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Guide for Selection and Use of Pressure-Treated Wood

Photo of Careful selection and use of pressure-treated wood improves long-term performance of wood structures.Careful selection and use of pressure-treated wood improves long-term performance of wood structures.Snapshot : This report describes and provides guidance for selection and use of pressure-treated wood for specific applications.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Lebow, StanKirker, Grant T.
Tang, Juliet D.Mankowski, Mark , E.
Research Location : Wisconsin
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2020
Highlight ID : 1653

Summary

Wood is a versatile and sustainable building material but may be vulnerable to fungal decay and insect damage when used outdoors or otherwise subjected to moisture. Pressure treatment with wood preservatives is the most common method of protecting wood from this biological deterioration. However, users are sometimes uncertain about the type of treated wood to use, the properties of treated wood, and how to construct with treated wood. This publication summarizes characteristics of pressure-treating preservatives and provides guidance for selection of pressure-treated wood for specific applications. It also discusses construction practices, service life expectations, and environmental considerations. Drawings and examples are included for common treated wood construction projects such as decks, docks, and bridges. The intended audience for this publication is users of pressure-treated wood such as homeowners, builders, contractors, engineers, and architects.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • none