Wood can be processed and embedded with a variety of preservative chemicals to prevent rot and insect infestation in your decks. Several species of wood can be treated, but a regionally available species usually predominates in any particular locale. Pressure treated lumber is ideal for outdoor construction as it has a long, useful life span. Treated wood can last more than 40 years when properly maintained and cleaned. The treatment process involves placing a load of lumber in a huge cylindrical chamber called a retort with a door on one end that can be sealed airtight and then forcing waterborne chemicals into the wood under pressure.
There are many reasons to treat wood with a pressurized system. Decking, for example, requires different amounts of preservative for protection. These amounts are called “retention levels,” referring to the amount of preservative retained in the wood after treatment.
Furthermore, each preservative has its individual retention level for these applications. The intended use is usually identified on the tag stapled to each piece of lumber using a series of letters, such as ‘UC4A’ which means – Ground Contact, General Use. You can find many lists
Because pressure treated wood is made with chemical preservatives and done so with pressure – effectively locking these preservatives inside the wood’s pores rather than just on the surface of the wood, handling of these materials should be done with a certain amount of caution.
Precautions when working with pressure treated woods
What precautions should I take when working with CCA-treated wood?
- Saw, sand and machine the wood outdoors, and wear a dust mask, goggles and gloves.
- Clean up dust, scraps and other debris and dispose of in trash. Do not compost or use as mulch.
- Do not burn treated wood, since burning may cause the release of toxic chemicals in smoke and ash.
- After handling wood, wash clothing and all exposed areas of body.
If you want to learn more about pressure treated wood, come into our showroom and get informed!