you use one of these and misapply the name. I have seen others do that as well. Nmaes tend to stick around - we still hear any circ saw called a Skilsaw very ofeten wheether made by Skil or not and we still hear any countertop laminate called Formica whether it is made by the Formica companyu or one of it's competitors. Ever use any "Scotch" tape? You don't suppose there would be a market for this newest generation of chipboard product if the old OSB was really any good do you? OSB is going the same way that waferboard did - because of its reputation as a second rate product.

You refer to myths.

All mythology is always descended from fact. The OSB has been with us for a generation and deserves the rap it gets. The builders who favor it base their choice not on studies of factual experience, but on price. Experrience shows different. If you can cover it up fast enough to keep it from ever getting damp, it is probably OK in light load conditions. But it will deteriorate when wetted. It will sag in roof situations. You fight a losing battle to defend it against those of us who know better from long experience.

Excellence is its own reward!


sterusso

09:59AM | 07/28/05
Member Since: 07/27/05
1 lifetime posts
I am having hardwood floors installed. I am combining two rooms and the one room is a step lower. I added the floor joists to bring the floor up and now want to square off all the floor with wood then put the hardwood floors on top. Can I use OSB down or wood plywood be better? Cost is an issue and that is why I was thinking of OSB.

Piffin

02:12PM | 07/29/05
Member Since: 11/06/02
1278 lifetime posts
it sounds like since you are already closed in, you can control moisture, so OSB would suffice, as long as you use a thickness approved in your area for subfloors. I would use a minuiomum 3/4"

Excellence is its own reward!


homebild

09:02AM | 07/31/05
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
Piffin:

Thanks for the input on the topic but allow me to clarify some of your misconceptions.

You said:

"There is a fine error here. OSB has not been on the market for thirty years....OSB has only been with us for a little over twenty years - perhaps as much as 25, but no more. before that, its predecessor was waferboard which is the source of much bad publicity, well deserved."

--Right, but I never said I have used OSB for all of those 30 years and the articles I have posted from the researchers indicate the rpoblems with the earliest forms of OSB and 'aspenites' and 'waferboards' whioch should not be confused with modern OSB.

Piffin also said:

"But I will never allow it on any roof that I build. It is not acceptable for that use. Seams will telegraph and dips will show through an asphalt roof. it has not the same lateral strength needed to support snow loads. Perhaps you live in an area where snow is light."

-Well that is your opinion, but it is not mine. OSB does NOT 'telegraph' through shingles unless it is improperly installed.

And it is just plain FALSE that OSB does not have greater lateral strenght. In fact the opposite is true. OSB has GREATER sheer and load bearing strength which is why you can user thinner sheets of OSB than plywood for equal spans. The scientific and code research backs this up universally: OSB is stronger than plywood, but for all intents are treated as equals for simplicity sake for load bearing and sheer strength. And YES I live in a region of high snow load and have never seen any failures due to the use of OSB alone.

Piffin then said:

"You don't suppose there would be a market for this newest generation of chipboard product if the old OSB was really any good do you? OSB is going the same way that waferboard did - because of its reputation as a second rate product."

-OSB by any other name is till OSB. OSB simply means an engineered sheet wood product made using the technique of using "oriented stands" of wood fibers that are pressed and glues into place...The process name has nothing to do with product or trademark identity....But it is true that OSB, like all engineered wood products even plywood, is an EVOLVING product and process and was also addressed in my links.

The reality is that no matter what you call it or how you package it, as long as the basic process stays the same it is still OSB.

So I disagree completely that OSB is going anywhere. OSB was 'waferboard" and OSB is now 'Advantech' and OSB will be other things in the future as this product remains.

Piffin finally said:

" The OSB has been with us for a generation and deserves the rap it gets. The builders who favor it base their choice not on studies of factual experience, but on price. Experrience shows different. If you can cover it up fast enough to keep it from ever getting damp, it is probably OK in light load conditions. But it will deteriorate when wetted. It will sag in roof situations. You fight a losing battle to defend it against those of us who know better from long experience. "

Again, this is completely FALSE and the research concludes oppositely from what you have stated and I can only base you acceptance of these myths based on not having read any research on the issue...and if you can produce any research to refute what I have stated I'll be glad to consider it. But the reality is:

-OSB is superior to plywood for load conditions as the research openly states

-OSB does not sag when wet anymore than does plywood.

-OSB is BETTER at repelling water than plywood because it takes longer to saturate than plywood. The only issue with OSB is that when it swells from having been wetted, it does not return to its original shape as easily or as readily as plywood.

