The US Building Industry Has To Defend Structural Components From Climate Change And Extreme Wetting Better Now

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The US Building Industry Has To Defend Structural Components From Climate Change And Extreme Wetting Better Now

August 23, 2019 by Steve Conboy

The structural components in all of the stick frame wood buildings built today consist of solid softwoods like Doug Fir, Southern Yellow Pine or Canadian Spruce Pine Fir, #2 btr, from sizes 2x4 to 2x12. The rest of products used in current buildings are EWP products like I-joist, Open Web Trusses, PSL, GLB, LSL, LVL, OSB and Plywood.

All those solid lumber products and EWP products represent the backbone, the actual bones of the buildings that support the structures people get to live in. The quality assurance of all the lumber, EWP and components arriving to go vertical must be good condition not saturated to insure that the design values and forces to which buildings can one day be subjected to during high winds or seismic events. The forces in live/dead loads, diaphragm, lateral design strength and overturning forces in building structures are very dependent on the strength and quality of the wood fiber being free from rot and saturation similar to why termites protection is needed later in the life of a building. Wet wood causes rot and can impact nail withdrawal and holding values of fasteners just like building inspectors are supposed to inspect faster spacing counts from short nailing and lack of curtain hardware connections. Consider turning over on its side in a 5 story structure with all of todays threaded rods that connect all the buildings from top to bottom and how on its side if built properly it should not belly sag in the middle. Considering how saturated lumber can cause construction defects in structural components increase the probability and extent of injury to inhabitants and damage to the structure and its contents. This is now the new concern of what this climate change extremely wet weather could be like in the winter of 2019 & 20 and why some are raising there bar to defend lumber better now.

Most all OSB was never intended to be subjected to the kind of wetting we witnessed in 2018/19 especially on the 5 story stick frame projects that are hard to dry in fast enough. The big concern is the raw OSB saturated under all the wall plates really cant dry out and could cause major rot and mold issues if light weight concrete is poured over to hide the sins of swollen OSB. There are no I Joist producers that intended joist under load to be subjected to extreme wetting its called Acts of God in Producers Warranty Exclusions.
All the information on the web is never talking about about uncovered full unit saturation storage where engineering strength loss is happening all around the country. Nothing on the web either about todays Juvenile lumber that is already not as strong in bending and nail withdrawal as Old Growth use to be because of lack of mass and growth rings. Juvenile lumber has 1/3 less growth rings and since the dimensions are still the same as old growth i.e. 2x6 is still 1 1/2” x 51/2” so its very easy to understand sap separates veneers and sap wood is a sponge. Sap wood is termite food they do not eat veneer and last mass makes wood easier to ignite in fire and much easier to reach extreme saturation. Every part of the building industry has to do better if extreme wet weather is our new norm and suppliers need to support builders and cover and defend lumber products so they get vertical in our builders building dryer. Vertical lumber does not get as saturated as horizontal unprotected stored lumber. M Fires President is a Former Technical Representative for TJI EWP and he is out to defend his builders from arsons, climate change extreme wet conditions now from entire supply chain because our builders support our economy and lumber is good if we defend it from things that attack its design values and loss.

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