[Posted on December 16th, 2014 by Aaron Presley]
Among lumber yards in Houston, pressure treated lumber is a top-selling material used for a wide variety of building projects. Here at Bayou City Lumber, we can offer everything you need to know for making the most of this popular building resource — including:
1. Type of Wood Used for Pressure Treated Lumber
Pressure treatment is used for softwoods, such as Southern Yellow Pine. The treatment is used to prevent rotting, termites and decay in wood used in outdoor building, such as for bordering a lawn or garden.
2. Not All Pressure Treated Products are Created Equal
When choosing a type of lumber that is pressure treated, note the number for the chemical retention level. For a higher number, the wood will be more resistant to rot, be invaded by termites or decay. However, for our customers interested in having the least amount of preservatives possible on their wood, we recommend going with the lowest number of chemical retention level.
3. Does This Wood Contain Arsenic?
While pressure treated materials of yesteryear was preserved using chromated copper arsenate, which is arsenic, this is no longer a concern. Treated woods now preserved using safe chemicals as arsenic was banned by the EPA for use with lumber that is used for homes and gardens.
4. Working with Treated Building Materials
When working with this type of wood, there are certain measures to take to ensure the safety and longevity of the material. Gloves should be worn at all times when handling pressure treated wood. Safety goggles and dust masks are recommended when sanding, drilling or cutting into wood that has been treated. Annually, apply a clear stain to increase the longevity of the preservative coating on the wood’s surface if not using a paint product.
5. Shrinkage and Cracking Natural
All wood lumber has some degree of shrinkage and cracking that is to be expected. After all, this is a naturally made material that swells when wet and dries in the sun. Even products that are sealed and treated are going to shrink. This most typically occurs across the width of boards, so builders should take into consideration the fact that their lumber will shrink over time. Additionally, as part of the drying stage of treated wood, the boards will crack, also referred to as checks. This, again, is a natural part of the process for this type of wood.
Contact Bayou City Lumber to learn more about pressure treated lumber so we can help you meet your building needs.