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Exterior Wall Sheathing 101: A Guide

Updated: Jan 8, 2020

Sheathing is the panel material used in walls, flooring or roof assemblies in residential and commercial construction. In any application, its basic function is to provide a surface onto which other materials can be fastened.

Exterior wall sheathing is used to strengthen the wall system by protecting it from outside elements, whilst providing structural stiffness. Structural exterior sheathing ties the framing studs together—also known as wall bracing—and provides the walls with bending and twisting resistance.

Non-structural sheathing, on the other hand, provides added insulation and acts as a barrier against wind and water. Depending on the sheathing material used, it provides different levels of thermal insulation and plays a key role in HVAC air retention.

Due to its correlation to the building’s structural integrity, it’s crucial to take the wall sheathing material into consideration when building or remodeling a property. Residential structures typically use materials like plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), while commercial assemblies use specialized gypsum product. However, there’s a new green alternative material in the market for exterior sheathing wall, and that’s the MagMatrix MagSF non-combustible sheathing board.

Exterior wall sheathing boards that use the MgO technology use high tensile meshes of glass fibers to offer outstanding strengthening power. The board is cured naturally through cold fusion and doesn’t have any toxic or inorganic input, which is why it has a significantly low environmental impact. Not only does its manufacturing process use 50% less energy, it actually absorbs the CO2 emissions in the environment during the exothermic curing process.

Let’s look at some other benefits of MgO sheathing boards:

Non-Combustible in Nature

Sheathing boards prepared with MgO technology are particularly implemented as a fire protection solution. Classified as non-combustible, these sheathing boards provide excellent fire-resistance properties, preventing fire from spreading throughout the building.

Moreover, they offer impeccable impact resistance and easy workability compared to traditional materials in the market.


The MagSF model sheathing boards are fully breathable. They allow moisture to get in and out of the building structure—as opposed to trapping the moisture—making it a heavier and more durable building solution. In fact, it takes the place of plywood, OSB and gypsum sheetrock for wallboard, subfloor, roof decking and sheathing applications.


The MagMatrix fire board doesn’t swell and rot after long-term exposure to water; it’s impervious to water and offers excellent dimensional stability in humid and damp conditions. Moreover, the MagSF sheathing board can be applied during an early stage of the construction, even before the building has been made air tight.

Our MagMatrix MagSF has a track record in enhancing manufactured construction systems. Shop our MgO floor boards today or get in touch with us for more information.

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