Water intrusion and damage were noted at OSB structural wall sheathing in the crawl space at a recent home inspection on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands. I like to say “Water is the enemy” to my clients, because much of what I report as a home inspector in the Pacific Northwest has to do with water damage. Water can lead to structural damage, settling, mold, and insect activity/damage (e.g., carpenter ants, anobiid beetles, termites, moisture ants, rot fungus, etc.). So, if you see water intrusion, deal with it sooner than later because repairs become much more expensive with time.
Oriented strand board (OSB) and plywood are wood structural panels made by compressing and gluing pieces of wood together. While OSB and plywood appear similar and are generally interchangeable, the different ways that each material is manufactured contribute to each having its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Continue reading