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


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.


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.


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


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:


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 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".


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.


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".


03:15PM | 07/02/05
Member Since: 11/06/02
1280 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!


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.
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