NPR has reported that Ohio has become the first state to ban the use of plywood for boarding up vacant and abandoned houses. The usual plywood material is being replace by a clear polycarbonate clear board to improve aesthetics and help with security of the property.

In the commercial restoration industry, board up services are often used after a disaster such as a fire or a storm to secure unsafe windows, floors, walls or ceilings and protecting the building from unauthorized entry and prevent future loss. It is often imperative to make the building less hazardous. These measures are necessary not only to protect personal property but also to prevent injury or death.

What does the ban actually entail when it comes to property restoration?

Division (A) of Section 2308.031 of Ohio H.B. 463 states, “No person shall use plywood to secure real property that is deemed vacant and abandoned under section 2308.02 of the Revised Code.”   – Ohio H.B. 463 as presented by The M Report.

So it appears that the ban does not apply to businesses and residential structures in the process of repair or restoration. It applies only to abandoned and foreclosed properties in an effort to control vandalism and blight.

The reason for concern in commercial restoration was that the clear polycarbonate clear board is almost six times the cost of a sheet of plywood. This would inevitably cause an issue with estimates, and costs that would be sent to insurance companies potential raising rates on all sides.

While it does not look like a huge change in the immediate future, it’s still something to keep in mind as different laws and statutes arise.

What do you think of the Urban Blight State Law?