Wood Products Business Media Contacts

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About Melinda Stiefel

Melinda Stiefel is a marketing specialist for Weyerhaeuser’s Wood Products Marketing Communications group. Her background is in media communications and special project coordination.
Media Contact: OSB – Jeremy Mauck (253) 924-2907 jeremy.mauck@weyerhaeuser.com
High-Performance Hardwood Flooring Starts Beneath the Surface
This article originally appeared in the Lumber Co-Operator: November- December 2015 edition
OSB such as Weyerhaeuser EdgeTM and Edge GoldTM is a proven substrate material underneath hardwood flooring. But like any wood product, OSB is susceptible to moisture. If panels are installed improperly, if their moisture content is too high or if their moisture content differs too much from the hardwood above, problems can arise ranging from squeaks and nail pops to cupping, warping and gapping of the finished hardwood.

Fortunately, ensuring that the hardwood flooring performs well for years to come isn’t difficult. Follow these best practices to ensure proper preparation and installation.

Minimizing Moisture
• The basement floor should be poured, all concrete and drywall should be cured, and all doors and windows should be in place prior to installing the hardwood strip flooring. For homes with crawlspace floors, APA – The Engineered Wood Association recommends the crawlspace be well drained and dry when hardwood flooring is installed. Also, says APA, a minimum 6-mil polyethylene sheeting should be installed as a vapor retarder on the ground in the crawlspace prior to installation of the hardwood flooring.

• If installing during warm months, ensure the building is well ventilated; during winter months, heating should be maintained near occupancy levels.

Installing the Subfloor
• National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) guidelines specify at least 23/32”-thick panels for floor joists spaced 19.2” o.c. or less and 7/8”-thick panels for floor joists spaced 24” o.c. Because of the increased deflection of a 24” o.c. floor system, upgrading to 7/8”-thick panels contributes to improved performance of the floor, at least 20% better nail retention and a better feel underfoot.

• To increase floor stiffness and help prevent squeaks, vibrations and bounce, glue the panels to the joists in addition to nailing or screwing. Use only solvent-based subfloor adhesives that meet ASTM D 3498 (AFG-01) performance standards. When latex subfloor adhesive is required, choose carefully as there is a wide range of performance between brands.

• Because the OSB will naturally expand and contract following installation, it’s important to leave a 1/8″ gap at all panel ends and edges to prevent buckling. The tongue-and-groove profile on Edge and Edge Gold panels automatically gaps the long edge of the panel. For improved performance, glue tongue-and-groove edges together.

• For panels 1″ thick or less, use 8d nails to completely fasten the panel to the joists. For panels thicker than 1″, use 10d nails. Screws of an equivalent root diameter and length may be used instead; use screws from a manufacturer that can provide an ICC-ES Evaluation Report. Do not use drywall screws.

• Keep all fasteners at least 3/8″ from panel edges, with maximum fastener spacing of 6″ o.c. along supported panel edges and 12″ o.c. along intermediate supports (joists) in the panel field, unless specified otherwise.
Prep for Flooring
• As the subfloor is installed, make sure it stays level, and sand any raised joints flat. Lightly countersink protruding nail heads and re-nail areas as needed. With screws, tighten heads slightly into panels to ensure panels are securely fastened against framing.

• Clear subfloor panels of debris and dust.

• Subfloor panels should be dry, with a moisture content of not more than 4% over the expected in-use average moisture content of the flooring (8-12% in coastal regions, 6-10% in inland regions, 5-9% in drier climates).
Installing Hardwood Strips
• Hardwood is generally manufactured to a moisture content (MC) of 6%–9%, but it can absorb moisture from humid air when in storage and during shipping; therefore, schedule delivery of the hardwood only after the house has dried. Unwrap flooring and allow it to acclimate in the home with the HVAC system operating prior to installation, if local codes allow.

• Use a moisture meter to check the moisture content of the subfloor and hardwood. During installation, follow the hardwood flooring manufacturer’s recommendation for acceptable differences in moisture content between the two surfaces. Typically, the difference should be no more than 4% for solid strips less than 3″ wide and no more than 2% for planks 3″ and wider.

• Once the subfloor is properly prepared, the work area is enclosed and the hardwood strip flooring is acclimated, install the flooring following the NWFA’s Installation Guidelines and/or those of the flooring manufacturer.

Along with these steps to control moisture related to hardwood flooring installation, there are a number of additional best practices for the rest of the floor framing to help reduce the chance for squeaks and deflection underfoot. For those strategies, download “Prevention and Repair of Floor Squeaks” here.

