Are Your Panels Substandard?

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APA - The Engineered Wood Association reported in July that an influx of imported wood panel products have made their way into the American housing market to meet hot demand. Some of those panels may be improperly stamped or not stamped at all - thereb...

September 01, 2004

 

The three agencies that certify wood panel performance, APA, TECO and PSI, all stamp wood panels with information, including the certifying agency trademark, maximums for deflection under load and dimensional stability, and minimums for strength, stiffness and lateral nail loads. Above are detailed APA stamps for three panel grades.

APA - The Engineered Wood Association reported in July that an influx of imported wood panel products have made their way into the American housing market to meet hot demand. Some of those panels may be improperly stamped or not stamped at all - thereby raising questions about their origin and suitability for construction.

In Anne Arundel County in Maryland, a building inspector inspecting plywood panels used as wall and roof sheathing on a home found that the panels' third-party stamps lacked complete information. Missing from the stamp were a certification agency trademark, span rating, thickness and bond classification, according to APA.

According to a release put out by the APA, the building inspector had the sheathing in question torn out and replaced. Upon examination of the panels, "it was determined that the imported plywood in question was manufactured for non-building construction use such as pallets, but the panels had been misapplied in a sheathing application. While culpability is hard to pin on anyone in particular, a general lack of grade stamp knowledge along the distribution chain is clearly contributing to the problems herein."

Three agencies, APA, TECO and PSI, stamp panels to certify performance according to North American standards.

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