Ulla Wally November 8, 2018

In terms of selecting the right lumber for a home project, it is important to decide on the kind of wood to use. All kinds of lumber are either pressure-treated or not. Wood that is pressure-treated tends to last longer without rotting. Also, it resists insect damage. However, pressure-treated lumber is not for every purpose.

Read on to learn when to use pressure-treated lumber:

The Wood is Exposed to Moisture

Wood that is pressure-treated should be used when they come in direct contact with moisture. Therefore, posts buried underground must be pressure-treated. Also, this includes lumber that touches concrete or masonry because it is porous and wicks water. This is the reason the structural lumber and sliding used for the last few inches of the structure above the ground must be pressure-treated.

If Wood Comes in Contact with Pets and People

Sure, pressure treated lumber resists the negative effects of insects and moisture; however, there is a reason it’s not used for the entire house. The chemicals used for pressure treating the lumber are harmful to humans. Older pressure treatment formulas contain arsenic and new formulas have copper. If humans or pets touch these chemicals from the wood, there is a possibility they can ingest these harmful substances. Therefore, any location where pets and humans spend time in on a regular basis must be built with non-treated wood.

In some cases, things can only be built safely when used with pressure treated wood. Property owners will want to build secure decks that they can use for many years. Those who are concerned about the risks of pressure-treated wood can choose to use oil-based sealants. These sealants can limit the amount of copper, arsenic, and other compounds that reach the wood’s surface. Because the main risk of using treated wood includes touching the surface, a suitable sealant can ensure any family’s safety.

You do not have to worry about making pressure treated wood covered or hidden from access like subflooring safer. Treated wood does not release any particulates or gases which could harm people and pets. The only risk comes from touching the wood or being exposed to sawdust. Whether you need pressure treated or non-treated lumber for your project, a big a lumber yard should be able to provide you with a range of options in various sizes and shapes. Professionals at the yard can also give you more advice on when to use treated lumber.