What you need to know about pressure-treated lumber

April 11, 2021

Before you begin your outdoor projects this year, here is what you should know about pressure-treated lumber.

If you are planning to take on some outdoor construction projects this year, pressure-treated lumber will be your go-to.

Pressure-treated lumber is ideal for your outdoor projects because it is penetrated with preservatives that aid in rot prevention and insect infestation, among other potential issues. 

Biiibo staff pick up pressure-treated lumber for delivery. width=

What is pressure-treated lumber composed of?

Pressure-treated wood can be any of a variety of softwood lumber types that have been treated with specific chemicals, usually copper azole, alkaline copper quaternary, or micronized copper azole.

The wood goes through a treatment facility where it is blasted with a preservative solution containing the chemicals at a high pressure. These chemicals then penetrate deep into the wood fibres. Once complete, the process makes the lumber more durable and resistant to the elements. 

What are the benefits to pressure-treated wood?

Because of its ability to help fight against moisture, fungal growth, rot and infestation, pressure-treated lumber will keep your backyard projects looking fresh, and can last for more than 40 years. 

In addition to its durability and longevity, you can purchase it in a variety of types and sizes, depending on what best suits the project at hand. Pressure-treated wood is also easy to work with and easy to repair. 

As well, if you are seeking something that protects against fire, fire-resistant chemicals can be added to pressure-treated wood to meet that requirement. 

Read more:

How do I choose the right pressure-treated lumber? 

What to know when installing pressure-treated deck boards

6 creative ways to use up your scrap pressure-treated lumber 

Does all pressure-treated wood work the same? 

Not exactly. The effectiveness of the pressure treated wood you purchase will depend on the chemicals used and the wood's intended use. For example, some pressure-treated wood is designated for above-ground use which makes it a poor choice for any projects that will touch the ground. 

Can you stain or paint pressure-treated lumber?

Pressure-treated wood is finicky when it comes to finishes. While it can be both stained and painted, doing either will require a careful process to ensure your work isn't completely washed away by next year.

Is pressure-treated wood toxic?

There are a long list of benefits to using pressure-treated, but at the end of the day, the wood still contains chemicals that require a level of caution. This means, you should avoid using it for any type of project that will eventually come into contact with food, such as a backyard garden. 

Also, because this wood releases chemicals, it is important to handle it correctly; to use personal safety equipment such as gloves, masks and goggles; and to ensure the area in which you are working has proper air flow. 

Still have questions about pressure-treated lumber? Contact Biiibo with any inquires, or to place an order. 


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