Pressure-treated wood is infused with chemicals to protect the wood from insects and rot. Pressure treating wood involves placing it in a depressurized holding tank which eliminates the air and replaces it with a preservative. Although the process can effectively prevent harmful rot and insects, it does not prevent corrosion and weathering.
The Chemicals Used for Pressure Treating Wood
Chromated copper arsenic (CCA) is a common preservative used for treating wood. This chemical is very toxic in nature and the EPA has started strict oversight of the practices of companies that use this chemical. Although opinions still differ over the specific danger that this chemical can pose, exiting CCA-treated wood is generally regarded to be safe, especially when applied with penetrating oil finish every few years.
Although pressure treated lumber should be periodically treated with a sealant to lock in the arsenic chemicals, near versions should be coated with a sealant to protect the wood from corrosion and weathering. Pressure-treatment is meant to protect the wood from internal decay while sealants protect it from external damage. Also, a sealant prevents the wood from drying too fast that can lead to excessive warping. When painting or staining pressure-treated wood, it needs to be allowed to dry for 1-2 months first to ensure proper adhesion.
Tools Needed in Building a Pressure-Treated Wood Project
If you have decided to use pressure-treated wood for your next project, you will need to invest in connectors and fasteners. Fasteners refer to any screw, nail, anchor, or bolt to be used for holding the pieces of wood together. Connectors are often used in conjunction with fasteners to complete a wood project. The kind of fasteners and connectors to use are directly impacted by your local environment and climate conditions. Also, it usually relates to the preservative’s retention rate and the specific chemical used in the wood. Therefore, it is important to consult with a local service professional to ensure proper wood selection and construction.
Uses of Pressure-Treated Wood
Wood for any outdoor project must be pressure-treated. This wood’s sawdust can irritate the eyes, nose, and skin. Also, the chemical preservative that leaks from the wood can be an issue with indoor projects. For your outdoor wood project, you need to choose the right wood species to ensure protection against rot and insects. The pressure treatment the wood had to go through will add nearly two decades worth of life to your wood project.