Building With OSB
LESLIE: David in Tyler, Texas needs some help with the exterior of his money pit. What’s going on?DAVID: Just had a question. I have this house that’s kind of in the process of being constructed and, essentially, the 2×4 walls go on the outer edge of the slab and then you nail the OSB onto the outside of the 2×4 walls so that porous, rough edge of that OSB down along the line of the soil there – and it’s got hardy plank over the top of it – but essentially, it’s exposed to the environment. And I was wondering if you all had some sort of a product that I could use to get up underneath the edge of that hardy board and paint the edging of that OSB that would help preserve it for a long period of time.Somebody told me something about, you know, use an oil-based paint or whatever and that’ll last about 10 years and I said, “Why, I bet those people on The Money Pit show (Tom and Leslie chuckle) know about some kind of a NASA, space-age polymer (Tom chuckles) product that’ll last forever.” I’m sure that the edge of the OSB would soak up whatever like a sponge.TOM: Well, let me put on my rocket scientist hat and see what we can do to help you out here. First of all, the OSB – for those that are unaware of what we’re talking about here – I hate when people start talking in abbreviations and nobody else is …LESLIE: In letters.TOM: In letters, yeah. I grew up with two parents that worked in the government and all of our dinnertime conversations were like this. (Leslie chuckles) OSB stands for oriented strand board and it’s that waferboard-kind-of-like material that’s used for exterior sheathing.Now, in this particular situation, what is the distance between the siding and the grading?DAVID: Well, basically, three-and-a-half inches.TOM: Yeah, that’s a problem right there because you really need to have at least six inches of space between the siding and the soil. If you have it any closer than that, you’re going to get a lot of water that’s going to splash up in there and certainly, if you could squeeze, you know, a right-angle paintbrush in there – if there was such a thing (Leslie chuckles) – and seal the end of that, I don’t think it would totally solve the problem because it’s just going to be exposed to a lot of water.What I would suggest that you do in this situation, David, is try to look for some ways to reduce the angle of that soil. Is there a way to get it down lower? Can you do some regrading and get yourself a little more room there? If that’s the case, I wouldn’t put anything on it; I think it’s fine the way it is. I just want to try to make sure we have enough air space in there for it to keep dry.