July 16, 2022 (Updated August 5th)
This post is about an ongoing dispute with Meek’s Lumber / US LBM Holdings and LP Corporation over defective LP TechShield 7/16 OSB radiant barrier panels that were installed at 52 Dirleton Drive in Bella Vista, Arkansas.
Ozark Mountain Home Builder is new to the NW Arkansas area and currently building a home for the owner of the company in the Dirleton Subdivision of Bella Vista. Ozark Mountain Home Builder chose to purchase framing materials from Meek’s Lumber / US LBM Holdings because the sales representative, Roy Garrett from the Springdale Design Center, boasted about the great quality of lumber Meek’s sells, and having better customer service compared to competitors. Unfortunately, my experience with Meeks Midwest Lumber, not much of what Garrett said came to be a reality.
Meek’s Lumber delivered defective lumber multiple times, and the replacement building materials were also defective; damaged lumber, decay fungus, excessive moisture damage, and a manufacturing defect. Building materials delivered by Meek’s was improperly handled and stored that resulted in degradation of the building materials. Meeks Midwest Lumber employee carelessness, poor training, poorly executed protocols, lack of oversight, and from the looks of it, understaffed for the volume of sales, all of this has created extra work and the added down time has delayed the progress of the home build. Meek’s Lumber and Building Materials negligence has caused unnecessary delays with the construction process at 52 Dirleton Drive in Bella Vista, Arkansas, and as a result, Ozark Mountain Home Builder has incurred a financial loss.
Meek’s Lumber / US LBM Holdings customer service needs serious improvement, especially when Meek’s product is higher priced. Meek’s Lumber delivered defective building materials so many times, I began to think that they were unloading their damaged, defective/rejected/unwanted building materials on to Ozark Mountain Home Builder as some sort of sick joke. Some of the people I have shared this experience with had similar thoughts. It’s been mind boggling to think that one company could be so grossly incompetent. It’s definitely been a bad experience with Meek’s Lumber & Building Materials, and it just keeps getting worse instead of better. It doesn’t appear that Meeks Midwest Lumber, or LP Corporation, are going to be the honorable hero’s, but instead more like zero’s. As for the building materials Meek’s provided, lets just call it what it is, “Crap Lumber”.
Meek’s Lumber / US LBM Holdings first scheduled framing materials for the sub-floor system to be delivered when a winter event was in the forecast. I requested the delivery be postponed to Wednesday, February 9, 2022, which was several days after the winter event so the snow would be melted away, and also so I could be present for staging the materials as it was unloaded from the truck. Meeks Midwest Lumber sales rep, Roy Garrett, told me the delivery was rescheduled for the day I requested. On Monday, February 7, 2022, the surveillance cameras on the property started sending multiple images which was triggered by Meek’s delivering lumber while there was several inches of snow and sleet mixture still on the ground from the winter event. If you look at the pictures below, you will see that Meek’s Lumber also left the building materials unprotected from precipitation during the winter event at the Meek’s lumberyard. The images show there is snow/sleet on the lumber at the time of delivery. Winter mix on dry l;umber acts like a sponge and the lumber takes in the moisture.
Meek’s Lumber first delivered 24′-2×12’s on a pickup with a hydraulic flatbed dump with no side rails. The 2×12’s were strapped at an angle to the headache rack and to the rear of the flatbed. Meek’s employee dumped the 2×12’s on the snow and sleet and left. The 2×12’s were split on the end that had slammed on the ground. The folks at Meeks Midwest Lumber told me “lumber dumping has been common practice for years in their business.” I have been in the construction industry all my life, and this is the first time I have seen lumber delivered in a way that causes damage to the product that should be received free of defects. Several of the headers above the window and door openings have split most likely from the affect of lumber dumping and the moisture content that was to high so as the lumber dries out, it shrinks and can develop a split/crack that follows the wood grain. A header with a split or crack is not code compliant.
A little family history to warm you up. My grandparents on my father’s side operated a lumberyard in Northwest Kansas for 48 years until they retired. A lifetime as a youth was spent at the lumberyard before becoming an apprentice learning the trade of a carpenter. In the early 80’s, I started taking drafting and wood working classes in the 6th grade, which continued on through high school. In the late 80’s, I was employed by a general contractor where I learned to build homes, room additions, remodeling, and commercial fit-outs. In the early 90’s, I changed employers for a home builder who’s main focus turned to installing in-ground swimming pools. This contractor learned through his son, who I was friends with, about my integrity, skills, and work ethic, so one evening he came to my home and asked me to come work for him. I have learned every trade necessary for build homes to installing in-ground swimming pools, use of the trade tools, and operation of heavy equipment. In the late 90’s, I started my own venture in the construction industry using the knowledge and skills I learned. I enjoy the art of design and the building process. For fun, I play in other people’s sandboxes with construction equipment, just like I did when I was a child, only the equipment is much larger now. Now that I am in my mid-50’s, I am not afraid to put on my tool belt and swing a hammer, even though its more comfortable sitting behind a desk drafting ideas, pushing paper, and making phone calls.
