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Author Topic: New Construction Question  (Read 7405 times)

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Offline CBRSLIDER

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New Construction Question
« on: December 02, 2004, 08:20:40 AM »
My wife and I are in the process of having our new dream home built. I have run into a couple snags but everything overall has been good up until now.  I have a shell with a roof but no doors and windows.  My concern is that for the last 2-3 weeks the rain and snow :( have been coming in the uncovered windows and doors and drenching the inside of the house.  My question is how much rain and snow exposure can the OSB flooring take before it is damaged?  It has rained or snowed, then froze at least a half dozen times.  There has been two times that the standing water has leaked into the basement.  Is there an issue with the OSB rotting, warping, or becoming structurally compromised?  Will it cause problems down the road like floor squeaking or an uneven floor?

I am unfortunately very naive when it comes to carpentry and the construction of a house.  I just can't see how the exposure to the extreme elements can be good for the OSB.  Can anyone shed any light on this subject?

Thanks,

Ray  

Offline Buzz-sawyer

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2004, 08:38:30 AM »
Ray
If it is not flacking or swelling your all good.
Dont get it wet no more>>>>>>>put plastic on openings........I would be as concerned about mold in the warmer months...
Shouldnt be a problem now though....
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Offline Barkman

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2004, 09:02:46 AM »
Ray,

You call the flooring OSB.  Is it the heavy water resistant type, sold under the names Advantek or Home Advantage?  Those are very water resistant and should be fine.  I've had scraps of Advantek sitting outside our new home for a year and they have hardly degraded at all.  Standard OSB, typically used for sheathing and sometimes roofing, are not nearly as water resistant and does start to come apart after repeated water exposure.  I guess its about how much and what type of glue they put in the glueboard. :D  I agree with buzz on the mold issue.  Get those windows and doors covered.  

A second bit of advice.  When you install the windows and doors, make absolutely sure they are water tight and preferably side and weatherproof the house before proceeding with interior  items that can be damaged by water, like insulation and sheet rock.  It may seem obvious, but in a rush to get into our new house my wife and I skipped the siding and we've had water problems with a door and two windows.  There wasn't any serious damage, but with the cost of having sheet rock work done, it would make you sick to damage brand new walls.

Good luck with your house!

Offline Timber_Framer

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2004, 11:09:25 AM »
Ive always used some sort of plastic to cover door and window openings 11mil clear is pretty inexpensive as are lats and 1 roofing nails.
Like the others said you are not in immediate danger of ruining the deck however later when the interior work is scheduled to start you may be paying big money for the contractor to dry the house especially if the weather stays below freezing for long. It takes some time to get frozen moisture out of wood!
"If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."

Offline DonE911

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2004, 03:23:08 PM »
Having just been thru that repeated wettings thanks to 3 hurricanes and a tropical storm in one month, the osb used on the roof wont take it...  

I have heard of the water resistant type, but have never actually seen it.   We use a slap staple gun and tack up some plastic over door and window openings until they are installed.

As already stated I'd seriously worry about the mold issue...  now thats some nasty stuff you don't want to deal with.

Good luck with your dream home. I hope its everything you've dreamed of and more.

Offline DanG

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2004, 04:00:25 PM »
My buddy, Larry, who passed away about a year ago, :'( had a house built by an outfit who advertised on tv. Their slogan was, "you get more for your dollar."  He complained when the subs kept leaving the windows open every evening. We were getting T-showers on a regular basis about that time, and his new flooring and carpeting was getting soaked.  The "builder's" answer was, "Mr. Newhouse, we got plumbers, framers, roofers, electricians, and all sorts of other specialists, but we ain't got no winder closers."  If it had been me, I would have given him 24 hours to hire a bulldozer and get that P.O.C. off of my lot. Larry didn't, and the house was a problem till after he died and his widow sold it.

Don't let your contractor push you around. If he think's your little gripes are petty, just say, "Humor me!"  He's making enough money to put up with a PITA client!  jmho
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"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline DonE911

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2004, 06:37:34 PM »
DanG....

Did a contractor really say that to your friends face?  :o

Mr. contractor had better have a medical specialist on his staff!! PITA would be the least of his worries. He'd be fired also 8)

Offline DanG

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2004, 06:42:17 PM »
Yeah he did. Hence the bulldozer suggestion. Larry wished many times that he had taken my half-sincere advice.
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
"Beat not thy sword into a plowshare, rather beat the sword of thine enemy into a plowshare."

