Benefits of Pressure Treated Lumber

Dr. Karl Wolman started a revolution of sorts.

He’s responsible for inventing the process of infusing preservatives into wood.

His innovation has resulted in a giant industry by which chemical preservatives are forced deeply into lumber: Pressure-treating.

Pressure-treated lumber is – in virtually every way – superior to its untreated counterpart.

This is because a combination of chemicals and pressure have given the wood desirable properties to resist both rot and insect infestations.

Let’s take a look at what pressure-treated wood is and why it’s important to consider for your next project.

Pressure-treating is a necessity

Wood can be easily penetrated by fungus, dirt, insects and water damage.

These are all real threats that deteriorate the structural integrity of wood.

Enter autoclave systems and vacuum impregnation.

Thanks to these technologies, wood treatment has advanced by making cheap woods last long and look great.

How it’s made

Here’s what goes into the process.

Pressure-treated lumber is usually preserved with one of these three chemicals:

  • Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ)
  • Copper Azole (CA)
  • Micronized Copper Quaternary (MCQ)

During the preservation process the wood is injected with the preservative chemical inside one of our autoclave systems.

Once the preservation process is complete and wood has dried, the preserved wood is ready for use.

Caring for pressure-treated wood

When you spend a lot of money installing a deck in your backyard, you want it to last for more than a couple summers.

It would deteriorate rapidly if you were using lumber that hadn’t been pressure treated.

Once wood has been pressure-treated, it’s much more resilient to the elements.

But, it should still be maintained regularly to ensure it’s beauty and help prevent weathering.

Pressure treated wood uses

Treated lumber is used for a wide variety of outdoor projects, including:

  • Decks
  • Mailboxes
  • Light posts
  • Swing sets
  • Picnic tables
  • Landscaping ties
  • Underwater dock pilings
  • Oceanside boardwalks
  • Telephone utility poles
  • Railroad ties

Thanks to its treatment, this wood can add nearly two decades of life to your project.

Oil-borne wood-treating

Oil-borne wood-treating preservatives are used to treat industrial wood products.

These wood products are used by:

  • Utility companies for telephone, utility poles and cross arms.
  • Railroad companies for railroad cross-ties and switch ties that support the steel rails for train tracks.
  • Bridge builders for construction and maintenance.

Oil-borne preservatives are also listed by the EPA as pesticides and are allowed for preserving wood products that will be used only in industrial applications.

The oils in the preservatives act as a water barrier, which minimizes the amount of water the wood can absorb.

Any water trapped inside the wood will freeze and cause the wood tie to crack and/or split in cold environments.

Over time this reduces the wood product’s useful life span.

Consult the experts at Tank Fab

Are your facilities’ wood-treatment needs being met efficiently and effectively?

Contact us today for a free consultation for all of your wood-treatment needs.

Would your business benefit from an updated wood-treatment system?

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on 1/6/17 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehension.

Author: Jeffrey Lippincott

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