Later in the day on March 7, 2022, a second Meek’s Lumber employee showed up with the rest of the building materials for the sub-floor; LVL beams, 2×12’s, pressure treated 2×6’s, and LP Legacy Sub-Floor panels. The Meek’s employee placed a stack of LVL’s on the snow and sleet mix, then used the forklift to push the 2×12’s out of his way that were delivered earlier in the day. Under the snow/sleet there is a gravel base for the driveway. Meeks Midwest Lumber employee pushed the 2×12’s off the graveled area so after the snow/sleet melted, the building materials were setting in mud. If Meek’s Lumber had delivered the building materials on the rescheduled day, the winter mix of precipitation would have been melted away, and I could have been there to stage the materials. The Meek’s Lumber employee broke one of the ends of the 2×12’s with the forklift as he used it to manipulate the pile of 2×12’s from one end. The Meek’s employee then stacked haphazardly the LVL’s next to the 2×12’s and then pushed the lumber a little further on the snow/sleet, knocking over the wooden stake and survey flag marking the discharge pipe location for the septic tank to be installed. The wooden stake and survey flag have never been found, they just magically disappeared.
When it was noticed that some of the 2×12’s were damaged, one of the replacements boards that Meeks Midwest Lumber sent was split even worse. The crack was approximately 5-6 feet long, and the wood was grayed out on one side like it had been baking in the sun for about a year. Meek’s Lumber invoiced me for the replacement 2×12’s.
Boise Cascade specifies the Versa-Lam® LVL beams are intended for interior applications only and should be kept as dry as possible during construction. Meek’s Lumber employee placed the LVL’s directly on the snow/sleet, with no protection or support, which later the ground beneath turned to mud. The LVL’s shown on the forklift in the first picture below, is how the two piles of LVL’s were haphazardly stacked on the snow/sleet/mud. Meek’s delivery method does not fall inline with the guideline set by the manufacturer. The Meeks Midwest Lumber employee continued to put the rest of the lumber on the snow/sleet, and one of the bundles of LP Legacy Sub-Floor he placed next to the foundation facing the street also on the snow/sleet which later melted and the ground turned to mud.
The weight of the bundle of LP Legacy Sub-Floor panels sank into the softened ground after the snow/sleet melted away. LP Legacy Sub-Floor instructions say to store the panels in clean, dry areas and off the ground, and to cover outside with plastic sheets or tarps. Keeping the cover open and away from the sides and bottom to allow for air circulation. Meek’s Lumber employees obviously have not been properly trained on how to handle and store the building materials Meek’s Lumber is selling. The LP Legacy Sub-Floor panels that were towards the bottom of the bundle that were placed directly on the snow/sleet/mud now have biological growth, mildew and/or mold, on them which appeared after the panels were installed. This area of LP Legacy Sub-Floor panels will need to be treated with a biocide to kill the mildew/mold.
Meek’s Lumber delivered 110-2×6’s with advanced wood decay fungus that was so bad that some of the boards broke apart with little effort. Someone at Meek’s Lumber had to of seen the decay fungus because they covered it with four 2×12’s and strapped them across the top of the bundle so the decay wasn’t visible at the time of delivery. I received a call from the framer that there was a problem with the 2×6’s and I needed to come to the jobsite as soon as possible. The 2×6’s were for the ceiling joists and a number of them had to be torn out and replaced because the framers installing them didn’t know what decay fungus was or what it looks like. The boards just looked dirty or stained at first. A couple layers into the bundle of 2×6’s, the decay fungus was worse and the boards more brittle.
Working with a 6-man framing crew and they paired up, each group performing different tasks. The framing crew was hired to show up and install the materials provided so they can complete the project, get paid, and move onto their next job they have scheduled. The framers were not hired to inspect materials for biological growth and fugal decay. A lumberyard charging a higher price and claiming to have better quality lumber, the building materials should be delivered in good usable condition, not like second hand left-overs.
The decay fungus was in an advanced stage that would take approximately a year of constant exposure to excessive moisture to get this bad. The folks at Meeks Midwest Lumber response was, “No excuses, never should have left the lumber yard.” No kidding, so why was it delivered? Longer 2×6’s from the lumber package had to be cut and used while waiting several days for Meek’s to replace the defective 2×6’s. Meek’s Lumber also invoiced me for the replacement 2×6’s.
