Although weather conditions last month interrupted sales, a steady draw and the finalization of the Countervailing (CVD) and Anti-Dumping (AD) duties against Canadian lumber mills were enough to keep prices afloat. The opportunity for a retraction of the cumulative 20.23% CVD and AD duties was lost when, on December 28th, the U.S. International Trade Commission published their final ruling in the Federal Register. Subsequently, indications of softening in the market dissipated quickly as Canadian mills came to the realization that they would either have to continue to pass on the duties to willing buyers, or sell within their own borders and forgo the duties altogether. Although the draw at this time of the year is usually light, this may become a factor for U.S. consumption in coming months if fewer Canadian mills are available to purchase from. In the meantime, the market is bumping along to the weather pattern: busy on fair days, quiet on poor ones and, overall, holding steady. Supply is keeping up with demand, and we can anticipate this pattern to continue throughout the month of February.
With the extreme winter weather conditions we endure here in New England, oftentimes the damaging effects caused by manual or chemical snow and ice removal isn’t realized for some time afterward. Chief areas of concern are decks (particularly the decking itself and post sleeves), roofs and subfloors. Especially where shoveling snow or using harsh chemicals like salt or calcium chloride to melt ice are concerned, these vulnerable areas need particular care. In the case of shoveling, it may not take much force to damage a composite, plastic or PVC product (especially in extremely cold temperatures), so please use special care on your deck components by using a plastic shovel that doesn’t have a metal edge and by keeping a wide berth around vertical components. Shoveling edges of roofs to prevent ice dams and/or removing snow from a roof in the process of being replaced can also be concerning, as you want to be certain that you are not damaging your shingles or puncturing an underlayment or membrane. Damage in either of these forms can often lead to bigger trouble down the line. Damage from chemicals used for snow and ice removal can be a little less obvious. For instance, J. M. Huber’s AdvanTech subfloor, the leading subfloor in our territory bar-none, recommends that you do not use solid or liquid salt-type products as they “can open up the surface of the AdvanTech flooring, allowing water to enter the wood pores and become trapped”. Instead, they recommend the use of sand, Safe Paw or Bare Ground Liquid brand ice melts. There is no doubt that we live in a harsh environment, so it’s critical to think of the impact that our actions in defending ourselves against the elements may have on the building materials we deal with every day. The golden rule for snow or ice removal is to always completely remove any signs of chemical ice melt and moisture (in any form) before proceeding with the job, as any traces left behind of either can have a negative impact on your final result. We all share a responsibility in making sure that the products we sell and that you install have a long life, so anyone who may have a role in the care or maintenance of these products needs to know the dangers.
Building materials are not what they used to be a short time ago, but modern materials are arguably better, just more complex. With complexity, old rules and standards often change so it is key to be well-apprised of the best methods to follow for the situations that you may encounter on your job. If you have any questions at all on the care of your products, please consult your Shepley sales team professionals and we will gladly give you the proper guidance you need for your specific product. Thank you for your business!