Treated Wood Checklist
Protect yourself and the environment from unnecessary hazards by referring to the following checklist before, during and after use of pressure-treated wood.
• Minimize waste by optimizing dimensions of decks and other major users of treated wood.
• When feasible, use construction details that do not require use of treated wood (flagstone patios, roofed porches instead of open decks, stone retaining walls, etc.).
• Borate wood treatments can be used in situations where the wood is not likely to get wet. Treating framing lumber with borate may eliminate the need for ground treatments to control termites.
• Consider ACQ-treated wood—if it is available in your area—instead of CCA.
• Use naturally rot-resistant woods in place of treated wood (see page 12 for table and discussion of environmental concerns).
• Wear a dust mast or respirator when sawing or sanding treated wood.
• Wear gloves when handling treated wood—especially when the wood is wet.
• Wipe or wash off any surface precipitate or residue you see on CCA-treated wood.
• In cold weather, unless you can be sure the wood was kiln dried after treating, assume that the CCA has not been totally fixed. Be extra careful about safety standards and keep stacked wood covered to prevent leaching of chemicals into the ground. If you can, store the wood in a warm place for several days to ensure complete fixation.
• Save larger treated wood scraps and reuse on a future project.
• Never burn scraps of treated wood as kindling in a wood stove or fireplace.
• Never burn scraps of treated wood on-site.
• Dispose of treated wood scraps properly through a certified landfill or municipal solid waste incinerator.
• Avoid Type-A and Type-B CCA-treated wood.
• Choose higher-grade treated wood with water repellant incorporated into the wood.
• Periodically apply a quality sealer to protect wood against UV degradation and surface checking.
• Treat all on-site cuts and drill holes with a surface-applied preservative such as copper naphthenate.
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