The delivery of defective building materials multiple times by Meek’s Lumber negatively affected the framer’s ability to complete the job on time, and also delayed the entire project for Ozark Mountain Home Builder.
Meek’s Lumber delivered a 10′-6×6 pressure treated post with a huge chunk knocked out of one of the edges approximately 16″ long and close to the center of the post. Meek’s Lumber invoiced me for the replacement 6×6 PT post.
This is where things really went south and of greatest concern. Meek’s Lumber delivered LP TechShield 7/16 OSB radiant barrier sheathing that had pre-existing moisture damage that looked like a returned product from another customer. It appeared the LP TechShield OSB panels had been stored exposed to the weather for an extended period of time. These panels were warped, cupped, swollen wood strands, failed edge seal, impact damage, missing pieces of the radiant barrier foil overlay, and delamination of the foil overlay. Dirt silt had washed in-between the panels in the bundle from being exposed to precipitation, most likely heavy rainfall that splashed the dirt and small pebbles of rock onto the LP TechShield panels.
The dirt/silt splashed onto the radiant barrier foil overlay reduces the effectiveness of the LP TechShield panels ability to reflect radiant heat energy. Another issue is when the oriented wood strands swell from excessive moisture, it causes the surface of the foil overlay to become irregular and overtime dust will collect on the uneven surface. The dust accumulation reduces the effectiveness of the LP TechShield panels ability to reflect radiant heat energy.
When the radiant barrier is exposed to moisture, it can cause the foil overlay to corrode which reduces the effectiveness of reflecting the radiant heat energy. As the corrosion spreads across the foil overlay, the radiant barrier is no longer effective at reducing solar heat gain. The use of fasteners that are a different metal than the foil overlay can cause galvanic corrosion which will reduce the effectiveness of the foil barrier to reflect the radiant heat energy.
The LP TechShield OSB panels looked like a returned product and then resold defective. Roy Garrett with Meek’s Lumber was notified immediately of the defective LP TechShield panels. In a text message exchange, Garrett appears to blame LP Corporation for the foil delamination issue with the first delivery of the LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels. However, it was obvious the LP TechShield radiant barrier panels were improperly stored and exposed to excessive moisture. I responded to Garrett, “Moisture caused the damage. The fibers are also swollen like it got wet”. Most of the LP TechShield OSB panels had mill marks with a production date of September 5, 2021, 5 ½ months prior to being delivered to the jobsite. The LP TechShield panels came from the LP Corporation manufacturing facility in Carthage, Texas, and the panels were improperly handled and stored, exposed to excessive moisture, and never should have been delivered.
3 days later, Meek’s Lumber delivered replacement LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels that also had pre-existing moisture damage, but in far worse condition than the first delivery. Why did Meek’s Lumber deliver the LP TechShield radiant barrier panels for a second time with pre-existing moisture damage? The LP TechShield OSB panels were swollen beyond 5/8 inch across entire panels. The panels were warped, cupped, failed edge seal, impact damage, missing pieces of the radiant barrier foil overlay, and delamination of the foil overlay. Some of these panels also had shallow cut marks from a saw on one side. The replacement panels Meek’s delivered also appeared to be a returned item, then resold defective.
Some of the LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels from the second delivery had mill marks with a production date of October 9, 2021, 4 ½ months prior to being delivered to the jobsite. Many of these LP TechShield radiant barrier panels were missing the mill marks all together. The LP Tech Shield panels were improperly handled and stored, exposed to excessive moisture, and never should have been delivered. The LP TechShield OSB panels that did have mill marks came from the LP Corporation manufacturing facility in Carthage, Texas. Meek’s Lumber invoiced me for the replacement panels with a 45%+ markup than the original sale price.
Original price of the LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels pre-Covid was under $9.00 each at most lumberyards. At time of purchase from Meek’s Lumber, the LP TechShield panels were $39.64. The replacement LP TechShield panels from Meeks Midwest Lumber were $57.64.
11 days later, Meek’s Lumber delivered the replacement of the replacement LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels. These LP TechShield panels showed no visible signs of moisture damage when delivered, and were installed immediately without being exposed to any precipitation before the shingles were installed. These LP TechShield OSB panels were delivered March 1st, installed March 1st & 2nd, LP SmartSide fascia trim installed March 3rd, and the roof deck shingled March 4, 2022. After installation of the LP TechShield, it was discovered the radiant barrier foil overlay didn’t have a bond to the OSB substrate approximately 3-4 inches in along one 8-foot edge.
