Pressure Treated Decking: Why Should You Avoid It?

Posted May 22nd, 2012 in Decking Materials, pine decking by Decking Materials

Pressure Treated Decking is the most common type of lumber used in deck-building projects throughout America.  The reasons are simple: it’s cheap, widely available, and easy to work with.  But anyone who has owned a Pressure-Treated deck will tell you that the advantages stop there.

You’re probably familiar with the headaches deck maintenance can cause.  It’s Pressure-Treated lumber that is responsible for this image.  Chemical treatments (more on those in a moment) are used to make the wood stronger, but as it ages the effects wear off, resulting in broken, splintered boards.  After a few years of babysitting your deck, you have to replace it, which undermines any savings made when buying the cheapest material.

Coming back to the chemical treatments that lend Pressure-Treated decking its strength, previous treatments such as CCA have been shown to be unhealthy for both people and the environment. Now, to be fair, there are two newer chemical preservatives that are now commonly used, MCA (Micronized Copper Azole) and ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quaternary). These chemicals are forced into the wood to help reduce decay but there are some potential health concerns with these treatments.

Finally, Pressure-Treated decking doesn’t look all that great.  It has a pronounced grain pattern, which some people might find attractive, but the color is a sickly shade of dusty yellow/green, due largely to the chemical treatment of the wood.

Upgrading to a more expensive material may be well worth your while.  The extra cost will be justified by fewer maintenance issues (a safer, more enjoyable deck).  Consider looking into exotic hardwoods, which generally feature impressive, maintenance-free lifespans as well as rich coloration.

One Response so far.

  1. Composite Material Exporter says:

    Incredible! I have found out some really interesting things about pressure treated decking from this source. It has completely changed my view about it. Thanks for providing great info about the worst features of pressure treated decking.

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