January 17, 2018

If these walls could talk...

What-your-panels-are-telling-you

In the busy building season, there is little time to brush up on proper installation methods and share the wisdom gained over years of experience. But, a small tip - 1/8" to be exact - can save you time consuming call backs and costly repairs. Interested? We thought so.

In a Builder Tips article by APA entitled Prevent Buckling with Proper Spacing, APA reminds us that plywood and OSB panels will naturally expand or shrink as they adapt to the changes in the moisture content of their surroundings. They caution that if these panels are tightly butted together during installation, there is no room for expansion and buckling can occur. To prevent the effects of buckling, APA recommends leaving a 1/8-inch space between plywood and OSB panels.

Want to eyeball this distance like a pro?  

APA recommends using a 10d box nail to estimate the space between the panels. The shank of this nail is approximately 1/8-inch wide and can be placed in between the panels for a quick spacing check.

Although buckling panels are not a structural deficiency, homeowners may notice wavy walls and roofs on the finished building if buckling has occurred. This can result in time consuming call backs and costly repairs.

So, save yourself the grief of buckling walls and remember to properly space your panels. If these walls could talk, they'd thank you.

You can find more helpful building tips on APA's website: APA Builder Tips

References

APA. (2013, May). Prevent Buckling with Proper Spacing. Retrieved from APA: http://www.apawood.org/buildertips/pages/M300.html