On several of the LP TechShield panels, the foil overlay would tear off in small pieces or large sections as the sheets were removed from the bundle. The tearing of the radiant barrier foil overlay seems to be from adhesive between the sheets causing the foil overlay to stick to the adjacent panel in the bundle. The radiant barrier foil overlay did not have a good bond to the OSB substrate with the LP TechShield that was delivered the third time. Most of the panels from the March 1st delivery were installed on the roof and a few on the exterior walls. Meek’s Lumber also charged me for these replacement panels with a 45%+ markup than the original sale price.
It took Meek’s Lumber several months to remove the added charges for all the replacement building materials. The extra charges were over $10,000 and Meek’s Lumber did not provide statements with each delivery. Statements for a month of orders was not sent in the mail until the first week of the following month. How many customers pay their invoice without reviewing it for overcharges? If you had to guess, is it 15%, 20%, or 30%? How many check to see what was actually delivered, and then compare to invoices received 30 days later? On the back of the statements, Meek’s Lumber outlines rules for disputing their overcharges and these rules lean in Meek’s favor. You don’t first learn about Meek’s rules for disputing overcharges until after you received Meek’s Lumber billing statement in the mail.
Every time I requested statements to be emailed from Meek’s Lumber, Roy Garrett acknowledge they would be, multiple times. I never did receive any statements from Meek’s Midwest Lumber via email. It wasn’t until US LBM Holdings’ legal council, Rachel Retzke, became involved before any billing statements were ever emailed. The $10,000 in overcharges were finally credited back by William “Billy” Nix, branch manager at Meek’s Lumber in Rogers, Arkansas, but only after I complain about it in an email with Meek’s and US LBM’s employees that are further up the ladder. Meek’s Lumber passed the torch to Retzke to resolve this ongoing dispute shortly after that.
Meek’s Lumber did not provide purchase orders at the time of order, or at time of delivery to the jobsite. You don’t know the true cost of the building materials from Meeks Midwest Lumber until up to a month later. Meek’s Lumber states on their building material quotes “This is an estimate only. Not guaranteed to build or complete”. So no price guarantee and the price could literally change the next day.
BTW, building materials that Ozark Mountain Home Builder purchased thru Ridout Lumber, also US LBM Holdings, always provided purchase orders via email at time of purchase, and again at time of delivery. With Ridout, you know what is owed long before the account is due, and you know right away if there is any discrepancies with the billing, which there wasn’t. Ridout also provided terms of using the charge account when the accoiunt was approved, unlike Meek’s Lumber. Ridout Lumber’s customer service has been outstanding too.
Below is a section directly from the LP TechShield 20-Year Limited Warranty available at time of purchase February 2022.
“Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (“LP”) warrants that its Product bearing the APA® certification will:
a. At the time of manufacture, meet or exceed the manufacturing standards under U.S. Product Standard PS2 and will exhibit none of the following manufacturing defects:
(i) delamination, cupping or warping of the OSB substrate (“Substrate Delamination”). Substrate Delamination is defined as a visible separation within the panel that results in reduction of the panel’s structural strength. Minor surface irregularities such as loose or folded surface flakes and minor edge swelling do not qualify as Substrate Delamination;
(ii) delamination of TechShield radiant barrier (“Foil Delamination”). Foil Delamination is defined as either a visible separation of the TechShield foil overlay from the surface of the OSB substrate or separation of the TechShield foil components that results in a material reduction of the Product’s ability to reduce solar heat gain;”
The LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels that Meek’s Midwest Lumber delivered to the jobsite have exhibited all of the defects listed above.
Here is link to the LP TechShield 20-Year Limited Warranty at the time of purchase from Meek’s Lumber in February 2022: LP TechShield 20-Year Limited Warranty
Here is link to the revised LP TechShield 20-Year Limited Warranty as of June 2022: LP TechShield 20-Year Limited Warranty – Revised
Quite the difference between the two warranties, and the newer version is less consumer friendly, and the document leans in LP Corporation’s favor if you end up with defective LP TechShield OSB panels. The revised warranty also rules out any chance of a class action claims against LP Corporation. Why would LP Corporation added such a clause to the LP TechShield warranty? What processes in manufacturing changed with the LP TechSheid since it’s introduction in 1998, or fast forward to the previous revision of the warranty by May 2014. 8 Years later LP Corporation is now try to protect themselves from any class action claims for defective LP TechShield.
As a builder, I would not purchase the LP TechShield OSB radiant barrier panels again, nor would I recommend the product because of 1) poor product performance, 2) premature product failure, 3) how LP Corporation has handled the warranty claim, and 4) because of the drastic change in the revised warranty that gives the impression LP Corporation knows the LP TechShield is a junk product and you the consumer is buying the panels at risk of certain failure.
