I should'a been green: OSB problem.
Last Post 18 Jan 2010 10:10 AM by Jelly. 24 Replies.
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projoUser is Offline
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07 Apr 2009 11:41 AM
I have an OSB out-gassing problem. I want to either block the gas or remove the OSB.

As a retirement gift to ourselves, my wife and I just had an 800 square foot garage/workshop built. The contractor gave me the choice of OSB or sheetrock on the ceilings and walls. We discussed the advantages of either. The OSB would only require nailing up (no finishing) and allow hanging heavy items. We did not discuss out-gassing. The outside walls are studs-insulation-OSB-Hardyplant. Inside the walls and ceiling are covered with OSB. The contractor finished the building and is gone. He did good work even if we did go over budget a bit.

However, within 30 seconds of entering the building my head, neck, and arms start to itch. After 5 or 10 minutes I have to open all doors (3) for ventilation. My daughter-in-law gets a headache after a few minutes in the building. I am searching the internet for ideas. From comments there I have the impression that paint will not provide enough isolation. I also find some really bad health issues discussed.

I can't spend a lot more on the building but I must make it useful (or not use it), by a method/solution I can do myself. Maybe I can rip all the inside wall covering out (OSB) and replace with paneling; maybe with sheetrock but that is a little heavy for me to work with alone (I would maybe buy a sheetrock hoist of some kind). Removing the ceiling OSB would be more difficult unless I just let it fall. Putting sheetrock on the ceiling by myself would be impossible unless maybe with the sheetrock hoist (whatever that is called). I am mechanically inclined and once built a 12x 24 workshop by myself; well, my young teenage sons helpping.

Any comments/advice is welcome but, specifically, would 6 mil plastic under the OSB on the ceiling and then wall paneling beneath the plastic, block most/all the bad gas? OR any alternatives to ripping the wall and ceiling OSB?

Gary

JellyUser is Offline
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07 Apr 2009 04:26 PM
Gary, soon somebody more knowledgeable than me will come along and offer a good solution, but I think paint would indeed mitigate the off-gassing somewhat.

I'm glad that I got the chance to read your post though, because I have the same decision to make for my own workshop.
wesUser is Offline
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07 Apr 2009 05:19 PM
Gary,
May I suggest you check with the supplier of the OSB and see if they have had other complaints about the products. I, personally, have worked with OSB for many years and in many different situations. What outgassing I have experienced has been minor and of short duration. Typically, by the time we are finished installing, any outgassing has stopped. I wonder if your particular brand or batch might have had a problem.
As to the solution, two ideas come to mind. First, while latex paint may or may not be the answer, I suspect a couple thick coats of polyurethane sealer would do the trick. If you choose to cover the OSB with drywall or paneling, I would not recommend applying 6 mill poly. Depending on your location and climate, this could lead to moisture being trapped in your walls and causing serious rot and mold problems in a very short time. Though I don't like using drywall in garage spaces, it could be your best option for a covering, as it would seal the walls more effectively than other options.
Wes Shelby
Design Systems Group
Murray KY
wandr@ainweb.net
BirdmanUser is Offline
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07 Apr 2009 05:57 PM
I'm not optimistic about this solution but how about an extended bake out? Crank the heat up to some high temp (90? 95? 100?) and keep it there for a few days then ventilate the hell out of it - rinse lather repeat. As I say, I'm not optimistic - perhaps the manufacturer can recommend a procedure. The above would be in addition to the sealer idea (bake out then seal), which I think is a worth trying.
.
Good luck
ICFconstructionUser is Offline
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07 Apr 2009 07:51 PM
If you do paint it, I would use a primer/sealer like Kilz or BIN, they don't smell good either, then paint.
Brad Kvanbek - ICFconstruction.net
tesla-was-rightUser is Offline
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07 Apr 2009 09:43 PM

projo

You must be sensitive to embalming fluid (formaldihyde)

There is a guy in Austin who specializes in answering questions like yours in a scientific way--not just emotion and biased opinionating

I do not know his phone number but his email is gps@flash.net

Exceppts from one of his books is at www.breathingwalls.com  Maybe even some solutions can be found there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce FreyUser is Offline
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08 Apr 2009 02:36 AM
Before you do anything that may PARTIALLY encapsulate the problem, I suggest that you open it up and let it ventilate for two weeks. If you cannot open it up, rig a fan that will provide 2 or 3 air changes per hour (remember, you need a way for air to get in, too). A couple of cycles with high heat can't hurt. As Wes mentions, time (and ventilation) will often solve the problem. Gasses, like water vapor, will move from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration. If you paint it today, you may prolong the offgassing.

