People often talk about pressure-treated lumber as the product solution for their outdoor deck or patio desires. But, there’s a lot to consider when determining the right wood material for your outdoor living project.

What is pressure-treated lumber? Pressure-treated lumber, often pine, goes through a process where preservatives are forced deep into the wood grain. Although this process consists mostly of water, the most common chemicals used to treat wood are Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ), Micronized Copper Azole (MCA) and Copper Azole (CA).

Pressure treating wood helps it ward off termites, insects, and mold, as well as provides a shield against natural weather elements such as rain, snow, sleet, and sunlight. This human-enhanced wood product generally works great for outdoor decks and patios when annual care routines are in place.

What’s it cost? The cost of standard treated wood for decking is often less than cedar. Most pressure-treated lumber comes with a limited lifetime warranty and generally lasts 20 years or more. However, varying levels of treated wood offer varying levels of protection. Inexpensive treated wood is often full of moisture and will eventually shrink in size and can twist and warp as it dries. Higher-grade treated lumber is usually kiln-dried before and after the pressure treatment, and with less moisture in the wood grain, it’s less likely to shrink or warp over time.

Top 3 Pros:

  1. Pressure-treated wood is versatile! Think of it as a blank canvas. It’s easy to work with and can be stained or painted any color you wish.
  2. The chemicals used act as a natural insect repellent! The treated wood repels bugs and insects, keeping them away from your home and reducing the likelihood of pest infestations leading to deck damage.
  3. It’s durable and can withstand the test of time when properly cared for! Pressure treated wood can resist dents, wear, and scratches.

Top 3 Cons:

  1. Paint color and stains often fade more rapidly when treated wood is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun.
  2. There’s a hefty amount of care needed to keep pressure-treated wood in top condition. To protect your deck from things like splintering, checking, fading, or becoming porous or soft, the wood must be stained, and a penetrating sealer applied at least every two years.
  3. Pressure-treated wood goes through a chemical process and anything with added chemicals must be treated with caution and respect. It should never be used for gardens or come in frequent contact with food and water. If pressure-treated wood is burned, trimmed, or cut, it can release harmful toxins in the air. The professionals like us at Dynamic Decks know how to properly cut and dispose of any treated lumber.

Need a little help deciding if pressure-treated lumber is right for your deck or patio project? Give us a shout! Values increase by adding a deck, recovering your existing deck, or updating your deck to make it modern, functional, and beautiful. Contact Matt for a project quote.