Purchasing Treated Wood

What should I look for in purchasing pressure-treated wood?

First of all, look for a treated quality mark, which can appear either as an end tag or an ink stamp. This will assure you that the producer subscribes to rigorous quality control standards established by the American Wood Preservers’ Association (AWPA) or the International Code Council (ICC). CULPEPER meets all these standards.


A typical quality mark is illustrated below:

Example of quality mark label


Like all lumber, treated wood is rated according to its usefulness for certain purposes. Be sure you purchase wood treated for the proper exposure conditions. Wood that is stamped for ABOVE GROUND exposure is ideal for applications such as decking or trim. Choose wood labeled GROUND CONTACT for components that will come into direct contact with the earth, such as decks, posts and planters.


What type of nails and fasteners should I use with treated wood?

When you build with treated wood, you are building for permanence. Nails and fasteners must be able to last at least as long as the wood itself. When selecting a fastener for an outdoor project, make sure that it is manufactured for use with treated wood. Use only fasteners that are recommended by building codes and by the fastener manufacturer.


How should I install decking boards?

Boards should be installed by butting them tightly against each other. As the lumber dries, you can expect a ¼” gap between deck boards.


How long should I wait to seal my deck after installation?

In hot dry summer months, 2-3 weeks; in cooler months, 4-6 weeks.


How do I maintain the bright appearance of my deck?

Pressure wash your deck once a year to ensure a clean surface and seal with an oil based water-repellant product with UV protection. Your deck will stay beautiful, if this is done.