-OSB does NOT rot as easily as plywood. Their characteristics in this area are the same.

And again, MY experience and the scientific research does not agree with your claims....


homebild

09:12AM | 07/31/05
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
Piffin brought up price as being one of the few reasons to use OSB.

Well, it is certainly ONE reason, and is essentially the same reason that homes are no longer sheathed with true 1x12s.

The price of 1x12s is so much greater than plywood per square foot that plywood replaced solid wood sheathing DESPITE THE FACT THAT PLYWOOD IS INFERIOR IN MANY WAYS TO SOLID WOOD SHEATHING.

The same might be said about the reasons why OSB is rapidly replacing plywood sheathing considering that OSB cost can be 2-5X LESS than plywood depending upon location.

Right now OSB cost about 1/2 that of comparable plywood in my region and was as great as 5 x cheaper just before Bush Iraq war artifically drove up the cost.

So having a cheaper cost product does not necessarily indicate a bad thing, and price is ultimately the driving force in constuction which is why we don't hand dig or build stone foundations anymore or why we don't frame homes with true 2x stock lumber anymore...

But cost is NOT the only factor in using OSB over plywood, performance is.

homebild

09:14AM | 07/31/05
Member Since: 01/28/03
693 lifetime posts
"I am having hardwood floors installed. I am combining two rooms and the one room is a step lower. I added the floor joists to bring the floor up and now want to square off all the floor with wood then put the hardwood floors on top. Can I use OSB down or wood plywood be better? Cost is an issue and that is why I was thinking of OSB."

There should be no issues using OSB since it has been shown that OSB flooring has the same or better nail holding charcteristics as plywood and OSB costs less.


ama572

03:25PM | 11/10/07
Member Since: 11/09/07
1 lifetime posts
Homebild-Do you work for an OSB manufacturer?

You guys may be comparing apples and oranges a bit here. keep in mind that there are 2 grades of plywood (interior /exterior). OSB has different types of grades depending on usage.

I think most would agree that if the usage is for an area that may sustain more than one month of periodic rain/wetness before being able to be 'roofed' over or vapor barriered, that plywood is much better in general.

For example, OSB floor edges will turn up if it stays wet for longer than a month, whereas plywood would take a lot longer. Obviously depends on how often it rains and how wet it stays. Some builders are notorious slow and behind the gun and cut corners.

Homebild, BTW, most OSB that builders use has LESS sheer and lateral strength than plywood. Keep in mind that tobacco companies told folks smoking was safe and didn't cause cancer either.

And while you 'builders' sit and crow about years of experience, mull over this information is coming from a retiring PhD Structural Engineer with 40 years "experience" with copious laboratory/field testing experience.

OSB is almost always used because it's cheaper, not because it gives superior structural support over plywood. Give it a rest folks.

Hydrexsanjose

10:48PM | 06/07/09
Member Since: 06/07/09
1 lifetime posts
I am a termite inspector and find that in most cases OSB products become damaged quiclky when exposed to excessive moisture. If you can be sure that you will never have a roof leak, shower leak, plumbing leak or any type of adverse moiture conditon you will be fine but we all know that this is far from reality. Leaks will cause damage and require replacement of OSB if not caught fairly quickly. Plywood and sheathing boards clearly hold up to adverse conditions much more that OSB. I can only hope that this will be corrected in the future and that our scientists and manfacturers would gain a great deal of true data if they would perform detailed inspections of many differet structures built in many different condtions and enviroments 10 -20 years after construction. I know that superior products equal not only strength but also longevity. So what is better and how many trees and how much construction cost do we actually save if we have to replace the wood materials more often? It is less expensive for the 1st builder but for the consumer it may be much more down the line

I know that when I inspect a structure that OSB materials are present my pen tends to get used much more and the repair cost is much higher than stuctures built with conventional building materials.

I do appreciate that this is an attempt to use more product than waste and the overall cost effectiveness to the actual builder is much lower.

I have seen a few nightmares that would have not been so horrible if other products were used other that OSB

1QualityRoofing

05:25AM | 11/27/09
Member Since: 11/26/09
3 lifetime posts
Embrace New Technology & Ecology Methodologies.

If we are speaking about Standard “CDX” Plywood and not “Treated”.

Today “OSB” meets or exceeds every important spec above “CDX” plywood. Period!

After installing over 10,000 new roofs and specializing in re-decks, I would never again install standard 1/2" CDX plywood, over standard 7/16" OSB. As far as price goes, yes on a normal size home OSB is about $100.00 cheaper. However I would up sell it even if it was more. It’s better and saves millions of trees.

