Q&A / 

Roof OSB Swelling Shingles Not Yet Installed

Quick Column Summary:

  • OSB roof boards swelling
  • Pull off or cover over OSB
  • OSB can swell and still be good
  • Question builder on delays

Steve, who's having a house built in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has a questionable builder. I see big trouble brewing.

"We are having a home built and OSB boards were used for the roof. It has been seven weeks now since the OSB was installed and we are still waiting for the shingles to be installed.

I can see the OSB has swollen quite a bit, especially looking at how it swells around the clip spacers. The corners are starting to curl and chips are starting to delaminate here and there

Is the roof still good, or do I need to have the OSB pulled off and new wood put on? Would it be easier to cover over with a thin layer of plywood?

The shingles have been sitting on the peak for weeks waiting for the contractor to shingle it. What should I do? I'm desperate as I don't know what to do or who to contact."

Here's my answer:

Steve, the OSB is still good. To get verification of this, I'd reach out to the manufacturer. You should be able to see this stamped on the underside of the product. You can also visit your local lumber supplier who delivered it to determine the manufacturer.

OSB is made to be exposed to a certain amount of rain. It's normal for it to swell. The swelling doesn't hurt it's integrity.

Now, that said, you don't want to have the OSB exposed for months on end and be constantly wet.

I think you have BIGGER issues. Rhetorical questions:

Why is it taking so long to get the roof installed? That's a TOP PRIORITY item this time of year up north.

Is the builder in financial trouble? Is he trying to locate a roofer?

What does the builder say when you ask him about the unacceptable delay?

I could go on and on and on with questions, but you get my drift. I have a very uncomfortable feeling about where this is all headed.


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