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Old 09-29-2009, 05:32 PM   #1
checkthisout
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Default Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

Where I am the OSB must be nailed all the way around the edges 6" on center and every 12" in the middle.

I installed my OSB vertically with blocking at 8 feet (per fire code) with the top edge of the OSB nailed to this block and bottom edge of the top piece also nailed to this block, ok?

You cannot have any edges that are not nailed to joists yet I see many people on here putting the stuff sideways with no blocking between the joists to nail to.

What gives? Is this just code for my area? If so, why do they choose to do it this way?

Take for instance flooring. You don't have to nail it around every edge but along the edges you are not nailing the stuff is joined by a tongue and groove....
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

I wouldn't sheet a wall and have the two sheets meet in the middle of nowhere, common sense says seam on a stud.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

I know some code officials like the blocking stuff but the most common application of sheets is horizontal with the short dimensions breaking over studs and no blocking along the horizontal joint. Think about it... as for as I know there is no code requiring the use of sheet goods for sidewall sheathing or sub flooring, would you put in blocking every 8 inches on a wall or a floor so you could have something to nail to on the long dimension of the board if you were using 1x8's? Of course not. Not all flooring is tongue and grooved either, many guys use standard 3/4 inch plywood for sub floors, there is no edge support on the long dimensions of the sheet other than where it crosses a joist. Typically there is no edge support on the long dimension of the sheet for drywall either. Mid-bay fire blocking may be something particular to your area, we never have to do it here in MA.
The traditional way to run sheet goods is with the long dimension (strength axis) 90 degrees to the framing whether it is boards, plywood or OSB. And, YES there is a strength axis to OSB, that' what the "O" stands for...Oriented Strand Board and just like plywood it it is not designed to be applied with the long dimension parallel to the joists.
While it is becoming more common for guys to frame with 4x9 sheets of OSB sheathing and run it vertically. It requires that your stud placement be more accurate, you need your 48" breaks to be precise and since there are twice as many 48" breaks in a given wall than there are 96" breaks, the stud placement is a little fussier. Now before everyone jumps all over me on how they would NEVER frame anything where the studs were not perfectly placed...it happens all the time. Example... you lay out a wall on 16" centers and a stud position falls about 3/8 of an inch from where you would be locating a king stud for a window opening, well you just skip the stud and let the king stud be the stud. If that stud were also a break point for the edges of 2 sheets of sheathing, you will have precious little material of that stud to nail one of your sheets onto. When you run the sheathing vertically, you double the instances where this type of situation can occur.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

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Originally Posted by tcianci View Post
I know some code officials like the blocking stuff but the most common application of sheets is horizontal with the short dimensions breaking over studs and no blocking along the horizontal joint. Think about it... as for as I know there is no code requiring the use of sheet goods for sidewall sheathing or sub flooring, would you put in blocking every 8 inches on a wall or a floor so you could have something to nail to on the long dimension of the board if you were using 1x8's? Of course not. Not all flooring is tongue and grooved either, many guys use standard 3/4 inch plywood for sub floors, there is no edge support on the long dimensions of the sheet other than where it crosses a joist. Typically there is no edge support on the long dimension of the sheet for drywall either. Mid-bay fire blocking may be something particular to your area, we never have to do it here in MA.
The traditional way to run sheet goods is with the long dimension (strength axis) 90 degrees to the framing whether it is boards, plywood or OSB. And, YES there is a strength axis to OSB, that' what the "O" stands for...Oriented Strand Board and just like plywood it it is not designed to be applied with the long dimension parallel to the joists.
While it is becoming more common for guys to frame with 4x9 sheets of OSB sheathing and run it vertically. It requires that your stud placement be more accurate, you need your 48" breaks to be precise and since there are twice as many 48" breaks in a given wall than there are 96" breaks, the stud placement is a little fussier. Now before everyone jumps all over me on how they would NEVER frame anything where the studs were not perfectly placed...it happens all the time. Example... you lay out a wall on 16" centers and a stud position falls about 3/8 of an inch from where you would be locating a king stud for a window opening, well you just skip the stud and let the king stud be the stud. If that stud were also a break point for the edges of 2 sheets of sheathing, you will have precious little material of that stud to nail one of your sheets onto. When you run the sheathing vertically, you double the instances where this type of situation can occur.
My studs are 16' tall to the top plate. I put all the studs in then drove 3 nails into the center of every third stud as my 1/8th spacers where two sheets of OSB would be nailed to.

I installed all the bottom sheets and only nailed on the vertical edges of the studs themselves. I then cut all my blocking to 14.5 inches and installed in between the studs and then went back and nailed the osb on the top and bottom edges and in the centers.

It looks like a stud did it!


Anyways, my county requires blocking every 8 feet as fire stops. According to the engineer all seams of the OSB must be nailed to prevent a flame from licking through the cavity and to stop air from being able to flow back into the cavity and feed a fire.

Sound right?
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

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Anyways, my county requires blocking every 8 feet as fire stops.

This is a perfect example of how retarded some codes are.

Fire blocking in a wall sheathed with wood?? WTF. The entire wall is flammable, how much are they gaining, especially in a one story building?
All the glue in OSB probably makes it more flammable that the fire stops anyway.

