One of our readers recently posed an interesting question that is probably affecting most of you at this time of the year.
“What’s the best way to melt ice off OSB during construction? Can I use salt?”
You can melt ice on OSB, but avoid using salt as they corrode metal fasteners. OSB panels which are rated Exposure 1 are able to withstand normal construction conditions, but it is a good idea to shovel off snow before it melts and creates excess water or ice.
While calcium chloride or sodium chloride should not affect the strength properties of wood structural panels (reference APA Research Report 132 (pages 16 & 17)), our experts discourage the use of ice-melting salt due to the possibility of corrosion of fasteners and connectors. Ice-melting salts are water absorption agents, which could promote excessive water absorption by the OSB sub-floor and prolong the drying process.
While the APA has not tested the effects of glycol-based ice melt solutions on structural panels, these may offer some solutions to severe problems. The APA recommends removing snow and ice and using course sand to accelerate the melting process.