Top 10 Treated Wood FAQs

1. What type of nails or screws do you recommend?

hardware and end tag for treated wood
  • Use building-code approved, corrosion-resistant fasteners and connectors suitable for use in pressure-treated wood.
  • Recommended Fasteners are hot-dipped galvanized or stainless steel.
  • For Permanent Wood Foundations and corrosive environments, such as Coastal areas with saltwater spray, use code approved stainless steel fasteners and connectors.
  • Ecolife® (EL2 on the end tag) treated wood is less corrosive to connectors and fasteners and can be used in direct contact with aluminum products, even in continuously wet applications.
  •  CA (copper azole) is not suitable for direct contact with uncoated steel or aluminum building products.

2. Any special installation tips?

  • Check the end tags of treated wood to ensure it is for the appropriate application.
  • Butt boards tightly together during installation as they will shrink slightly in width and thickness as they dry out.
  • Pre-drill holes no closer than 1/2" 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.
  • For ground contact support posts, install the uncut ends in the ground.
Top 10 treated wood FAQs from Viance

3. What are the safe practices when working with pressure-treated wood?

  • Wear appropriate safety protection when working with treated wood products including gloves, goggles and dust mask.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with mild soap and water after working with treated wood.
  • Do not burn pressure-treated wood or use treated wood debris as mulch.
  • Pressure-treated wood should not be used 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.

4. What should I use to apply to the cut ends of my lumber?

  • For field-cut ends and drilled holes in treated lumber, use 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.
  • Building codes and the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) Standard M4 requires "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.
  • 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.
  • Be sure to follow the preservatives’ application instructions.

5. How do I remove the grade stamp from my deck?

  • In most cases a light sanding will remove the grade stamp or lighten its appearance.

6. How long do I need to wait before I stain or paint my deck or fence?

  • For optimal performance of paint and stain coatings, allow treated wood to dry prior to application.
  • Test the wood with a few drops of water to see if the wood is dry enough to readily absorb the water. Apply the stain to a small portion of the deck to ensure the wood is sufficiently dry. As soon as the wood is porous enough to accept the stain, it is ready to stain. Typically, treated wood will dry and be ready for finishing 60 days after installation.

7. What do you recommend I use to paint or stain my deck?

  • We recommend a good quality oil-based or water-based stain or exterior wood water sealant product with UV protection to help prevent the wood from turning gray from exposure to the sun.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s application and use instructions.
  • Apply a water repellent sealer at least every two years.

8. What are the benefits of Ecolife treated lumber for above ground use? 

  • The built-in wood stabilizer keeps boards straighter and minimizes cracking, checking and splitting.
  • An environmentally advanced, non-metallic preservative, Ecolife (EL2) is extremely effective at .019 pcf retention, a fraction of competing products that use two times the chemicals to achieve adequate above ground product performance.
  • The water repellent stabilizer is a built-in part of the preservative system and not an add-on that can vary by treater supplier.
  • The amount of water repellent stabilizer in Ecolife is designed for maximum performance and is the only preservative wth an integrated stabilizer standardized by the AWPA.
  • Ecolife treated wood fights exposure the weather extremes from the sun and rain and is used in building decks, railings, fence pickets, arbors, trellises, joists and beams.
  • Ecolife is less corrosive to connectors and fasteners and can be used in direct contact with aluminum products, even in co#asset:121380:transform:blogListingThumbnaintinuously wet applications.
  • Ecolife is an NAHB Home Innovation Research Labs Green Certified Product for Resource Efficiency and is eligible to contribute points toward a building’s certification under the National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS).
  • Ecolife is designed for above ground applications six inches or more off the ground.

9. What are the advantages of Preserve® CA (Copper Azole) treated wood for ground contact use?

  • Preserve CA contains active ingredients, copper and azoles. The copper is 100% recycled and soluble, penetrating deeper in the wood cells. The copper is very effective in preventing damage from insects and fungi. The organic triazole co-biocides; tebuconazole and propiconazole, which help control damage from copper tolerant fungi.
  • Copper azole (CA) has been used to pressure treat wood products worldwide since 1992. CA was first introduced in the United States in 2001.
  • Preserve CA treated wood meets the stringent industry standards of the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA), the leading authority on wood preservation science. Preserve CA is approved for a wide variety of residential, commercial and agricultural construction projects including above ground exposed use (UC3B), ground contact general use (UC4A), freshwater immersion (UC4B), and salt-water splash applications (UC4B). CA is not recommended for saltwater immersion applications.
  • Preserve CA is an NAHB Home Innovation Research Labs Green Certified Product for Resource Efficiency and is eligible to contribute points toward a building’s certification under the National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS).
  • Research indicates  none of the vegetables grown in beds made with copper azole treated wood show elevated copper levels compared to vegetables grown in beds constructed with untreated wood.
  • Preserve CA is available in ground contact or above ground applications depending on the preservative retention level in the wood. Check the end tag for proper use.

10. What do you recommend I use to clean my deck?

  • To provide long-term aesthetic appeal, create a maintenance plan that includes an annual cleaning, and keep your deck free from dirt and debris.
  • A diluted solution of liquid detergent and water with a stiff brush will remove mildew and dirt.
  • For hard to clean surfaces, use a deck brightener containing oxalic acid to retain the wood’s natural beauty.
  • Never use household chloride bleaches on wood decks as it can cause damage to the wood fibers and fasteners.
  • Care should be taken if a pressure-washer is used for cleaning decks, as excessive pressure may cause damage to the wood.
  • For more information on why not to use bleach and to see top-rated wood deck cleaners, download the attached..

Do you have questions about treated wood? Contact us anytime.

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