How Long Does Pressure-Treated Wood Last?


Pressure-treated wood has a high degree of safeguarding. Any wood that has gone through this cycle gets each opportunity of resisting decay and irritations. The wooden hardware needs protection from factors such as decaying and bothers.

How Long Does Pressure-Treated Wood Last? Pressure-treated wood can last up to 40 years. That’s a pretty long time. But it’s important to note that the longevity of pressure-treated wood depends on a few factors, including the type of wood, the thickness of the lumber, and how well it’s been cared for.

To learn more about pressure-treated wood keep reading below.

What Is Pressure-Treated Wood?

Pressure-treated wood is lumber that has been impregnated with a chemical solution to protect it from rot, insects, and decay. The most common active ingredient in the preservative mixture is chromated copper arsenate (CCA), which has been used since the 1940s.

The treated lumber is then typically kiln-dried to remove excess water and make it more dimensionally stable.

Pressure-treated wood is an ideal material for many outdoor applications, such as decks, playground equipment, picnic tables, and fences. It is also often used for raised garden beds, since it is resistant to rot and pests.

While pressure-treated wood is a durable and long-lasting material, it does have some drawbacks. The chemicals used to treat the lumber can be harmful to humans and animals, and the treated wood should not be used in areas where food is grown. Additionally, pressure-treated wood is not as dimensionally stable as untreated lumber, so it tends to shrink and warp over time.

How Long Does Pressure-Treated Wood Last?

Pressure-treated wood can last up to 40 years. That’s a pretty long time. But it’s important to note that the longevity of pressure-treated wood depends on a few factors, including the type of wood, the thickness of the lumber, and how well it’s been cared for.

Pressure-treated lumber is made by forcing a chemical preservative deep into the wood fibers. This treatment protects the wood from rot, insects, and decay. The most common type of pressure-treated lumber is Southern yellow pine. Other types of pressure-treated lumber include Douglas fir, redwood, and cedar.

The thickness of the lumber is also a factor in its longevity. Thicker lumber will last longer than thinner lumber. And, of course, how well you care for your pressure-treated wood will also affect its lifespan. Regular cleaning and sealing will help to extend the life of your pressure-treated wood.

An appropriate pressure-treated pine fence post, for instance, can exist for a scope of 20–35 years if installed properly, while the untreated one endures between 3–7 years. For a situation where huge numbers should be installed, it is reasonable to drive them into the ground utilizing a water-driven post driver.

Does Pressure-Treated Wood Rot?

Yes, pressure-treated wood can rot. However, it is more resistant to rot than untreated wood. Pressure-treated wood should be used for applications where rot resistance is important, such as in foundation and sill plates, deck posts and joists, landscaping timbers, and fence posts.

If you are concerned about the possibility of rot, you can take steps to prolong the life of your pressure-treated wood. These steps include using a water repellent on the wood and painting or staining the wood.

You can also use stainless steel fasteners and connectors when building with pressure-treated wood. These fasteners and connectors are less likely to corrode, which will help to prevent rot.

If you do find that your pressure-treated wood has rotted, you will need to replace it. Be sure to dispose of the rotted wood properly, as it may contain chemicals that are harmful to people and animals.

Does Pressure-Treated Wood Need To Be Sealed?

No, you don’t need to seal pressure-treated wood, but you can if you want to. Pressure-treated wood is treated with chemicals that make it resistant to rot, decay and insect damage. The chemicals are forced into the wood, so they don’t come off easily. That’s why pressure-treated wood doesn’t need to be sealed.

If you do decide to seal pressure-treated wood, use a sealer that’s made for exterior use. You can find these sealers at your local home improvement store. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the sealer.

Applying a sealer to pressure-treated wood will help it resist water damage and make it last longer. But you don’t have to do it. The pressure-treated wood will still last a long time without a sealer.

Can Pressure Treated Wood Touch The Ground?

Yes, pressure treated wood can touch the ground. In fact, it is often used in landscaping and other outdoor projects where it will be in contact with the ground.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using pressure treated wood in these applications. First, make sure that the pressure treated wood is rated for ground contact.

