What You May Not Know about Pressure-Treated Lumber

Pressure-treated woods are superior to their untreated counterparts. The combination of pressure and chemicals has provided the wood excellent properties to resist insects and rots.

Fungus, insects, water damage and dirt can easily penetrate woods. These threats can deteriorate the wood’s integrity. Fortunately, technologies like vacuum impregnation and autoclave systems make cheap woods last longer and have better looks.

The Treatment Process

Pressure treated lumber is made with copper azole (CA), alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) or micronized copper quaternary (MCQ). During the pressure-treatment, the wood is saturated in chemical solutions. The wood becomes ready for use when dyed for many months.

How to Maintain the Wood

While pressure-treated woods is more resilient, it must be treated on a regular basis to make sure it is safe for use. Older treated woods can have harmful chemicals they get from the initial treatment. Thus, it is important to apply sealants to them to lock such chemicals. Also, newer wood must be coated to protect it from corrosion and weathering.

Pressure treated lumber can be used for both indoor and outdoor projects. However, many users find these wood pieces quite practical for outdoor use. Because of their treatment, they could provide more years to any project’s life.

Treating Wood with Oil Borne Preservatives

These preservatives are used for treating industrial wood products that utility companies and railroad companies use. The EPA listed these preservatives as pesticides and allows their use to preserve wood products used in industrial applications.

The preservatives have oils which serve as a water barrier that works to reduce the amount of water that can be absorbed by the wood. The water that is trapped inside the wood tends to freeze and cause wood cracking and splitting in cold environments. After many years, this decreases the lifespan of the wood products.

Can the Wood Prevent Water Damage?

Woods that are pressure-treated don’t prevent water damage. They just protect against termites and rots. A number of treated lumbers are produced with water repellent. The inclusion of the repellent is often marked on the wood. Wood pieces that are treated with repellents must still be checked for warping and cracking and don’t prevent damage associated with water. To prevent such damage, water repellent can be applied to the deck once every year. Moreover, pressure treated woods are nearly always used for beams, joists and posts due to their structural ability and strength to withstand deterioration.