My company has a rigorous IAQ program and we try to build in an offgassing period before a tenant occupies their office space. It does make a difference. The period, air changes/hour, etc. are determined by the materials used and furniture. Today, there are a lot of products that make this easier.

We once purchased a cheap office chair from Ikea. It spent 4 weeks on the patio before we could stand to have it inside.

Bruce
LarryTUser is Offline
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08 Apr 2009 11:44 AM
SO a question I have had for some time now comes up. What about SIPS. When you build an entire house with OSB sips do people have the same issue? Offgasing might slow, but never stops.
aardvarcusUser is Offline
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08 Apr 2009 12:17 PM
While offgassing never stops, it gets to the point where it is negligable especially when you consider using proper air changes per hour. I have never had a problem with osb so bad that I couldn't stand to be around it. I can't even tell it ever offgassed after a few weeks.

I would definately agree to vent the space for a few weeks before you do anything else. Would you mind mentioning what brand of osb it is?
projoUser is Offline
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08 Apr 2009 05:40 PM
Posted By aardvarcus on 04/08/2009 12:17 PM
... Would you mind mentioning what brand of osb it is?

Georgia Pacific Blue Ribbon OSB
The SipperUser is Offline
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09 Apr 2009 07:52 PM
That's certainly a sad situation, projo!

There have been many suggestions as to how you might resolve this issue, with all but "one" being sincere, and well intentioned, I'm sure.

The "one" that I'm referring to suggests that "Embalming Fluid" has been used in the manufacturing of your OSB. I don't know how many times that guy is going to make that ridiculous assertion, but, primarily for the "newbies" to these forums, it is extremely inaccurate (I really had to go back and clean up what I'd like say in this regard) It'll only take a minimum amount of research on anyone's part to verify what my comments, so no need to take up any more space on this thread with this nonsense. (Another of his often espoused theories is that EPS is "Napalm") Methinks the gentleman has a hidden agenda....I rest may case. (And yes, I have been in the business of promoting, aka, "selling" OSB/EPS SIPs and EPS ICFs for over 15 years)

So, any chance that there is a residue of dust on the interior surfaces of the building, that is left over from the construction process?

What about the insulation that's tucked in between the framing members, behind the OSB? I don't want to make a specific comment in this regard without having an actual study, or report, to reference, but this might be worth looking into.

That's the best that I can come with at the moment but I hope that you can get this issue resolved, and soon.
The Sipper
jusaxemeUser is Offline
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09 Apr 2009 08:21 PM
Don't know what you are sippin' there bud. All you need to do is go to Wikipedia and type in either embalming fluid or formaldehyde--same results.
I know it is hard so I did cut and paste it for you. Have someone read it to you.
If you do not like the definitions take it up with Wikipedia

Embalming chemicals
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. Please help improve this article by introducing appropriate citations of additional sources. (November 2008)
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references (ideally, using inline citations). Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (November 2008)

Various early 20th Century embalming fluidsEmbalming chemicals are a variety of preservatives, sanitising and disinfectant agents and additives used in modern embalming to temporarily prevent decomposition and restore a natural appearance for viewing a body after death. A mixture of these chemicals is known as embalming fluid and is used to preserve deceased (dead) individuals, sometimes only until the funeral, other times indefinitely.

Typically embalming fluid contains a mixture of formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol and other solvents. The formaldehyde content generally ranges from 5 to 29 percent and the ethanol content may range from 9 to 56 percent.

The SipperUser is Offline
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09 Apr 2009 09:16 PM
Hey, all! I'm pretty sure that jusaxeme is tesla-was-right, in disguise. Maybe not, but apparantly the same agenda, to trash SIPs and ICFs. (I'm well aware that the subject of this thread is OSB not SIPs and ICFs, but I think that most reasonable people would understand where my comments are coming from)

I can be clever, too, as can most of the participants on these forums, but I don't want to hijack this thread, playnig word games with someone who never has anything positive to contribute.

To the point: "........................the formaldehyde content (of embalming fluid) generally ranges from 5 to 29%........................" By the way there are very small amounts of formaldehyde utilized in the osb manufacturing process, certainly no methanol or ethanol, and the formaldehyde that is used is a PHENOL extract, NOT UREA.............Look that up in your Funk and Wagnells, jusaxeme, or Wikpedia, or wherever you do most of your reading. Also, anyone who's interested can check out this subject on the websites of the following organizations: EPA (Enviornmental Protection Agency) the California Air Resources Board, The APA, etc ( I know, all of you conspiricy theorrists............."Can't trust those government and industry guys"........)

