What Is Pressure Treated Lumber in Seattle?

When it comes to your home, there is a good chance you care about the way it looks and how it holds up. That means outdoor projects like decks or outbuildings have to look decent and function well for many years. This predicament drives many homeowners to consider pressure treated wood for home additions like decks and awnings. But what is pressure treated wood, and where should it be used? In the past, pressure treated wood projects contained arsenic, which raised concerns when it was used in vegetable gardens and playgrounds. Today, there are other options on the market, but you should still consider the implications of the wood you use.

Let’s take a look at some of the questions you may have about pressure treated lumber in Seattle.

What is pressure treated wood?

Wood, as you know, is an organic material, and like all organic material is prone to weathering and decay. But the idea behind pressure treated wood is to dramatically slow the decay process by forcing chemicals into the wood.

As we mentioned, the old way of treating the wood required the use of chromated copper arsenate (CCA), or arsenic. But today, through new methods, like the use of micronized copper quaternary, many of these treated materials can now be used safely as garden beds, playground equipment and more. Even though some people will argue that modern treating methods are safe for food gardens, some experts suggest waiting until pressure treated material’s safety is proven solid.

How long does pressure treated wood last?

Pressure treated lumber in Seattle puts untreated lumber to shame. Where untreated decking can last around 15 years, pressure treated woods can stay in service for as long as 30 to 40 years, according to some sources. When it comes to buried pillars or retaining walls, there is no better option than pressure treated building materials. Even with regular exposure to rain, snow and other elements, pressure treated wood can go decades without rotting.

Are there any disadvantages to pressure treated wood?

Unlike woods such as cedar or redwood, pressure treated wood can be less attractive to some people. Consider it the more “utilitarian” of wood species. Outside of that, it can be sealed and painted to improve its aesthetic appeal.

That being said, it takes substantially longer for this type of wood to dry. If painted before the wood is completely dry, the paint will peel as moisture forces its way to the surface. On average, it can take weeks, and as much as a month, for the wood to completely dry. Because of the chemical process used to treat the wood, it can be toxic when burned (whether intentionally or not) and can release harmful toxins into the air. When working with or cutting this kind of wood, wear a safety, air-filtering or dust mask to ensure you don’t inhale harmful materials.

For the answers to all your questions about pressure treated lumber in Seattle, don’t hesitate to contact the knowledgeable staff at Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. Call us today!

Leave a Reply