How many remember the LP Innerseal® Siding failure on 800,000+ homes in the 90’s, and the class action lawsuit that followed? It was one of the largest class-action lawsuits in history at the time.
The LP TechShield OSB panels from the third delivery that came from LP Corporation’s OSB manufacturing facility in Hanceville, Alabama were installed on the exterior walls and began to swell extensively from exposure to precipitation from just a couple rain falls. The oriented wood strands were swelling, and the radiant barrier foil overlay was delaminating in sections across entire panels. The LP TechShield OSB panels that came from the Carthage Texas mill that Meek’s Lumber delivered with pre-existing moisture damage has not degraded as quickly compared to the panels from Hanceville, Alabama.
The LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels are APA certified with an Exposure 1 rating so the panels should have withstood exposure to temporary weather conditions during the course of construction, but have not. Regular 7/16 OSB panels on the same project used to temporarily cover the garage door opening have the same APA Exposure 1 rating, and have been exposed to more precipitation than the LP TechShield OSB panels that are now covered with house wrap. The regular OSB panels are barely showing signs of moisture damage 4 1/2 months later compared to the LP TechShield OSB panels that are protected by house wrap, and the roof system.
In the two pictures above, the opening for the window was cutout the same day this picture was taken. The swollen wood strands of the LP TechShield OSB panels are causing the surface of the foil overlay to be irregular across the entire panel and the foil overlay has lost the bond to the OSB substrate. These panels were only exposed to precipitation a couple times after installation which caused the wood strands to immediately begin to swell and separate. With the LP TechShield panels having an APA Exposure 1 rating, this level of degradation never should happen to the panels so quickly from minimal exposure to precipitation.
Roy Garrett had suggested LP Corporation may have substituted the resins used to bond the oriented wood strands together because the Covid pandemic had created a supply chain issue for LP Corporation and was delaying production. Regardless of this being true, or not, the LP TechShield OSB panels that were delivered by Meek’s Lumber are proven to be defective.
The LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels from the third delivery were most likely defective when it left LP Corporations manufacturing facility in Hanceville, Alabama. These LP TechShield OSB panels degraded quickly, and the radiant barrier foil overlay was already delaminated from the OSB substrate. A structural engineer agrees this is a manufacturing defect. These LP TechShield OSB panels had a mill mark with a production date of February 17, 2022, and the factory weather resistant cover had a production date of February 18, 2022, 11 days prior to delivery to the jobsite. 11 days is the same number of days it took Meek’s Lumber to replace the replacement LP TechShield panels, so its difficult to believe these panels didn’t leave the mill in Hanceville, Alabama free of any defects. The first two deliveries of LP TechShield that had pre-existing moisture damage did not exhibit this type of bonding issue with the foil overlay, and the OSB panels have not degraded as quickly compared to the third delivery.
The pictures below were taken with a drone, and the images show the LP TechShield OSB panels are a lighter color around the edges and darker towards the center, which looks to be signs of high moisture content. The color of the LP TechShield panels became more uniform in color prior to the installation of the shingles 2 day later. The folks at Meek’s Lumber tried to blame the color change on “morning dew” but there was none the morning these pictures were taken. I have seen this color pattern once before on standard OSB panels installed on exterior walls on a house I built in 2005. I have not seen this color pattern again until 2022. The uneven color of the LP TechShield panels were this way prior to installation. The roof deck was shingled on the 2nd day after the framing was completed to protect the structure from precipitation entering at the roof.
Roy Garrett with Meek’s Lumber had me go through the LP TechShield Warranty process the first week of March 2022. In the beginning, Meek’s Lumber had agreed to replace some of the defective panels on the exterior walls, but not for the roof decking as the lose foil overlay was being discussed as a repair option at the time. Garrett had also assured me that Meek’s would cover whatever LP Corporation would not.
David Dellwo, LP Corporation’s warranty representative’s fix for the delaminated radiant barrier foil overlay was to mechanically fasten the foil overlay back in place to the OSB substrate with staples. I did not agree with this method as it would not return the panels back to the original factory condition and would diminish the energy performance of the radiant barrier panel. A professional engineer agrees with me. Dellwo argued with me and brushed off my concerns. LP Corporation offered no other solution other than to mechanically fasten the foil overlay back in place, and possibly providing a roll of foil for the areas that the overlay was missing, also to be mechanically fastened in-place. There is also the issue with galvanic corrosion when using staples that are a different metal than the radiant barrier foil overlay. The foil was requested but has not been provided. At one point in an email exchange, the folks with Meek’s Lumber blamed the framing crew for the radiant barrier foil overlay defect.
