Tips for Working with Pressure-Treated Lumber

Wood can be used for a variety of projects in and around your home, including gazebos, decks and canopies. These structures can last for years when they are constructed properly and built with durable lumber. In order to withstand extreme weather, temperature fluctuations and insect infestation, some softwood lumber is pressure treated to be resistant of rot, decay and pests. This kind of lumber is often much better suited to withstand outside elements, which means that it will likely stay in better condition for much longer than other kinds of lumber.

If you’ve never worked with pressure-treated lumber before, it’s important that you know more about what you’re getting into. By following a few important tips from the experts at your lumber yard in Houston, you can ensure that you are getting the best result possible.

Different types of pressure-treated lumber

Even though all pressure-treated lumber is treated with essentially the same general process, not all treatment levels are the same. Some lumber may have been treated with a greater amount of chemical preservatives to bolster rot or insect resistance. The type of chemical that is used in the treatment process can also vary depending on its intended application.

When you look for pressure-treated lumber from a lumber yard in Houston, you should be able to identify a stamp on the wood that denotes its intended purpose. The stamp will either say “Above Ground Use” or “Ground Contact,” depending on its chemical treatment. You should calculate how much wood you will need to touch the ground directly, like for fence posts or deck supports, and how much will be used above the ground, as in railings or overhead beams.

Building with pressure-treated lumber

Because of the chemicals that are used to treat pressure-treated lumber, it’s important that you take the appropriate safety measures to protect yourself from exposure. You should wear your gloves, goggles and a dust mask to protect your skin, eyes and respiratory system. When you’re working with treated lumber, always cut it outside, and don’t burn the lumber.

When you’re ready to stain or paint your wood, make sure that it has completely dried. One way to test this is by dropping a little bit of water on the lumber. If the water beads up, the wood is not dry enough. Even if you don’t want to paint or finish your wood, you should apply a clear coat of wood preservative so that your wood remains water resistant. Finally, once you’re done working with pressure-treated lumber, always wash your hands—especially before you eat or drink.

Visit a lumber yard in Houston

The next time you’re in the market for quality lumber, stop by Houston Hardwoods Inc. Our locally owned lumber yard in Houston has been serving customers for over 15 years. We are proud to stock quality lumber products, and we can work with you to help you find the materials that suit your specific style, needs and budget. Come in today to see what we have in stock, browse our fine selection and depart with the right materials for your project.