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Plywood Against OSB: Which Is More Durable?

Hurricane Katrina had adverse effects to the country particularly on buildings and structures. After the disaster, a lot of homeowners had to rebuild their homes. This has led many to ask -- which material should be used in home construction in order to ensure protection from calamities like hurricane?

If you are going to construct a wood-framed home, make sure that the property is built at a height where the impact of certain calamities like typhoon is negated. When water pounds against homes built with engineered wood frames, flotsam is produced. This may cause fire when stimulated with driftwood. Therefore, when your home has the possibility of being flooded with water, it would be wiser to go for concrete.

Comparing plywood and oriented strand board (OSB) side by side, the earlier proves to be a better choice. Based on some technical data, although OSB is good material, plywood has better ability when it comes to holding screws and nails as compared to OSB with the same thickness.

Also, using plywood on the outside walls of a structure can help make it survive from wind damages. Just make sure to adjust the spacing of nails from the usual 6 inches to a shorter 3 inches on center. This way, the holding ability of the nails and the engineered wood becomes stronger.

When it comes to durability to flying debris, plywood likewise has the advantage. Plywood and a thicker OSB were tested with the use of cannon. Debris weighing 9 pounds was able to penetrate the OSB but not the plywood.

Hurricanes always come with rain. Rain water has the tendency to penetrate the roof, walls, and sub floors of a home. This is where another advantage of plywood over OSB comes in. Plywood with exterior exposure rating is resistant to water-caused damage. Although it becomes saturated and swells, it gets back to normal as it dries up, one thing that OSB is not capable of.

Lastly, plywood is a smoother engineered wood than OSB. Smoothness can prove to be important when working on floors. Some materials used for flooring need a very smooth sub floor -- something that plywood can provide.

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