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Conditioning

Storage & Conditioning

What are the storage conditions for OSB?

Being a wood-based product, OSB must always be protected against direct contact with water and should not be subject to sudden variations in temperature and humidity.

There are two situations when speaking about storage conditions:

a) Warehouse storage

b) On-site storage


a) Warehouse storage:
 

  • Always store the boards indoor, in a dry and ventilated area, away from rain dropping and snow.
  • Always store the boards on a stable and horizontal platform.
  • Always store the boards (bundles) on top of each other using intermediate supports (wood spacers) of equal height, perfectly aligned vertically.
  • Make sure that spacers are spanned at a maximum distance of 80cm, to avoid excessive deflection of the boards from the bottom of the stack.
  • Make sure that the length of the spacers is equal to the width of the board.
  • Always stack bundles of equal length (never stack longer-size bundles on top of short-size bundles).


b) On-site storage:
 

  • Always keep outdoor storage on-site for as short a time period as possible (indoor storage inside a building is always preferred).
  • Always store the boards on sufficient height wood pallets or supports to avoid direct contact with water on vegetation.
  • Always protect boards against unexpected rain or snow by covering them with waterproof membranes (plastic foils, lorry canvas, etc).
  • When applying water protection, make sure it allows for the free ventilation of the boards on the sides and on the bottom.
  • Make sure the canvas (foil) is firmly secured against wind blowing.
  • Cut and remove the fixing strips from the bundle at delivery on-site, to reduce the stress in the boards.

How many OSB bundles (pallets) are allowed to be stacked on top of each other?

Maximum 6 pallets in a raw 2t/pallet, for normal-size panels (length < 3m)

Why is the conditioning of OSB important and how must it be done?

When delivered from the manufacturer’s warehouse, the boards have a moisture content of 5-6%.
On the way to the final installation place (including transport, warehouse storage at distributor and job-site storage), the moisture content of the board gets higher, as the moisture tends to respond to the environment.

In order to avoid dimensional changes in panel thickness, length or width (swell, expansion or shrinkage) due to the moisture uptake of the boards, they must be allowed to reach their equilibrium moisture (EMC) before being fixed on the supports.

This is called conditioning and is done for a minimum period of 48 hours prior to installation, by storing the panels in the environment conditions of the place where they will be installed.

The right way to condition the boards is to loosely lay them over the floor on wood battens or to lean them on the wall, with their long edge across wood spacers.

For proper ventilation, a pair of batten spacers must be inserted vertically between panels. Special attention must be given to T&G boards, which should rest only on the groove side.
 

What is the maximum storage allowed for OSB?

If properly stored in dry and ventilated indoor conditions, protected from rain, snow and sunshine, the lifetime storage of OSB boards stands unlimited (years).