Approximately 2 weeks after the framing was completed, the framer returned and started to replace the defective LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels on the exterior walls that I had marked “replace” which had swollen oriented wood strands and delaminated radiant barrier foil overlay. The framer was also installing furring strips and house wrap over the LP TechShield panels on the exterior walls to protect from precipitation. The house wrap over the furring strips creates a 3/4″ air gap as a rainscreen to reduce the pressures that draw moisture into the sheathing, and to accelerate drying of moisture vapor between the siding and the sheathing thru convection. The air gap also improves the performance of the radiant barrier to reflect radiant heat energy. The house wrap also facilitates moisture drainage and vapor permeability behind the siding.
As the framer was sending me pictures of before, during, and after the LP TechShield OSB panels were replaced. I noticed in the pictures that the surrounding LP TechShield panels that had appeared ok at the time of installation, now have swollen oriented wood strands, failed edge seal, and delamination of the foil overlay. After seeing the additional degradation to the LP TechShield panels from moisture damage, I instructed the framer to finish covering the front and two side elevations with the furring strips and house wrap, and to leave the rear elevation exposed. I also had the framer leave the house wrap off the top two feet of the three elevations so the LP TechShield panels could be visually inspected. The top 2 feet of the TechShield panels on the exterior walls are protected from precipitation by the eaves of the roof.
The LP TechShield radiant barrier panels on the rear elevation are in the worst condition and would eventually be replaced anyway with the extra sheets that were not returned to Meek’s Lumber. Unfortunately the radiant barrier foil overlay is delaminating from the OSB substrate on the extra sheets of LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels that have been stored in the garage out of the weather since March 3nd. It has become obvious the LP TechShield OSB panels are a junk product and do not perform as advertised.
I contacted Roy Garrett at Meek’s Lumber and informed him about the problem with the LP TechShield OSB panels continuing to degrade. Garrett said he would contact Kyle Blazer at LP Corporation, and then Garrett called me back afterwards to let me know that LP Corporation would be contacting me shortly. A week had passed so I contacted Garret and informed him that I have not heard from anyone at LP Corporation. Garret stated that he had told Blazer to call me when they got off the phone.
Later in the morning, I get a call from Kyle Blazer, and he told me that David Dellwo was supposed to have called me a week prior. Later in the afternoon I get a call from Dellwo and I could tell right away he had a chip on his shoulder. I tried explaining to Dellwo about the additional degradation of the TechShield OSB panels, but he kept interrupting me and asking how many sheets I wanted. I told him I wasn’t certain because on March 5th, there was approximately 36/37 sheet that needed to be replaced on the exterior walls, but there is more now, and I was trying to explain the problem with the LP TechShield panels so the true number needing to be replaced wasn’t known at that time. The LP TechShield panels should not have been degrading like they have been but its now obvious the product is defective.
David Dellwo kept interrupting me and then all of a sudden, Dellwo began screaming at me at the top of his lungs, “How many fuckin sheets do you want?” I told him we were done because he was being a jackass. Dellwo responded back, “Yeah, we are fuckin done”, and the call ended. I had the call on speaker phone and my 31 year old son commented afterwards, “What is that guy’s problem?” Exactly… Dellwo’s behavior was not rational, or professional, so I wonder if he has a drug or drinking problem, or if he is just a typical narcissistic asshole?
I contacted Kyle Blazer with LP Corporation via text and told him about David Dellwo screaming at me, but he never responded back. I then contacted Roy Garret at Meek’s Lumber next about what just happened, and Garrett said he would be the go between and set up a site visit to inspect the LP TechShield OSB panels. After Dellwo had exploded on the phone towards me, I told Garrett I was going to withhold payment on the account until the issue with the defective LP TechShield was resolved.
David Dellwo wasn’t on time to the meeting, and was the last to show up. Just prior, Kyle Blazer had made a comment wondering what happened to Dellwo because he was right behind Blazer on the way to the jobsite. Dellwo greeted me and shook my hand after he walked into the garage, then Dellwo squeezed my hand really hard in an aggressive manner and shoved my hand back towards me. I returned the gesture, and then Dellwo squeezed my hand really hard again and shoved my hand back towards me. I returned the gesture again and then pulled my hand loose from his grip. Its obvious Dellwo is a jackass as I initially called it the day he screamed at me.
David Dellwo looked around and took some pictures but didn’t really seem interested in anything I said. Dellwo argued with me and took a moisture reading in an area on the inside of the garage that had been protected on the outside with the house wrap for a couple weeks by then. Dellwo also didn’t press the pins for the moisture meter deep into the backside of the LP TechShield panel to get an accurate moisture reading.