Offline Furby

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2004, 08:00:51 PM »
Regular OSB is rated for between 9-11 wettings. That's not to say you should let it get wet though. My addition floor was soaked I think 8 times over the course of several months and with out the sheathing on the West wall, is getting wet as we speak. OSB will swell even if it don't get wet, but swells even more when it does get wet. One thing that bothers me are the nails, both in the OSB and in the framing. They start to rust almost as soon as they get wet. They slow down when they dry out, but that coating of rust is always there.

Get things covered as best you can!

Offline etat

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2004, 08:45:54 PM »
First, if it rains again and you notice where the most water is pooling drill holes in the sub floor to let the water out.  Better to drill a few holes that you can plug later with caulking than to let the water sit. They need to be at least 3/4 of an inch or when they get wet they will either swell shut, or stop up with sawdust.  Mark the holes with spray paint or something so you can find them later and keep them unplugged to let the water out, and later to fill with caulking before you install the main floor. Get you a 5 gallon bucket of Thompson's water seal and a pump up sprayer.  That should be enough to spray the whole floor, several times.  I sprayed mine a couple of times between rains, and the lower part of the stud walls too, because I knew it was going to be a while before I could get it in the dry.  To help keep mold down you can sprinkle the floor with powdered borax washing detergent. It doesn't take much, just sprinkle it around on the floor.  What doesn't soak in with the water seal you can later sweep up.  
Old Age and Treachery will outperform Youth and Inexperence. The thing is, getting older is starting to be painful.

Offline beenthere

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2004, 09:01:56 PM »
Very good advice from cktate. In addition, if you see any mold, spray a solution of about 10% clorox liquid bleach and water on it to get rid of it. (but the Borax will probably do just as well).

In my addition, because the windows were 6 weeks or more late, the builder wrapped the Tyvek completely around the outside. Was real tired of the cracking and whipping of that Tyvek before the day came that the windows were put in place. But, no water blew in on the floors.

If there is swelling of the OSB (that may not go down), I used a floor sander (rented) on my son's home to level the high spots, usually along the seams where the water could get at the edges of the OSB (and it will swell, no matter what they say). It and water don't mix.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline CBRSLIDER

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2004, 07:10:34 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone.  I am just so new to this that maybe I am getting more worked up than I should.  Just was very troubling to see the water running thru from one floor to the other.  It just makes me mad that the windows have been sitting in the basement of the house for weeks and have not been installed.  

So we'll have to see how things go when its closed in and dries out.  If there are still problems with swelling they'll have to fix it. I checked it last night and was able to pick the edges of the sheets with my finger and the chips would just peel right off.  

Thanks again for the suggestions and advice.

Ray

Offline VA-Sawyer

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2004, 10:23:37 AM »
CBRSLIDER,
If flakes crumble off by hand, then that area won't hold fasteners very well at all. If it was my place, I would replace any wood in such shape before going on the the next stage. It is much easier to change a water damaged sheet of OSB before the carpet is laid. Like DanG said earlier. Don't let the contractor bull you.
VA-Sawyer

Offline beenthere

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2004, 10:45:11 AM »
I'd suggest taking some pictures and put together some documentation, that would then be sent to the builder, with copies for you and your attorney. Things in writing are much easier to point to later on.

Window coverings are good to have in the meantime.  :)
south central Wisconsin
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Offline etat

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2004, 12:43:06 PM »
Around here, especially this time of the year very few houses get completely dried in before getting wet, I suspect in most other parts of the country too..  I've roofed over lots and lots of osb that's been wet before(NEW CONSTRUCTION ), and never had water sealer on it.  It usually dries out just fine, except after it get's wet you can ALWAYS tell if it was properly fastened in the first place because if not it will buck up.  I've had to get a few contractors to go back and add additional fasteners after it got rained on, where they didn't properly fasten it to begin with.  I've been doing this for years and never remember it causing a long term problem because it was wet.