Media Contact: Distribution – Amy Warren (253) 924-3130 amy.warren@weyerhaeuser.com
Simple Steps to Ensure Safety of Existing Decks

Federal Way, Wash., Nov 3, 2015 – Much discussion goes into building decks to be as safe as possible—and for good reason. But deck safety doesn’t stop after the last nail is driven. Homeowners should be conscious of regular inspection and maintenance strategies to ensure decks are and remain structurally sound, and of course continue to look their best.
First and foremost, get your deck inspected or learn how to inspect the structural elements yourself. The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) recommends homeowners get their decks inspected on a regular basis, particularly since many decks were built before stricter codes were put in place for how decks are attached to the house.

“There are a lot of decks out there that are a disaster waiting to happen,” says Frank Woeste, Ph.D., P.E., professor emeritus at Virginia Tech who has been researching decks and deck failures since 2002. “Ninety-five percent of injuries and fatalities come from ledger board attachment and the guardrail attachment.”

Woeste notes that the requirement to attach the deck ledger board to the house using galvanized bolts or lags wasn’t adopted into the International Residential Code until 2007. Otherwise, the decks are attached using just nails, which do not provide the length or strength to ensure the deck remains securely attached to the house. For guardrails, the codes specify the amount of load that a railing should withstand from above, but don’t identify how to accommodate that load at attachment points.

NADRA offers information on certified inspectors on its website that can help homeowners identify such potential failure points. Taking it a step further, Woeste recommends homeowners download the American Wood Council’s “Design for Code Acceptance 6” document, available here, and familiarize themselves with the proper attachments of ledgers and guardrails. This will help them identify if their deck has current recommended attachments or if more robust connections are needed.

Similar consideration is also needed at stairways, another common structural failure point. Ensure stairs are connected to the deck with specialized connectors designed specifically for that purpose, not with nails alone.
Along with professional inspections, homeowners should take regular steps to ensure decks are in optimal conditions. NADRA offers the following recommendations in its Deck Safety Month checklist:
• Check for split or decaying wood: Look in several different areas, including the ledger board, support posts and joists, deck boards, railings, and stairs. In areas that are often damp or are in contact with fasteners, if you can easily penetrate the wood surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch with a screwdriver or break off a piece without splinters, decay is most likely present. Also, look for small holes from insects. If any of these conditions exist, you’ll want to remove and replace the damaged wood.

• Ensure flashing is sound and firmly in place; add or replace flashing in areas where water is collecting.

• Check the ledger board for loose fasteners and tighten; replace rusted or corroded fasteners.

• Ensure deck boards and stairs do not sag and do not sway when tested.

• Ensure railings and banisters are secure; push on them to check for give.

• Verify railings and banisters are high enough—most codes require 36 inches and recommend 42 inches, with rails no more than 4 inches apart.

• Ensure stair rails and banisters are firmly in place; verify risers and stringers are secure and not decayed.

• Check the opening behind the stair treads—it should be no more than 4 inches high.

• If the decking has lighting, verify that all lights are working; ensure all outlets, appliances, and features are up to code, in good condition and childproof.

• If the deck doesn’t have adequate lighting, consider adding it.

• Keep the deck clear of leaves and debris to prevent mildew growth.

• If mildew is present or the deck coating has worn away on wood decks, NADRA says, clean and apply a new waterproofing coating.

• Even composite products require some maintenance and should be cleaned according to manufacturer instructions to ensure long-term performance and day-to-day safety.

• Clean light covers and trim plants/trees that are blocking light.

• Trim back tree limbs in danger of falling onto or near the deck.
For the full list of NADRA deck safety tips, click here.
About Weyerhaeuser

Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world's largest private owners of timberlands, began operations in 1900. We own or control nearly 7 million acres of timberlands, primarily in the U.S., and manage additional timberlands under long-term licenses in Canada. We manage these timberlands on a sustainable basis in compliance with internationally recognized forestry standards. We are also one of the largest manufacturers of wood and cellulose fibers products. Our company is a real estate investment trust. In 2014, our continuing operations generated $7.4 billion in sales and employed approximately 12,800 people who serve customers worldwide. We are listed on the Dow Jones World Sustainability Index. Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WY. Learn more at www.weyerhaeuser.com.

Media Contact: Distribution – Amy Warren (253) 924-3130 amy.warren@weyerhaeuser.com
6 Common Railing Mistakes – and How to Avoid Them
Federal Way, Wash., Nov 3, 2015 – Today, choices abound for deck railing systems that coordinate, complement or even stand out from the deck itself. Numerous options for material, color, size and style allow dealers and their customers to truly distinguish their deck projects. And with many manufacturers providing all-inclusive packages, installing railing systems is easier than ever.

Still, there are a few common careless errors that can make a good railing job go bad, impacting the appearance of the finished product or forcing a lot of rework. Here are some of the most common and easily avoidable errors when it comes to installing deck railings.

