Just Say No to OSB

OSB rot

I live in an area of relatively low income, a blue collar town where a surprisingly large percentage of the population is classified as downright destitute. To see a house without vinyl siding is a rarity, much to my dismay, but that’s reality in a lot of areas these days.

Even with the economy in disarray, houses keep popping up here and there, most being financed by speculating builders, but some by the homeowners themselves.

The one thing they all have in common is the incredibly crappy materials they use. Not long ago, no builder with an ounce of self-respect or pride would work with OSB. Now, almost every house I see going up not only uses OSB on the walls, but on the roof!

For those of you that are not familiar with this garbage called OSB (Oriented Strand Board), here’s an explanation.

If OSB gets wet, it expands and never returns to its original size, shape and strength, so you can clearly see why it’s such an excellent roofing material. No moisture there, right? I’ve seen 15 year old houses built with this crap that are literally falling apart. Peek behind the vinyl on most houses now and you’ll be shocked to see what’s there. These houses are nothing more than wood chips, glue and plastic. Nobody in their right mind would buy a house built like this, but they continue to do so, mainly due to ignorance on the part of the owners and lack of ethics on the part of the builders.

If you’re having a house built, and the builder suggests OSB, fire him or her on the spot. A skilled builder with any sense of pride in workmanship would never work with this crap.


2 thoughts on “Just Say No to OSB

  1. Yeah, I’m not a fan. A number of tile / hardwood flooring installers won’t go near the stuff, either, and for good reason: it isn’t as strong or effective as traditional plywood of the same thickness. And I do believe that it may be more prone to water damage, too.

    Just FYI, some big box stores will try to pass off OSB as “plywood”. It isn’t. They are two different wood board products. You probably have to check plywood ratings, adhesives, etc. for suitability for your particular usage; but in general, I would take plywood over OSB any day.

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