Ask the Experts - Installation

  • Can you use pressure treated lumber for raised garden beds?
    Raised Vegetable Beds

    While there is scientific consensus that it is safe to use for vegetable/garden beds, the information in this article explains what chemicals are used in Viance ground contact treated wood for residential use and the results of numerous scientific studies. 

    The American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) specifies the use of treated lumber for horticultural purposes to be Ground Contact. In the AWPA Book of Standards, copper azole (CA) and alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) are listed preservatives for Ground Contact use in residential applications. CA and ACQ are both available from Viance under the brand name Preserve.

    Continue reading scientific studies at this link.

  • Do I need to treat the cut ends on my fence posts?

    I just got a fence installed with ground contact pressure treated 4x4 posts. I think it is your Preserve. Do I need to treat the cut ends of the posts? They look to be green all the way through but I wanted to be sure.  

    Construction projects necessitate the need to cut and drill into wood. Building codes and the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) Standard M4-15 require "all cuts, holes and injuries such as abrasions or holes from removal of nails and spikes which may penetrate the treated zone shall be field treated." The extra effort protects the longevity that the preservatives offer.

    Copper naphthenate is one of the most used preservatives for cut ends and holes. The minimum recommendation is 2% copper metal with 1% copper naphthenate appropriate in those regions of the country where the higher concentration material is not readily available.

    Treating cut ends of lumber
    Photo courtesy of

    Another two preservatives, oxine copper and inorganic boron can be used for field treating in above ground applications. Oxine copper can be used for applications originally treated with oil-borne or waterborne preservatives. Oxine copper preservatives, containing the recommended minimum .675% oxine copper (0.12% copper metal), are available colorless or in various colors and have little odor, according to Inorganic boron can be used in applications originally treated with a waterborne treatment and in areas continuously protected from liquid water.

    These topical preservatives are available in the retail market and can be purchased at local home centers, building material retailers and paint stores who stock products for wood decks or ordered online. Be sure to follow the preservative’s manufacturer's application instructions.

    Jonathan Whitehead, Eastern Region Sales


    Check out Jonathan's bio here.

    Jonathan Whitehead
  • Can treated wood be used for sill plates and interior applications?

    Treated wood is intended for exterior use. However, all treated wood material for residential use can be used for indoor, outdoor or in play set construction.

    Example: If the Ecolife product is going to be used 6” above the final grade and will be on a wood subfloor as a sill plate for the stud walls, then EcoLife treated wood is okay to use. Please read the Ecolife installation instructions and adhere to all fastener requirements.

    AQPA Category use Chart for Ecolife Treated Wood

    Example: If the Ecolife treated lumber is going to be used on a concrete slab, then a foam sill seal must be used as a barrier between the concrete and the EcoLife treated wood. We recommend that Dow’s Sill Seal be used to provide this moisture protection. Please adhere to all of Dow’s installation instructions on proper installation. The installation instructions can be found on the product or on data sheets at your local Lowe's retailer. Be sure that the concrete building surface will be above the final grade and all water is diverted away from the slab. If you have any further question please let me know. Thank you again for your inquiry and happy building.

    Jonathan Whitehead, Eastern Region Sales


    Check out Jonathan's bio here.

    Jonathan Whitehead

  • What types of nails or screws do you recommend?
    • Use code-approved hot-dipped galvanized or stainless steel corrosion-resistant fasteners and G185 hot-dipped galvanized connectors for exterior use.
    • Do not mix metals. If using hot-dipped galvanized fasteners, use hot-dipped galvanized connectors. If using stainless steel fasteners, use stainless steel connectors.
    • For coastal installations, use code-approved stainless steel.
  • What are important installation tips when working with treated wood?
    • For exterior project applications, treat all field-cut ends of boards and drilled holes with a brush-on wood preservative. Copper naphthenate formulations are available from home centers, lumber dealers and hardware stores. Deck stains and sealers do not provide adequate protection.
    • Butt boards tightly together during installation as they will shrink slightly in width and thickness as they dry out.
    • Pre-drill holes at the ends of boards to help prevent splitting.
    • Use screws to improve holding performance.
    • Install fasteners flush to the wood surface. Do not overdrive fastener.
    • Install the un-cut end of support posts in ground contact applications
  • What are safe practices when working with treated wood?
    • Wear gloves, goggles and dust mask when working with treated wood.
    • Wash hands thoroughly with mild soap and water after working with treated wood.
    • Do not burn or use treated wood debris as mulch.
    • Do not use treated wood where it may come into direct or indirect contact with drinking water or a component of food, animal feed or beehives.
    • Dispose of treated wood debris in accordance with local regulations.
  • What is the peel and stick product I use for this FRT application?

    An architect in Alaska asked about a peel and stick product for this application: 

    We have a project where we will use FRT plywood as roof sheathing to attach asphalt shingles (IBC provision allows is use this building type we are designing to). This sheathing well be attached to galv. sheet metal "Z' framing to provide a ventilation pathway. below the sheathing. Our concern it corrosive action between the metal framing and the FRT plywood. I'm thinking about calling out a peel and stick membrane between the metal framing members and the sheathing. Is there a recognized product used for the purpose? 


    There is a peel and stick membrane tape that we recommend for use between metal framing and D-Blaze FRT sheathing. Please see the link below.

    If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact me.


    Todd Schoffstoll, Western Regional Manager


    Check out Todd's bio here.

  • Can treated wood be used on aluminum boats?


    I am going to use Ecolife treated plywood for my jon boat floor since it is safe for aluminum contact. The floor will be attached to braces that are 14" on center so it will be 2" off the bottom of the floor so it will have air under it. My question is painting...should I paint the plywood on both sides or paint the top side and leave the bottom untreated?


    Pressure treated products are not a one-use-fit-all category. EcoLife (EL-2) is only for residential building purposes and the warranty will not cover any industrial use, such as boat repairs. The use of EcoLife (EL-2) with aluminum products was specifically tested on residential flashing. Please visit the American Wood Protection Associations website,, for the proper use of treated products.

    Viance highly recommends that you contact the boat manufacture for the proper repair for your boat.

    Jonathan Whitehead, Eastern Region Sales


    Check out Jonathan's bio here.

    Jonathan Whitehead