Failing to Follow Instructions

Most railing systems, especially those in kits, come with specific instructions for how to measure and fasten, what types of fasteners to use, what brackets to use, etc. Each railing system is different, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the specifics before getting started.

“Read those instructions,” advises Jeremy Jordan, product manager for Fortress Railing. “Make sure you’re familiar with the system and how the parts and pieces go together. Use the measurements in the instructions before you go to predrill holes for brackets.”
Misunderstanding Measurements

Indeed, directions are key to proper measurements with railing systems. For instance, some panel systems may be described in nominal sizes, similar to stud lumber, while others are in actual sizes.

Some systems require measuring from center post to center post; otherwise, the balusters being off center. However, some systems, such as kits from Fairway Building Products, which are manufactured to exact nominal lengths, measure inside post to inside post.

No matter what, always abide by the adage “Measure twice, cut once.”

Cutting Balusters Too Short

“Installers forget they need to measure the sweep, the bottom rail, the baluster, the top rail, and the rail cap,” notes Tim Deiter, Western sales manager for Dekorators, Inc. “If they don’t measure all of that, they can end up cutting them too short and not meeting code.” In most cases code requirements dictate 36-inch heights for residential, 42 inches for commercial; California requires 42 inches for both.

Failing to Note the Structural Capacity of Posts

Not all posts and post sleeves are structural. Many will need to be shimmed and mounted over 2x or 4x wood posts.

Measuring Post Caps Incorrectly

Don’t assume all post caps are 4×4. Measure the outside diameter of the post and then choose the cap, not the other way around, Dieter advises. That way you can ensure the post cap fits before the homeowner falls in love with it.

Leaving a Mess Behind

It sounds simple, but be sure to clear away any leftover debris, such as metal shavings. In addition to being unsightly, metal shavings can become imbedded in the deck and affect its appearance.

When in doubt, ask the manufacturer or your Weyerhaeuser Distribution rep for assistance with understanding railing installation. Railing systems can be easy to install—just as long as care is taken and directions are closely followed.
Click here to check out railing options from a Weyerhaeuser Distribution center in your area.
About Weyerhaeuser

Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world's largest private owners of timberlands, began operations in 1900. We own or control nearly 7 million acres of timberlands, primarily in the U.S., and manage additional timberlands under long-term licenses in Canada. We manage these timberlands on a sustainable basis in compliance with internationally recognized forestry standards. We are also one of the largest manufacturers of wood and cellulose fibers products. Our company is a real estate investment trust. In 2014, our continuing operations generated $7.4 billion in sales and employed approximately 12,800 people who serve customers worldwide. We are listed on the Dow Jones World Sustainability Index. Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WY. Learn more at www.weyerhaeuser.com.

Media Contact: OSB – Jeremy Mauck (253) 924-2907 jeremy.mauck@weyerhaeuser.com
Proper Storage and Handling of Edge™ and Edge Gold™

Federal Way, Wash., Oct 20, 2015 – Weyerhaeuser Edge™ and Edge Gold™ subfloor panels are engineered for strength and stability. But like any wood product, engineered panels are susceptible to moisture. Buckling between floorboards, warping or bowing of panels, drywall cracks and even pops and squeaks as you walk are often caused by moisture. Specifically, by the contraction and expansion that occurs as wood moisture reaches equilibrium with its environment.

Subfloor panels should be dry, both when you install them, and in their installed position. Use a moisture meter to check the moisture content of the subfloor, before any finished flooring is installed overtop the subfloor it shouldn’t be more than 4% over the expected in-use average of the finished flooring (check with your local officials for exact measurements, but that’s roughly 8-12% in coastal regions, 6-10% in inland regions, and 5-9% in drier climates).

So, how do you know if there is a moisture imbalance? Well, one of the most common complaints I hear is the presence of mold. Found nearly everywhere, mold spreads as airborne spores that begin to thrive when they find appropriate growing conditions. What’s important to remember though is that in order for mold to grow, it must have oxygen, nutrients which include many building materials, moderate temperatures, and most importantly greater than 20% moisture content.

Fortunately, if you find yourself in this situation, most building moisture problems can be prevented or corrected. Follow these best practices to reduce moisture:

  • Properly store and handle wood products throughout the building process.

  • Schedule deliveries to make sure panels aren’t exposed to weather

  • Cover with a tarp during inclement weather, remembering to properly ventilate the sides so as not to trap in moisture.

  • Use exterior moisture management systems, such as flashing.

  • Ensure moisture control devices such as vapor barriers, ground cover and ventilation openings are installed for the crawl space.

  • Keep up on maintenance and operation of the building, including control of interior humidity levels.