Not all pressure treated wood is the same and some is only meant for above ground use. Second, when using pressure treated wood in direct contact with the ground, it is important to provide proper drainage.

Without good drainage, water can pool around the pressure treated wood and cause rot and other damage. Finally, be sure to check with your local building codes before using pressure treated wood in any application.

Pressure treated wood is a great material for many outdoor projects, but it is important to use it correctly to ensure that it lasts for years to come.

Is It Better To Stain Or Paint Pressure-Treated Wood?

It is better to stain your pressure-treated wood because the paint will trap moisture in the wood, which will cause it to decay or rot more quickly. The color won’t allow the wood to breathe hence acting as the catalyst in the decaying process.

You might think that the pressure-treated wood probably won’t withstand paint or stain. The thing is, however, you can paint, or color pressure treated wood! If you want your deck or fence to withstand the trial of time truly, it’s going to be maintained on an annual basis. That involves staining your wood.

You will need to keep up the sealant for dampness repellent purposes. It’s suggested to give your deck or fence a proper washing with an excellent pressure washer. If you find that your deck needs refinishing or another paintwork, that is a need as well.

It is better to opt for staining options.

Right after you have installed the pressure-treated wood, you need to follow the following steps before staining it:

  • Let your pressure-treated wood set for 60 days so all the chemicals can evaporate.
  • To make sure that the wood is ready: drop a few drops of water on it, if water soaks, it’s ready.
  • Apply a layer of primer or sealer, and then move forward with the staining process.

How Do You Keep Pressure Treated Wood Looking New?

The best way to keep pressure-treated wood looking new is to treat it with a sealer.

This will help protect it from weathering and fading. You can also apply a stain to pressure treated wood to give it a different color or look. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times.

Pressure treated wood is a great material for outdoor projects because it is durable and long lasting. With proper care, it will continue to look great for years to come.

To keep your pressure-treated wood looking brand new, you need to consider somethings:

  • UV-rays protection:

Sun damage is as real to wood as it is to your skin. To prevent discoloration of the wood, apply a water-repellant layer with UV protection.

  • Water Repellent:

Pressure-treated wood isn’t bulletproof. It is prone to rotting because of water. Use a water repellent to slow down the process.

  • Mildewcide Cleaner

Use a cleaner that has mildewcide to clean the wood thoroughly. It saves the wood from mildew growth.

  • Clean periodically

Clean your wood regularly to ensure maintenance.

  • Fixing the cut boards

There are many cuts on a deck, and each slice makes new wood vulnerable to dampness and rot. The finishes of the sheets can be fixed even before establishment to help prevent splitting.

  • Lifting your deck

Dampness is wood’s enemy. Probably the best thing you can accomplish for a deck surface is to hoist it off the ground enough to keep the air moving and the sheets dry.

  • Utilizing a penetrative sealer stain

There are many stain and sealer items available, yet some are superior to others. We suggest utilizing an oil-based stain. This kind of stain douses into the loads up and doesn’t leave a film on a superficial level that will strip after some time. It’s a defensive layer that won’t erode from surface traffic, and you’ll never have an old layer of paint to strip off before reapplication.

What Is The Difference Between #1 And #2 Pressure-Treated Wood?

Ordinarily, wood that is at least two inches thick is reviewed uniquely for strength, meant by #1, #2, etc. The stronger lumber has fewer and smaller knots; it’s ordinarily more appealing. So, the overall dependable guideline for grades is this: the lower the number, the more strength, and better appearance.

#1 wood grade is to be utilized when both strength and appearance are significant. This item is #1 wood grade meaning the sheets contain little and few knots inside the board. This strength of #1-grade amble is as well as the best available option.

#2 wood is the most widely recognized evaluation for outlining. The wood of this evaluation contains not many deformities, yet knots are permitted of any quality as long as they are all around dispersed and don’t surpass the size guidelines.

We hope that this article answers all of your questions regarding pressure treated wood and how you should use it. The pressure treated wood is an excellent and reliable option for building any outdoor products.

Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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