Finding the right material for your backyard deck or privacy fence can be a challenge, but it’s worth the effort if your installation lasts longer. There are countless lumber choices available on the market, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. However, one consistent word of advice that you will hear is to use pressure treated wood for your most important projects.
Today, we’re going to explain the production process, typical uses of pressure treated timber, and how to care for it as a homeowner. By the end, you should be able to tell whether or not it will be right for your upcoming project. Let’s jump in!
What is Pressure Treated Wood?
You’ve probably heard all sorts of homeowner testimonials and fencing companies tell you that you “have” to use pressure treated timber for your fence or deck. But what is it? Pressure treated wood is produced when a manufacturer takes the lumber, stores it inside a specialized holding air, then vacuums out all the air inside. Once the oxygen has been removed, a series of preservatives are introduced into the tank, where powerful pressure is applied to make the chemicals sink deep into the wood.
Why Use Pressure Treated Wood?
That may sound like a lot of work to produce some modified wood, but this timber offers a couple impressive benefits. For one, the preservatives inside the wood prevent fungus from rotting the interior of the wood. Fungal rot is one of the primary reasons why exterior wood features have to be replaced prematurely.
The preservatives also block out unwanted insects, such as termites and ants. Without an easy access point into the wood or fungal decay to draw them in, insects typically pass on to more accessible sources. That’s another reason why pressure treated wood tends to last so long.
Where is Pressure Treated Wood Used?
This specialty timber can be utilized in practically any wood constructs, but most homeowners prefer to use them for their fences and backyard deck. Because these installations lie in or very near the ground, pressure treated materials come in handy. The timber is considerably more expensive than non-engineered wood materials, so most homeowners (and businesses) stick with outdoor uses.
How Much Does Pressure Treated Wood Cost?
If you are looking to make a new deck out of pressure treated wood, you can expect the material costs to run between $5 and (just over) $7 per square foot. That number is going to fluctuate based on the type of wood you decide on (ex: Douglas fir vs southern yellow pine). You can talk with an expert about finding the ideal timber for your home environment. Just make sure you choose a sturdy material if you plan on making your deck a high-traffic area.
Protecting Your Wood Fence, Deck, Etc.
Since pressure treated timber has all this protective power, that means you don’t have to do anything extra to protect it right? That isn’t true, unfortunately. While the engineered material does offer impressive defense against the typical rot and insects that haunt so many wooden pieces, there are a few other serious hazards to contend with. These include ultraviolet light from the sun, trapped moisture, and weathering.
How do you beat these challenges? By ensuring your fence is properly coated. You have multiple options to do so.
- Wood Oil
Can Pressure Treated Wood Be Painted?
Now you may be thinking, “Wait. Why paint pressure treated wood? Can it even be painted?” Absolutely! The important thing is to make sure your wood has been given sufficient time to dry. Your pressure treated lumber has already been stored outdoors for some time. Unfortunately, there’s no way of telling how long a drying period the wood has completed already. Your wait time could be anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months (at the longest) before your wood is safe to coat. Otherwise, you’ll be trapping unwanted moisture inside, and even pressure treated wood starts to decay when that happens.
Anyways, paint offers a layer of protection against the sun’s ultraviolet light. UV rays degrade pigment and natural wood oils, causing the timber to fade and crack. Paint also provides additional moisture resistance. If you are a fan of vibrant, expressive colors in home decor, the paint market supplies many hues for you to choose from.
Will Pressure Treated Wood Take Stain?
Staining is a great option for decks with high quality timber that you want to showcase to your friends and family. Because it allows the wood grain to shine through, you’ll get a more rustic aesthetic as a result. There aren’t quite as many colors available (compared to paint), but stains provide excellent moisture, pest, and UV ray protection.
And yes! Pressure treated wood will absorb stains. Just make sure you’ve given your timber enough time to dry before considering wood fence staining.
Will Pressure Treated Wood Rot in Dirt?
Even the most durable wood materials still require a modicum of protection. Pressure treated wood rot is a real problem, caused when moisture is trapped inside or against the timber. As with any other type of timber, make sure your pressure treated wooden fencing or deck has a concrete base between the wood and the dirt.
Get an Estimate for Painting or Staining!
If you are the type of homeowner that prefers quality materials like premium shingles or siding, pressure treated timber could be right for you. Our paint and staining pros would be happy to talk with you about caring for your wooden decor. At Pro Seal Restoration, our team offers affordable, lasting solutions for wood restoration and protection. That includes fencing, garage doors, gates, pergolas, and more! Learn more about our services by calling (817) 506-7722.