Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)

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Whatcom County Home Inspector (King of the House) -- Oriented Strand Board

 I have written about oriented strand board (OSB) a number of times before. The topic most often comes up when talking about L-P innerseal siding. However, OSB is available in sheets as well and is used for other applications such as sheathing that is covered by other material.

This photo below is one of the most unsuitable applications I have seen forOSB. The key to longevity, for this product, is keeping it dry. It is a shredded/chopped/glued back together wood product and, when moisture can get into the edges, ends, soak down into the top, it does not weather a whole lot better than a cardboard box. Now, in theory, the OSB sidings are made to be more durable -- if they are installed exactly right and kept painted, caulked and maintained.

The photos below show exposed trim that is cut from OSB. It was buckled, warped and de-laminating/decaying in a number of different locations. In some places they had tacked a metal flashing over it, to protect it but this was not working well at all. The second photo is closeup, so you can have a good gander at it. 

  

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Bellingham WA home inspections

Steven L. Smith

Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 8 commentsSteven L. Smith • January 30 2008 11:08PM

Comments

You need to get yourself some of that "PressureTreated" oriented strand board:) 
Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 11 years ago
This would be okay in the Sahara Desert, but Washington...I don't think so.
Posted by Marlene Bridges, Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate (Village Real Estate Services, Inc.) over 11 years ago

Charlie,

That pressure treated OSB is a Seattle phenomenon, like grunge. Can you please blog on it and I will send a link to your work.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 11 years ago
Steve, I can see it in my head----doesn't that mean it exists?
Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 11 years ago
Steve - That is classic for Washington State. It seems almost every house has that problem a little bit, but the OSB sure accelerates things. 
Posted by Ryan Martin, Bellingham Commercial RE Broker (Windermere Real Estate / Whatcom Inc.) over 11 years ago

Ryan,

Yes, even with lumber it is not unusual to see it warped or with some decay at rafter tails where roofing drains over it, if there is no shingle extended over the rafter tail or fascia. However the OSB is really unsuitable in that application.

 

 

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 11 years ago
Steve - I second that. OSB is not the greatest product for a lot of applications. 
Posted by Ryan Martin, Bellingham Commercial RE Broker (Windermere Real Estate / Whatcom Inc.) over 11 years ago

Ryan,

I think it might be really good in some of the dry climates. But here in the Pacific NorthWET it takes lots of maintenance to keep it from turning into a sponge.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 11 years ago

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