Following REXE Roofing’s successful introduction of the premium quality roofing shingles in Kenya and the East Africa region in 2011, we realized that our valuable customers were often stranded with our shingles which are quite flexible that they require a firm wooden surface of the OSB board quality to be fixed on.
Previously block board had been recommended and used for shingle roofs without a hitch. There was only one problem; block boards’ high costs were seen as exorbitant and a huge deterring factor to anyone who loved the elegance of roofing using our shingles. Through extensive research, we discovered the OSB Boards which had been used successfully in other international markets.
OSB is an acronym for Oriented Strand Board which was invented several decades ago, precisely in 1963 by Armin Elmendorf in California and the technology has since then been replicated across the globe. OSB boards are more cost-efficient and perform better in nails adhesion compared to plywood and blockboard due to their textured surface. Nail adhesion is an important factor in ensuring that the shingles do not “fly” off the roof leaving you to the fate of mother nature.
We partnered to become pioneers in supply, installation, and training on the use of OSB Boards in Kenya and East Africa. This meant that we had to face numerous questions regarding this “strange, but somewhat colorful looking” board, made from recycled sawdust, wooden chips, bonded together with glue under extremely high temperatures.
Since REXE roofing introduced the OSB Boards to be used as a firm surface to fix our roof shingles, it was important to compare the water absorption between both OSB Boards and plywood, it was interesting to note that, when exposed to the same humid conditions, plywood was quick to absorb like a duck takes to water while the OSB Boards remained quite unchallenged mainly due to the fact that OSB boards, unlike its cousin plywood, is made of several layers of strand that make it harder to absorb and retain moisture particularly the OSB 3 type which is made exclusively for outdoor use.
We observed and listened keenly as customers questioned how durable the OSB board was and as one customer remarked, “OSB Boards looked like decorated plywood”. Being an engineered product with chips glued together, it did look a bit flowery. Based on our long successful history in the industry as well as research and physical tests that we had conducted, it was easy to take these questions that, in many aspects than one, OSB boards are in fact stronger than plywood, more resistant to change, cost friendly and a superior solution to a beautiful shingles roof with an even finish.
Over the years, block boards have been used for decking roofing shingles; mainly because of their firm surface and not too smooth a finish, which enhances their ability to hold nails and screws. However, with timber prices in Kenya rising as a result of logging bans, blockboards have become more expensive to use as compared to OSB boards, especially as a roofing shingles’ decking. Both block boards and OSB boards measure 8ft x 4ft, and both are available in different thickness from 10mm to 15mm.
Besides the more moisture resistant grades of blockboards being developed, blockboards are generally susceptible to water damage making them less ideal for use on the roof as a shingle decking. It is also for this reason that blockboard is more popular for indoor use such as building shelves, cabinets and doors.
Since REXE Roofing introduced the OSB Boards to the local markets, other players came along and the use of these special OSB boards gained popularity and diverse uses including but not limited to beautiful indoor partitioning, walling, roof decking, furniture manufacturing among others. (Read our article on Creative Ways to Use Oriented Strand Boards)
Would you like to know more about the OSB Boards? We conduct a FREE program ‘’Roofing 1on1’’ at our REXE Showroom on Menelik Court, off Menelik Road and we would love if you could pay us a visit. Feel free to Get in Touch with us for more information on our Roofing materials and products which include Roofing Shingles and Stone Coated Roofing Tiles we also supply and install APP Waterproofing membrane among other Roofing Boards and accessories