Some of my subfloor swelled up at the edges before I thought to waterseal it, but after I water proofed it, and it dried out it didn't cause any problems.  I used 'plywood' steady floor, even though I was told some of the advantech type material was supposed to be better.  I did go back and sand the edges in a few places before installing a hardwood, or pine, or laminate floor, depending what part of the house it was.  I haven't had, or noticed any problems with it.  My thoughts are that when you sand the edges if there is solid wood, or osb underneath where you sand it'll be ok. I guess I'm saying just because the very edges will flake a bit, it doesn't 'necessarily' mean the osb is ruined.  In the real world it'd probably be ideal if it never got wet, but most likely in the real world that just isn't gonna happen. Lumber's gonna get wet, some of it's gonna try to warp.  A good contractor learns how to take the warp out when building and do what he has to do to build a good house.  It's a fact you can't put a tent over a house before you start building it.  If the osb is crumbly, or if you can stick a screwdriver through it, or if it's not solid when you hit it with a hammer it should be replaced.   If it's just the very tip of the edges that are flaking a bit, and completely solid underneath, perhaps it doesn't need to be replaced, just sanded before installing the subfloor.  If it's soft deeper than just the very tip of the edge where it's swelled, I'd replace it.  However, I'm not completely sure that you can blame it on the contractor because it got rained on it.  It 'might' be, that to replace it, you'd have to pay for it yourself, instead of blaming it on the contractor.

And yet again, around here the better contractors pretty much make it a standard practice to water proof the subfloor as they are installing it.  I wasn't completely aware of this when I first started by house, mostly they're already completely framed up before I start putting a roof on them, but I learned pretty quick and took steps to control the damage.

One thing for further thought, I've got a stack of osb in my shop, that's never been wet.  Earlier I went out, and was able to flake off some of the edges, with my fingernails.  It's the nature of the stuff.

AND I totally agree with beenthere, Window coverings are good to have in the meantime. :)
Old Age and Treachery will outperform Youth and Inexperence. The thing is, getting older is starting to be painful.

Offline rebocardo

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2004, 05:03:14 PM »
Wrapping the house in Tyvek is a good idea, when you need a window you just cut an X and you can tape it up later when you leave. I like taking the Tyvek and wrapping it around the window frame on windows that are being nailed or screwed in. I think it cuts down on drafts and leaks. That way it is below the drip mouldings too.

I hate it when people put the tyvek on last and cut the paper short. Over time the water drips off the paper onto the exposed wood and rots the window and door frames.

If you are using cedar siding make sure the back side is primed and painted whenusing Tyvek.

I have worked on houses where there was no choice in having the roof open because of a fire. I can't imagine doing that damage to a house on purpose.

Once you get mold inside the walls it is almost impossible to get rid of it. The worse thing is to take a wet house and put up drywall.

Plus, I hate OSB, when it gets wet, it gets really weak. If it has been really soaked, later on when it is dry you can practically take it apart with a small screwdriver or jump on it and crack it.

Offline Furby

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2004, 07:54:35 PM »
Myself, I don't see it as a big deal with OSB getting a wet a few times and some swelling and flaking taking place. As long as it doesn't start to mold, and things are dried out before being covered, it should be fine.
Ya could spend all kinds of $$$ and put solid wood down for a subfloor and say it's better then OSB, but if it gets wet, ya gonna have degrade, be it warping, twisting, splitting, or just lifting of the grain. All in all it's best for things to be covered as best as they can be, but don't worry about it getting wet a few times or even some swelling. OSB does what it is desinged to do even after it's been wet a few times.

Offline Tom_Averwater

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2004, 08:15:31 PM »
In our area most houses get the floor screwed down with screws before the final floor covering is applied , carpet, tile, hardwood , ect. Sand the joints  and it should be fine.
He who dies with the most toys wins .

Offline Norm

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Re: New Construction Question
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2004, 05:02:55 AM »
We built a house several years ago that had the same problem. It was a wet spring and by the time the roof was shingled the osb flooring got wet many times. We drilled holes in the stuff to let the water run into the basement but that didn't really help. By the summer the osb was delaminating bad, we recovered some with an additional sheet of 7/16's" osb and some we just left hoping for the best. Years later the stuff got weak and needed to be replaced, it was a nighmare doing so. When we built our place we live in now I used the advantech brand of osb and was religious about vacuuming the water as well as having holes drilled in it to let the water through. We also covered the windows with the tyvek and cut an X in the openings when it came time to install them. The tyvek was wrapped around the window frames to the inside, stapled and trimmed. Take my advice that's hard learned if you have trouble with it now it will only get worse, make sure you have a very inclusive contract with the builder and you take lots of pictures and document everything as you go. Do not wait to do this it only weakens your stand.


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