  • If installing during warm months, ensure the building is well ventilated; during winter months, heating should be maintained near occupancy levels.

 If you discover mold, there are a number of best practices to help reduce moisture in the floor framing process. For those strategies, download The National Wood Flooring Association’s “Water and Wood: How Moisture Affects Wood Flooring.”
About George Hendry

George Hendry has spent more than 27 years in the forest products and building materials industry, 11 of them with Weyerhaeuser’s Trus Joist, Distribution and OSB Manufacturing divisions. In his current role as Market Development Manager, George applies in-depth knowledge of OSB manufacturing, installation practices, and market trends; leads a team of OSB Market Development Representatives; conducts training throughout the channel; and lends his extensive expertise to new product development and implementation.

Media Contact: ELP – Carolyn Atkinson (253) 924-3696 carolyn.atkinson@weyerhaeuser.com
Specification of Metal Connectors with Parallam® Plus
Federal Way, Wash., Dec 15, 2015 – When using metal connectors with Parallam® Plus, the designer needs to consider the load on the connector, the chemical used to treat the beam and the service level to select the appropriate hanger.
Service Level

As Parallam® Plus is typically used in a wet environment, nominal connection design values should be adjusted for the wet use factor. For hangers this means a reduction in the hanger capacity when hung from treated-wet service products. For Parallam®  Plus these reductions are shown on page 5 of the Trus Joist® Parallam® Plus PSL Specifiers guide,TJ-7102. Simply put, the capacity of the hanger shown in hanger manufactures’ literature is reduced by either 0.7 or 0.4 depending on use.  Typically, the reduction is  0.7 for most exterior residential applications such as a deck beam.


Corrosion Resistance

Due to the high moisture content typically present where Parallam® Plus PSL is used, it is very important to use corrosion-resistant fasteners and connectors for all applications. Fasteners include nails, screws, and bolts. Connectors include joist hangers, post bases, and hurricane or mudsill anchors.

Fasteners and connectors must have a coating that will provide the required level of corrosion resistance for the treatment types, retention levels and end-use conditions for Parallam® Plus PSL.  Parallam® Plus PSL beams and columns use two different treatments.  Parallam® Plus beam and header products are treated with Copper Azole and are rated for an AWPA use category UC4A or lower. Parallam® Plus columns are treated with CCA and are rated for an AWPA use category UC4B or lower.

Historically, galvanized hardware has been used successfully with CCA for UC4B classifications and lower. With the emphasis on CCA alternatives, other treatments have become more widespread. Copper Azole (CA-C) has become more prevalent and is used in our Beam/Header products. Testing has shown that these chemicals are generally more corrosive than CCA. Because of the increased corrosion from these treatments, hanger manufacturers have issues guidelines for connectors using these treatments, based on use categories.
For AWPA UC4A and lower in wet use applications, Simpson Strong-Tie recommends their ZMAX® (G185), and USP connectors recommend their Triple Zinc or USP Gold Coat® (G185). These products would also be acceptable for use with our column products used in UC4A and lower applications.

Parallam® Plus column products are permitted to be used in more severe UC4B including saltwater splash zone applications. When used in saltwater splash applications, Type 316 stainless steel is recommended for maximum corrosion resistance.

Lastly, the designer and installer needs to consider dissimilar metals. Fasteners and connectors used together must be of the same metallic composition to avoid galvanic corrosion. For example, hot-dipped nails should be used with hot-dipped hangers. Use of dissimilar metals such as stainless steel nails with hot-dipped galvanized hangers can create a condition which can cause the zinc to corrode resulting in the galvanized fastener losing their protective coating faster than expected.

Parallam® Plus Specifiers Guide, http://www.woodbywy.com/document/tj-7102/

Simpson Strong-Tie Wood Construction Connectors 2015-2016, http://www.strongtie.com/ftp/catalogs/c-c-2015/c-c-2015.pdf

Simpson Strong-Tie Tech Bulletin, Preservative Treated Wood, TJ-7102

USP Structural Connectors, Corrosion Protection, http://www.uspconnectors.com/pdf/technical/tech-bulletin-corrosion-protection-advisory.pdf
About Robert Kuserk, P.E.

Robert Kuserk, PE is a Weyerhaeuser engineer supporting Trus Joist Engineered Wood Products for more than 20 years joining Trus joist in 1995. Since then joining Trus Joist in 1995 Bob has been providing technical support for Trus Joist and Weyerhaeuser products to homeowner, builders, dealers, architects, engineers and code officials. Prior to joining Weyerhaeuser Bob was a consulting engineer in the South Jersey Area providing structural designs for both Industrial and Residential applications. Bob is a Graduate of Villanova University earning his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and of the University of Delaware where he earned a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering.

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