I suppose it would slow the fire SOME, but how much??
Ever clean up after a fire?? I'd rather have the whole place burn to the ground.

Nailed every 6 inches?? Wow, it's not like the stuff is all that heavy.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

Blocking is placed in walls to slow the spread of flames not to stop it. The code is designed to allow occupants more time to escape. Sometimes even a few seconds can make the difference between life and death.

Balloon framing always required blocking in the old days.
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Old 10-01-2009, 02:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

Actually, it's not the flame they want to stop....it's the smoke.....the smoke kills you before the flame does. So, while they call it fire block....it's really a smoke block.

Here in CA you have to block and nail the edges....it adds to the shear streangth. The SOB is the primary shear component of the wall to protect from earthquake damage. With us it's 3" on edge, 6" everywhere else.

If you do go horz you want to stagger the sheets so that the vert seam is only 4'. This will give you the greatest shear strength.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

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Originally Posted by ddawg16 View Post
Actually, it's not the flame they want to stop....it's the smoke.....the smoke kills you before the flame does. So, while they call it fire block....it's really a smoke block.

Here in CA you have to block and nail the edges....it adds to the shear streangth. The SOB is the primary shear component of the wall to protect from earthquake damage. With us it's 3" on edge, 6" everywhere else.

If you do go horz you want to stagger the sheets so that the vert seam is only 4'. This will give you the greatest shear strength.
You can go horizontal here but then you have to put blocking every four feet instead of 8.

More work.
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Old 10-01-2009, 05:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

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This is a perfect example of how retarded some codes are.

Fire blocking in a wall sheathed with wood?? WTF. The entire wall is flammable, how much are they gaining, especially in a one story building?
All the glue in OSB probably makes it more flammable that the fire stops anyway.

I suppose it would slow the fire SOME, but how much??
Ever clean up after a fire?? I'd rather have the whole place burn to the ground.

Nailed every 6 inches?? Wow, it's not like the stuff is all that heavy.
Well, I can't say I have a put a great deal of thought into it but building fires are generally fed by the contents of the building. That is why you put up sheetrock that is X thickness. You are increasing the amount of time the building contents can burn before they catch the structure on fire or perhaps even giving them time to burn out before they ignite the structure. The fireblocking prevents your stud cavities from becoming chimneys. Hundreds of thousands of man hours of testing have shown that spending the extra 2 hours and 100 bucks installing the blocking is a good idea.

My county has required this since at least the early 80's because I remember me and my dad helping one of the neighbors install it in a house he built.

Nailing it around the edges prevents a flame from penetrating to the outside of the structure and traveling up the outside of the building or at least delays it. It also prevents winds from catching an edge and tearing the sheet off and of course it also gives you more nailing area thus further increasing sheer.

I bet guys in Florida or any Hurricane state have to nail theirs every 3 inches on center!

You're right, OSB is not heavy but it's a structural panel. You're not just trying to hold the OSB up onto the wall but are also making sure the OSB does it's job of transferring shear forces and keeps the building from becoming a pile of sticks if the wind blows more than 5 MPH.

When my pole building was just poles, a roof and studs you could stand on the 2nd floor and do a little dance and get that thing moving about 8 inches each way! Putting just a few sheets of OSB on 2 sides of the building made it immobile!
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

The garage in my back yard where I am now living was built by clueless yokels, for sure. It is 26 X 26 and there was no bracing at all. The outside had 12" masonite lap siding, nothing else, and I could shove on the corner and get the building swaying. It was also over an inch out of plumb, in a rotational twist. I removed all the siding, used a come-along diagonally to pull it into square, and added 7/16" OSB horizontally on the outside. It will later have vinyl siding. It's now solid as a rock, and will be getting either OSB or plywood on the inner walls. Absolutely well worth doing, no doubt. I'm in NC, so I nailed it every 4 inches along the edges, and every 8 inches in the inner field.
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

It's really not the smoke or the flames but it is the air! Each bay acts as a chimneY that channels fresh air to more of the building so that the fire spreads because the combustion is supported. I hope in no way you got the idea from my post that fire blocking is not important. It's just that different areas of the country have different regs. And the poster who mentioned ballon framing is absolutely right. This type of framing utilized continuous studs from sill to roof and each stud bay was a perfect conduit for combustion air. These stud bays were typically blocked with brick "nogging" or other non-combustible rubble. Trust me, I have the hole saws and spade bits to prove it!
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:53 AM   #12
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Default Re: Another OSB question: Nailing Patterns

Codes vary - in my area there is no requirement for blocking for edge support of sheathing and a lot of builders don't even bother to use TNG. On the roof they do mandate clips to hold the panels in alignment but those only do so much.

However some areas require blocking for fire code reasons, others require more edge nailing for sheer reasons or high wind concerns. If you live in an area that is susceptible to earthquakes or hurricanes extra fasteners would be expected. Keep in mind the shear strength of a panel is typically determined by the fasteners themselves, so the more fasteners the stronger the panel will be (within reason).

As to fireblocking itself, a large part of what fireblocking does is reduce the amount of oxygen that is available for a fire thus slowing down the spread of flame and allowing the occupants time to get out safely. The room won't be 100% airtight, but it will prevent air from being easily sucked into the room from wall cavities etc.
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