OSB sub-flooring products have a long track record of success. Premium products such as LP Legacy® offer builders even greater moisture resistance, strength, and stiffness for peace of mind, even in harsh weather conditions during construction. But like all building materials, it’s important to follow manufacturer and industry recommendations for storage, handling, and installation to ensure products perform as expected.
Here are strategies for proper storage and handling of OSB:
- Work closely with suppliers to ensure products are delivered in a timeframe that limits idle time on the jobsite; the longer panels sit on site, the greater the chance for accidental damage due to forklifts and other equipment.
- When your supplier delivers panels to the jobsite, ensure they are placed on a level area. If the terrain is not flat, the bundle might get twisted and, over time, panels might take on the new shape.
- Store panels in clean, dry areas and off of the ground. If possible, store indoors or under roof. “Keep sanded panels and appearance-grade products away from high-traffic areas to prevent damage to surfaces,” APA-The Engineered Wood Association adds.
- If stored outside, “Stack [panels] on a level platform supported by at least three 4x4s to keep them off the ground,” APA says. “Place one 4x4 in the center and the other two 12 to 16 inches from the ends. Never leave panels or the platform in direct contact with the ground.” Cover panels loosely with plastic sheets or tarps. Keep the cover open and away from the sides and bottom of the panels to allow for air circulation.
- In addition to protecting the OSB prior to installation, similar care should be taken with all framing members. If floor framing lumber gets wet and dries, it can bow, which can potentially impact the integrity of the sub-flooring installation.
- Protect edges to avoid damage to the tongue-and-groove profile.
- Space units at least 4˝ on all four sides.
- Carry panels using two people.
- Before installation, allow panels to acclimate to existing jobsite moisture conditions.
- Be sure to allow wet wood framing to dry before sub-flooring installation.
- After installation and prior to installation of the finished flooring, keep moisture off the sub-floor; though LP Legacy premium subflooring offers superior moisture resistance, it’s always a best practice to sweep off snow and standing water. LP Legacy panels feature RainChannel® notches on 4-foot panel ends to further promote drainage of bulk water.
Proper storage and handling is the first step to ensuring OSB panels perform as designed. Just as crucial is following manufacturer requirements for installation. For best practices for installation of LP Legacy, download instructions here.