At the end of the meeting, Dellwo stated he wasn’t going to make any recommendations to replace any of the defective LP TechShield OSB panels, and that he has seen worse. That statement Dellwo made about seeing LP TechShield panels in worse condition revealed to me that LP Corporation has more defective LP TechShield radiant barrier panels on other owner’s homes and buildings. I knew going into the meeting that LP Corporation was not going to honor the warranty because of Dellwo’s behavior towards me, and that he would not be impartial. I believe Dellwo had made up his mind what his determination would be before he came to the jobsite.
Also at the end of the meeting, David Dellwo instructed me to send him a written report about my concerns with the LP TechShield OSB panels. I prepared a report about my experience with Meek’s Lumber, and detailed information about what I observed with the defective LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels. The report was emailed to LP Corporation headquarters, Meek’s Lumber corporate headquarters, US LBM Holdings headquarters, and the APA organization who certifies OSB building materials. The report was prepared before it was observed months later that the LP TechShield radiant barrier foil overlay is continuing to lose its bond with the OSB substrate, there is more swelling of the oriented wood strands, and the panels are taking in moisture from humidity in the air.
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation was the first to contact me after the report was emailed. LP Corporation claimed there wasn’t any manufacturing defect at the time the LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels left the mill, and he put the blame solely on Meek’s Lumber for the defects because of improper handling and storage of the LP TechShield radiant barrier panels prior to delivery to the jobsite.
The folks at Meek’s told David Dellwo that my “claims had no merit” and I was “simply looking for some kind of a financial windfall”. Below is Meek’s statement recorded in Dellwo’s LP TechShield panel report.
Since David Dellwo basically refused to warranty the LP TechShield OSB panels, I contacted Roy Garret after the meeting and asked him about Meek’s Lumber covering this issue since they were the ones who provided the defective product, and also because Garrett had told me several times that Meek Lumber would replace the panels and do whatever was necessary to make me happy. Garrett responded that Meek’s Lumber was standing behind LP Corporation’s decision and that Meek’s Lumber would no longer do anything about the defective LP TechShield product. I also question Garrett about the overcharges, and he responded that I should withhold payment on what I am disputing.
I have since hired a structural engineer, Hall Engineering, who performs forensic investigations, and he provided a “Panel Evaluation” on the condition of the LP TechShield OSB panels. Hall Engineering determined that the LP TechShield 7/16 OSB panels had pre-existing moisture damage, a manufacturing defect, and not performing as advertised.
Because Meek’s Lumber and LP Corporation wouldn’t make things right, and have been slow-walking this, I contacted my insurance company about the defective building materials. The insurance company sent an independent adjuster to inspect the LP TechShield OSB panels, and he also confirmed the LP TechShield radiant barrier panels are defective and should be replaced. The adjuster also documented that the panels under the covered porch area, protected from the weather, have between 18-23.5% moisture content which is above acceptable levels. The LP TechShield panels tested in this area are described as “wet” because of the high moisture content. The elevated moisture content is a sign that the LP TechShield OSB panels are taking in moisture from the humidity in the air. The Builder’s Risk insurance policy excluded coverage for defective building materials, but the independent adjuster did provided his report for supporting documentation about the defective LP TechShield panels.
One of the things the independent adjuster was concerned about was the delamination of the radiant barrier foil overlay may continue to get worse over time. The adjuster was correct as the LP TechShield OSB panels are continuing to degrade and more of the radiant barrier foil overlay has lost its bond to the OSB substrate.
Meek’s Lumber / US LBM Holdings’ legal counsel, Rachel Retzke, reached out to me to resolve this issue. She seemed genuine and asked for me to provide a cost estimate for repairs, so I did using pricing from Xactimate which insurance companies and restoration contractors use for estimating. This estimate did not include replacing the LP TechShield OSB panels on the roof for two reasons. One, I did not know at the time the delamination of the radiant barrier foil overlay would continue to degrade and two, I didn’t want to go through the process of tearing the shingles and roofing decking off, along with the wall sheathing, and reinstall new LP TechShield on the entire house because of the amount of time, expenses, and the embarrassment as people in the area see the house being built, setting idle for months, then getting torn apart, and then put back together. I was offering Meek’s Lumber an opportunity to settle for less than what is actually owed for Meek’s negligence.