Darn!, I just sorta did what I said I wasn't going to do but I couldn't help myself, and I...................

Having said ALL OF THAT, I will give jusaxeme kudos for the very clever "sipping" comment that he/she opened the the subject post with.(Sipper.........sipping.........get it everyone?) I've been waiting for someone to do that since joining this little "club" but no one else fell for it until now.

Come to think of it I've worked up a thirst.
The Sipper
projoUser is Offline
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09 Apr 2009 11:18 PM
OK, following some of the above advice I have been alternately heating the building to 85 degrees and then evacuating with a large fan in a doorway. I'll continue this for a while.

I will wait about pulling the OSB out and see how things go.
jusaxemeUser is Offline
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09 Apr 2009 11:46 PM
Sipper
"Pressed wood products containing formaldehyde resins are often a significant source of formaldehyde in homes"

That staement is from the National Cancer Research site.
I really think you should give up now.

As to who I am--I will tell you this much.
I do not sell OSB and the things I do endorse I first research to be sure I can endorse them without concern for my client's long term health.

projoUser is Offline
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10 Apr 2009 08:38 AM
Guys, be nice. Please do not cause my thread to be locked.

Thanks.
Gary
BrawlerUser is Offline
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10 Apr 2009 08:45 AM
Posted By tesla-was-right on 04/07/2009 9:43 PM

projo

You must be sensitive to embalming fluid (formaldihyde)

There is a guy in Austin who specializes in answering questions like yours in a scientific way--not just emotion and biased opinionating

I do not know his phone number but his email is gps@flash.net

Exceppts from one of his books is at www.breathingwalls.com  Maybe even some solutions can be found there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



tesla I went to the website you recomended and it seems to be selling a book, and recomendeing the authors company as experts in Bau- Biologie, considered a psuedoscience by WIKI. Basically its theme is tight houses are the problem not the solution to green building. Seems counter intuitive. What exactly is you bussiness? Do you have any association to any products or building techniques. Just curious. You seem so informed and then you recomend to the first poster and his osb problem what seems to me to be a borderline scam. "pre publication book" Curious.
John ClemUser is Offline
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10 Apr 2009 11:58 AM
Hi projo,

I wanted to offer some information to help clarify a few things.

Virtually all OSB made for the US uses Phenol Formaldehyde based adhesives. These off-gas very little formaldehyde. You typically cannot notice any lingering odors after a few days. However, people who are sensitive to these particular chemicals may still have problems.

A lot of particleboard uses Urea Formaldehyde based adhesives. This type of adhesive can off-gas for a very long time. This is why cheaply made cabinets can make an entire house stink.

What about the insulation, was it paper backed? Fiberglass insulation does not off-gas anything, but the adhesive used to apply the paper to the fiberglass can off-gas VOCs.

Or, it could be that the OSB came from out of the country where they do not use the correct adhesives in the manufacturing process. I recently saw something on the news regarding sheetrock in Florida (made outside the country) that was off-gassing some chemical and made the houses un-inhabitable.

Just trying to clarify things. Good luck with your problem.
John
Home Design
ICF Distributor
http://www.clemdesign.com
http://blog.clemdesign.com/
The SipperUser is Offline
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10 Apr 2009 04:56 PM
Sorry, projo, but I don't think that this dialogue will get your thread blocked. However, as you can see, I'm not the only regular participant to these forums who questions the motives, and agendas, of certain other participants. Similiar exchanges such as this have taken place, and are currently takeng place, on other forums, and threads, on the GBT website.

Back to the subject at hand, I think that the last post by John Clem summed up this topic very nicely even though it would surprise me if it is discovered that the OSB product that you mentioned isn't domestically produced under applicable U.S. standards. His post also clarifies the differences in OSB and the cheaper "particle board" or "pressed wood" products that do, usually, contain higher levels of formaldehyde, and, subsequntly, can result in significant "off gassing". (I think that this places in perspective a quote from The National Cancer Website that was recently posted by one of the other participants to this "discussion" eg: "PRESSED WOOD PRODUCTS containing formayldehyde resins are OFTEN a significant source of formaldehyde in homes" Taken literally, I don't think that anyone would argue with that statement.

In any event, projo, keep us posted as to your progress in connection with a solution to your serious dilemma. I'll be back if I think that I have anything constructive to add.
The Sipper
JellyUser is Offline
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16 Jan 2010 07:08 PM
I guess projo is long gone now, but I wonder if his issue ever got resolved. Projo, are you out there? Come back and tell us how you got on.
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