Test It: Try leaving out in the rain 1pc. of OSB outside next to 1pc. of standard CDX. Wait a couple days and then reply to say "I was wrong"

Old School vs. New School

Quality Roofing

007bond7

01:24PM | 01/25/10
Member Since: 01/24/10
1 lifetime posts
ever laid a hardwood floor.Would you choose OSB or ply?

I would never lay a hardwood floor on OSB.It is cheaper sure.OSB is used because its cheaper not superior.I have a home bulit in 1850 post and beam.The siding is wood.Aluminum and Vinyl are superior right?

BV001141

09:21AM | 05/26/13
We have OSB subfloor in bedrooms and upper hall; wish to replace carpet with hardwood flooring. Should the OSB be replaced with plywood? One issue is lining things up with existing hardwood staircase. Should contractor replace OSB with thinner subfloor to use 3/4 nail down oak (which I intuitively wonder "what" it is being nailed into due to the thinness of the subfloor) or is it better longterm to go with a thinner oak flooring choice installed over the existing OSB? Told existing subfloor is in good shape and just needs a few more nails for a couple of joint squeaks (pulled back hall carpet to check out subfloor). Getting mixed opinions from contractors.

Also, we have existing hardwood flooring downstairs that needs refinishing (25 yrs and faded, but in good shape). Is it a big upcharge to "lighten" the existing medium brown stain (vs re-staining medium shade)?

BV001141

09:25AM | 05/26/13
I guess third option would be to replace OSB with plywood and top with thinner Oak flooring.

BV006061

11:40PM | 10/19/14
Particular Board, Chip Board, Wafer Board, whatever, this originated in the early 1970s when the Chinese came to America and was "given" tree stumps in Oregon State and other areas in the Northeast. Americans thought they were crazy offering to remove the vast areas of bald Mountain Tops (forestry remains). The Chinese built giant platforms in international waters and glued the chipped from the stumps to make "wafer boards" and sold the product back to America and profited greatly. The American Roofers and builders had seen this new cheap 3 dollar wafer board as a profit margin and went crazy with it. Soon... the glue disintegrated from the heat of the sun and condensation. Millions of rooves were replaced within a years time. New modern OSB, Particular Board, still disintegrates when moisture is introduced, Water based glue is the fear and problem. Cheap is Cheap no matter how you look at it...you get what you pay for.
Img 1403

BV007805

02:21PM | 05/14/15
I have a lot of rotting on my house. As I am having it repaired I have discovered that the sub siding is something like a thick cardboard, I don't know if it's this OSB I've been reading about or something even worse. It's almost like a thick cardboard? Any ideas and should I replace it all, even though I can't afford to?

BV007894

12:22AM | 05/24/15
in a word PLYWOOD. Pay more now or PAY way more later i f you cheap out with OSB

OldSchoolCarpenter

12:03AM | 05/25/15
Member Since: 05/21/15
9 lifetime posts
If the design called for plywood then it should plywood. Although your not sure if it's OSB or anther material that was used that's not the specified material as you pointed out, many homes use OSB to save money, as a contractor for 35 years I rarely use anything other than ply, I don't need a customer to call me back ten years from now because of a failure or problem, ply wood is a sound-stable and predictable solution and why the architect specified the material, especially on a Victorian that deserves the good material to go another 100 years.

BV008333

06:56PM | 07/12/15
I want to clarify for everyone that the Huber woods advantech is engineered OSB ; And in my opinion is the best sheeting on the market, outside of HDO(although I would not recommend them for same uses so that leaves OSB in the lead for its uses)The fastener holder power and resistance to wear and damage even if left exposed temporarily to the elements. There are cheaper OSB sheeting available and that's where the misunderstanding comes into play but it's not the sheeting. Oh and btw any time I find MDF on a job I replace it. Contractors only reason for using it has to be too rip home owner off either in building quality or by charging them for more expensive material. I suggest that any one just learning use the same mindset toward MDF

BV018423

09:53PM | 01/14/19
FEMA Test on Particle Board Vs Plywood = Plywood Wins.
Particle Board may contain formaldehyde.
Particle board expands when soaked.

I prefer natural. I do my own research. I don't believe research from people who profit from said research.

My mind is made up. Keep that OSB Out of Santa Barbara!

BV022587

09:48AM | 06/03/20
I have a desser and my dad says borad on back is compere board, and 1930's product, do you know anything about this product, it looks like a thin pressed board with a mesh fabric on backside?


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