I did hold back payment for the building materials until this was resolved. After Meek’s Lumber / US LBM Holdings received my reconstruction estimate, Meek’s dragged their feet for a few more weeks, and US LBM Holdings’ legal counsel, Rachel Retzke, sent me an email stating I needed to pay on the account owed, minus the amount in dispute, or they would file a lien on the property. I sent payment for approximately $33k as a gesture of good faith, which excluded the amount held back equal to the repair cost estimate, plus three “service charges” which no one has explained what they were for. Meek’s Lumber turned around and filed a lien anyway, and then Retzke followed up stating that Meek’s Lumber were only willing to pay a portion of the replacement cost, and Meek’s Lumber and LP Corporation want a full release from all liability. Meek Lumber / US LBM Holdings have clouded the title to the property and are now trying to strong arm me into accepting less than what is rightfully owed to reconstruct, which excluded replacing the defective LP TechShield panels on the roof. I feel Meek’s Lumber / US LBM Holdings manipulated me to get me to pay towards the account knowing they were not going to settle on the full replacement cost.
August 5, 2022, I have learned from legal counsel for OMHB that Meek’s Lumber failed to file the lien within the 120 days from the last day that materials were furnished, A.C.A. § 18-44-117. The last day materials were delivered by Meek’s Lumber, which was the replacement LP TechShield, was on March 1, 2022. June 29th was the last day Meek’s Lumber could legally file a lien with the circuit clerk. Meek’s Lumber filed the lien on July 21, 2022. The lien was filed 22 days after the deadline making the lien defective and not enforceable. This illegal abuse by Meek’s Lumber to slander the title was fraudulent and has caused harm. OMHB has a case that is ripe for judicial intervention and potential for punitive damages.
Also, after reviewing the itemization that Patricia A. Smith, Meek’s Lumber Lead Credit Manager, provided under oath in an affidavit filed with with the circuit clerk, and comparing to the invoices for materials and surveillance camera footage to verify, I discover that Meek’s Lumber claimed to have delivered $1,893.47 of material to the jobsite on March 25, 2022, which is false. The last date any materials that were delivered by Meek’s Lumber was in fact on March 1, 2022. Meek’s has also fraudulently billed OMHB for materials that were never received. (End of update)
The defective LP TechShield OSB panels have decreased the value of the property in its current condition. If the defective LP TechShield panels are not replaced, and the property is listed for sale, I will have to disclose that the LP TechShield OSB panels are defective, and that Meek’s Lumber / US LBM Holding and LP Corporation are not standing behind the product, or honoring the LP TechShield 20-Year warranty. Ozark Mountain Home Builder has already incurred a financial loss because of the defective building materials that Meek’s Lumber delivered multiple times. Disclosing that the LP TechShield OSB panels are defective, and the factory LP TechShield OSB panel warranty is worthless, will decrease the property’s market value causing a greater financial loss.
Based on my experience so far, I advise all contractors and homeowners who plan to use the LP TechShield OSB panels, to stay far away from the product. If you or someone you know that has already installed the LP TechShield panels, look for the “mill marks” with production date and location of manufacture, and look for signs of degradation. The LP TechShield OSB panels have become a major problem for this build that is preventing work from moving forward, and Meek’s Lumber and LP Corporation have not been acting in good-faith to resolve.
I will be making updates and uploading documents to this posting in the future.
Also look forward to the following websites to go live in the near future. These review websites will be interactive so others can submit photos and description of the defects they are experiencing with the LP TechShield OSB panels, and how LP Corporation has responded, or any issues customers have experienced with Meek’s Lumber. For now the links to the web domains below just forward back to this webpage until I finish these review websites and they go live:
Along with defective building materials, there was also issues with returning unwanted/defective building materials. The Meek’s Lumber employee who came to pick-up the return items did not take everything as promised by Roy Garrett. Instead of taking all the building materials that were stacked and ready to go, the Meek’s employee tossed some of the lumber around the jobsite, leaving things a mess which was unprofessional and looks bad for Meek’s Lumber customer service. It’s also not a desirable look for Ozark Mountain Home Builder as this becomes a representation of OMHB to the people passing by. It has added insult to injury with the growing frustration towards Meek’s Midwest Lumber, but not surprised based on Meek’s poor performance since the very first delivery of building materials.
Below you will see the materials were stacked neatly and ready to be picked up on March 15th. The Meek’s employee was supposed to take everything, including the defective materials. For some reason the Meek’s employee spent a couple hours messing around the jobsite instead of just loading and moving on. I contacted Roy Garrett about the mess the Meek’s employee left, and he stated he would make sure the employee doesn’t leave anything on the return trip. Meek’s Lumber sent the same employee back on March 29th to get “everything”, but again did the same thing as before.
Images below are from March 15, 2022
Images below are from March 29, 2022, 14 days later
The repetitive use of keywords in this post was done to improve the internet organic search results.