Structural exterior wall sheathing works with the building envelope to prevent wind and water from entering. Structural wall sheathing also ties framing studs together, makes the walls resistant to twisting and bending, and provides a surface for application of materials, like siding. However, many structural exterior wall sheathings, like OSB and fiberboard, lack sufficient strength, effective moisture management, may contain toxins, are difficult to handle, and have escalating and volatile pricing.
Two common types of structural wall sheathing are oriented strand board (OSB) and fiberboard sheathing. They attach to the exterior wall framing and brace the walls against positive and negative forces. Both are wood products, which makes them earth friendly. However, there are several differences between OSB and fiberboard structural sheathing.
Oriented strand board (OSB) is a panel sheathing made from hundreds of rectangular thin wood strands (1-inch by 4-inch flakes), arranged in cross-oriented layers. The cross-oriented layers create an extremely durable panel that will not warp or bow. The strands are hot pressed onto sheets with a resin and wax adhesives. OSB come in sizes up to 8 feet wide and 16 foot long and is used in commercial and residential construction
Fiberboard structural sheathing is an engineered product made with ground up wood chips and lumber waste glued together with an asphalt binder or resin. The finish of fiberboard is uniform, with no knots or grains like those found in real wood. Structural sheathing is available in nominal ½-inch and 25/320-inch thickness and 4-foot x 8-foot and 4-foot x 9-foot square edge.
Barricade Thermo-Brace® is a far superior structural sheathing over OSB and fiberboard structural sheathing: greater strength, superior moisture management, non-toxic, saves time and money and can offset the increasing costs of OSB.
Structural exterior wall sheathings, like Barricade Thermo-Brace®, OSB, and fiberboard all work with the building envelope to prevent wind and water from entering tie framing studs together and makes the walls resistant to twisting and bending. They also provide a surface for application of materials, like siding.