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Advantages and Drawbacks of Pressure-Treated Wood

Advantages and Drawbacks of Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated wood differs from the untreated variety due to the fact that it’s treated by a special process that imparts characteristics such as resistance to the elements, damage, and moisture. Its common use is in the construction of decks, poles, boardwalks and playgrounds. Treatment process involves the use of vacuum and pressure technology to force chemical preservatives within standard timber such as pine, fir or spruce. It infuses sturdy features that renders building material less susceptible from insects, fungal decay, and rot. This makes it ideal for construction projects.

Advantages of Pressure-Treated Wood:

  • Affordability: This is cheaper than any other variety. For example, compared to redwood or cedar, users can save 30-40% on overall costs. In large-scale building projects, this ensures significant savings when working on a tight budget.
  • Strength: This type of wood is strong, capable of withstanding significant wear and tear. It is also resistant to scratches and dents. It will appear beautiful post-installation and is ideal for long-term uses.
  • Durability: Due to its extra strength, this type of wood remains damage-free for extended periods, and as such, does not require frequent replacement. It provides worry-free use, especially since many manufacturers offer a 40-year warranty on this type of wood.
  • Insect-resistant: Because it contains toxins, pressure-treated wood repels insects. This means that you do not have to worry about termites and other wood-boring or wood-damaging insects after installation.
  • Versatility: This type of wood is ideal for painting and staining with any desired color. Thus, people looking to match wood colors with existing home features like interior hardwood would find this to be a beautiful option. However, staining or painting should be done only on completely dry wood.
  • Repair ease: Even when problems like drilling accidents or damage due to the activities of children occur, the repair for pressure-treated wood is quite easy and inexpensive. This means one less worry for homeowners.
  • Natural: This is an eco-friendly choice. Manufacturers use varieties like the pinewood for treatment due to its fast-growing properties.

Drawbacks of Pressure-Treated Wood:

  • Checking and splinters: Just like every other variety, occasional inspection of pressure-treated wood is advisable. This way, even if splitting or drying is present due to alternate drying and wetting cycles you will be able to identify the problem immediately and consider a timely repair. According to experts, after outdoor exposure of 6-12 months, checking is necessary. This way, you will be able to maximize the benefits associated with pressure-treated wood into the future.
  • Maintenance work: In order to protect the wood from fading, checking, splintering, or turning soft and porous, you have to stain it and apply penetrating sealers annually. If you do not take proper care, the wood retains blemishes and stains from falling debris and leaves.
  • Chemical risks: Due to chemical treatment being necessary for the protection of pressure-treated wood, a certain amount of care must be utilized. When you cut, trim, or burn wood, it leads to a certain amount of toxins being released into the air. Also, manufacturers caution against its use in gardens because of increased chance that it will come into contact with water and food.

Pressure-treated wood has lots of benefits and requires little care and maintenance. It will last for multiple decades. When working with pressure-treated wood, wear masks, gloves and safety goggles in well-ventilated areas. It is possible to recycle pressure-treated wood and it requires expert handling in order to get the best possible results.

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