Pressure-treated wood has been infused with chemicals to preserve and protect the wood from insects and rots. The treatment process involves putting the wood in a pressurized holding tank which eliminates the air and replaces it with a preservative. The process is quite effective in avoiding harmful elements which can damage the wood.
The Chemicals Used
Chromated copper arsenic (CCA) is the preservative used for treating wood. This chemical features a very toxic nature that pushes the EPA to start supervising the practices of firms which make use of this chemical. Although opinions still differ over the specific risks that the chemical presents, existing treated wood is considered safe.
Although older pressure treated lumber should be treated on a periodic basis with a sealant in order to lock in the risky arsenic chemicals, today’s pressure-treated wood should be coated with sealant to provide the wood some protection against corrosion and weathering. Also, sealants prevent the wood from drying fast and cause warping. Woods that are pressure-treated can be stained or painted as long as the wood is first allowed to dry for a month or two to allow proper adhesion.
More Things to Know about Pressure-Treated Woods
Connectors and fasteners are common items you may have heard about in terms of woods that are pressure-treated. Fasteners refer to any screw, nail, anchor or bolt which holds together the various pieces of wood. Fasteners usually work in conjunction with connectors to complete the wood project’s construction.
Moreover, when it comes to pressure treatment for woods, retention rates are a consideration. This refers to the amount of preservative which adheres to the wood when it is undergoing treatment. Such rates can greatly vary and must be tailored to the project. While there is a standard retention rate recommended for various kinds of projects, local climate and environmental conditions can also impact these rates. In fact, these climatic factors can also impact the kind of connectors and fasteners to use.
Using Pressure-Treated Wood
Although a lot of homeowners don’t know where to use these woods, they answer is quite simple. Wood designed for indoor projects don’t have to be treated while those for outdoor projects must be treated. Pressure-treated woods have sawdust which can irritate the eyes, nose and skin. Plus, no one wants to deal with the leaking preservatives when doing indoor projects. The pressure treatment is important to outdoor projects by offering it many years of life.