The 7 Benefits of Treated Wood

The 7 Benefits of Treated Wood

, by Vlad Alex, 7 min reading time

If you’ve ever worked with wooden structures, you’ll know all about the challenges. Exposure to the weather, moisture, and sunlight can cause rot, decay, and warping, not to mention the threat of insect attack and damaging fungal growth. 

That’s why, wood intended for outdoor use needs to be protected. This is especially true if it’s designed to be in contact with the ground, such as railway sleepers or fence panels. One way to protect it is by pressure-treating wood with special preservatives that make it more durable. Not only does this prolong the life of the wood, but it's also cheaper than having to replace untreated wooden structures that have been damaged by the elements. 

As one of the most versatile and sustainable materials used in construction, wood has a wide variety of applications including large-scale building projects, fencing, landscaping, and home DIY tasks. Whatever the job you are undertaking, treated wood offers many advantages over natural wood as a long-lasting building solution. 

What is Treated Wood? 

Wood that has been treated with chemicals and preservatives is known as pressure-treated wood or pressure-treated timber. The process involves placing wood inside a chamber where it is subjected to intense pressure which forces the chemicals and preservatives deep into the grain. 

When untreated wood is exposed to severe weather conditions and moisture there is a high risk of decay, insect attack, and fungal growth. The chemical preservatives used in treating wood provide a robust barrier against these challenges. Pressure-treated wood is less likely to: 

  •  rot 
  • decay 
  • be compromised by exposure to UV light  
  • be affected by insect attacks 
  • be damaged by the weather 

Fortunately, this allows treated wood to greatly extend its lifespan and often outlast untreated timber. When wood is left untreated and in its natural state, it is prone to damage and less suitable for certain projects including outdoor uses such as landscaping, fencing, and construction. 

7 Key Advantages of Treated Wood 

Wood and timber degrade over time, lose their strength, and eventually need replacing. This is why treated wood offers many advantages over untreated wood. It is far more resistant to adverse weather, moisture, decay, fungal growth, and insect attack and lasts much longer than wood in its natural state. 

Whether you work in the building industry, or fencing, or are simply a keen DIY enthusiast, treated wood offers numerous benefits and enhanced durability, especially when applied to outdoor projects. This will ensure your outdoor wooden structure is more durable, weather and moisture-resistant and has a longer lifespan, 

1. Resistance to Water and Moisture 

Untreated wood that’s exposed to severe weather conditions such as long periods of rain can cause water to penetrate the structure of the timber allowing rot to set in. In turn, this causes the wood to expand and swell which affects the shape and strength of the timber and ultimately leads to structural problems. For instance, rain, humidity, and sun will cause a wooden deck, that lacks proper waterproofing, to deteriorate. 

On the other hand, treated wood can withstand adverse weather and damp conditions making it an ideal material for outdoor uses including decking, fencing, and all manner of landscaping work. Treated wood is also suitable for applications that involve direct contact with the ground like fence posts and retaining walls. 

2. Prevention From Rot and Decay 

Rot and decay are two of the main reasons why wood becomes degraded and loses its shape and strength. Rot can set in when wood is exposed to water and moisture, allowing fungi and other microscopic organisms to grow and spread. If used for decking or outdoor structures, rotten wood can also be a hazard as it becomes soft and fragile. It’s easy to put your foot through a rotten panel. 

Treating wood with chemicals and preservatives like Tanalith-E stops water and moisture from penetrating the timber so that rot and decay are avoided and its lifespan is extended. This also ensures outdoor structures remain safe for much longer periods, with minimal maintenance needed until the timber eventually shows signs of wear and tear. 

3. Protection from Insects and Pests 

Insects and pests are among the main threats to untreated timber. Woodworms and other wood-boring bugs like nothing more than attacking hard and softwoods that are damp and decaying, causing the timber to break down and lose structure and strength. This can be highly dangerous when weaknesses occur in buildings, bridges, and other wooden structures.  

The chemicals and preservatives used in treating wood not only prevent moisture from entering the timber but also act as an effective deterrent against problematic insects and pests. This is one of the main reasons structures like playground equipment, fence posts, utility poles, and outdoor furniture, are constructed from treated wood.  

4. Preserves Natural Beauty 

In addition to the practical benefits, treating timber is a great way to preserve the natural beauty of wood. Preservatives and oils enhance the grain and colour of timber so it retains its aesthetic qualities for longer than it otherwise would.  

Treated wood is also less likely to crack and suffer damage from rain, wind, and sun which can negatively impact its structural integrity. This is one of the main reasons why treated timber is an excellent choice for outdoor structures and other building projects. 

5. Cost-Effective and Lower Maintenance 

The cost of treated wood may be slightly higher than untreated wood, but it is a price most are willing to pay. Treated wood may be more expensive, but you are likely to save money in the long run due to its superior strength and longevity over untreated wood.  

As treated wood is stronger and lasts longer than untreated timber, you are less likely to splash out on repairs and maintenance over time. Additionally, treated timber won’t need replacing as often as untreated wood, giving another cost saving. What’s more, solid, intact timber is less likely to cause damage or strain on other materials, such as joining brackets or fence support spikes. 

6. Highly Versatile and Adaptable 

Treated wood is available in a wide variety of forms that have multiple uses in construction, landscaping, fencing, and DIY projects. Some common products made from treated wood include treated timber, plywood, and other sheet materials that are commonly used for building, landscaping, decking, and other structural applications. 

The strong, durable, and versatile nature of treated wood means it has multiple uses and can be adapted to meet the specific needs of a project, from construction work to decking and flower beds. 

7. Sustainable and Responsible 

Timber is arguably the most natural, sustainable, and versatile material used in building, fencing, and construction. Much of the timber available in the UK is either sourced from homegrown regions or imported from responsibly managed forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. Many UK timber suppliers are also members of Timber Development UK which promotes the use of timber in construction in line with the Government’s Net Zero CO2 target by the year 2050. 

There are additional sustainability benefits associated with treated timber. Not only does it reduce the need for repairs and replacements and extend the lifespan of outdoor structures, but it also protects our natural resources by reducing our environmental impact. 

Are You Looking for a Treated Timber Supplier? 

We stock a wide range of treated timber products at our County Durham warehouses. From C24 graded timber joists to fencing boards and arris rails, Eva Timber can help with all your timber needs. Contact us today.

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