Building a Deck – Things to Check if Using Softwood Species

 


Article by: Malcolm Kay

Whilst hardwood is generally the preferred lumber species for exterior decking due to its hardness, resistance to wear and attractive colour, , Low Cost Home Landscaping Tips softwood species are commonly used, particularly where cost is an important factor. But the drawback of most softwoods is that they are not naturally durable so are unsuitable for use in areas fully exposed to the weather , Small Garden Design - Creating Illusions Of More Space unless the wood , A Touch of Feng Shui in the Garden is properly treated with a recognized wood , Ornamental Aluminum Fences preservative or completely sealed with an impervious surface coating. So when selecting a softwood species, one of the most important considerations is that these species used should be either a recognised naturally durable species such as Western Red Cedar, some species of cypress, larch or pine, or that it has been treated with an appropriate and good quality preservative.

For more than 70 years, the most commonly accepted wood , What to Feed Your Fish During Colder Winter Months preservative treatment chemical has been CCA (copper chrome arsenic), which gained popularity due to its effectiveness and relatively low cost. (CCA treated lumber can normally be distinguished by the greenish tone it imparts to the wood). However in recent years, many national organisations and authorities have announced either bans or restrictions on the use of lumber treated with CCA. For example, in Australia from March 2006, CCA treated timber , Grow Some Interesting Plants You Won't Find At Your Local Greenhouse will no longer be permitted for use as handrails, decking boards, picnic tables, or children's playground equipment in new installations. And in Japan, CCA treated lumber is generally not permitted any longer for public use in major cities for municipal projects.

Although there is apparently no firm scientific proof to support the contention that CCA timber , Bamboo Plant Information and Care is harmful to health provided it is handled correctly, such cautions or bans have been instituted as a precautionary measure. Nevertheless it is always best to err on the side of safety, , Daylilies - The Perfect Perennial so it is recommended that when working with CCA treated lumber, to apply protective clothing including goggles, face mask and gloves. CCA treated lumber also should never be burnt in an open fire , Fiberglass Pond Liners but must be disposed of according to local regulations. , Mulchers - A Buying Guide

Fortunately a number of alternative wood , Patio Furniture Accessories treatment products , Bamboo Plant Information and Care to replace CCA are now available, the most common of which is probably ACQ (alkaline, copper, , Abatement With DDT Concept Needs Second Look quaternary). Such products , Low Cost Home Landscaping Tips use low toxicity, active ingredients such as recycled copper , Mulchers - A Buying Guide and modern organic , How To Build A Waterfall biocides to give the lumber the required long-term protection against wood , Sowing an Annual Flower Border destroying fungi, termites and other wood , Teak Furniture: The Premier Outdoor Furniture eating insects. Although such products , The Truth About MTD Snow Blowers have not been available for a sufficiently long time for extensive natural , The Truth About MTD Snow Blowers durability data to be collected, most manufacturers , Abatement With DDT Concept Needs Second Look will provide at least 25 years guarantee on the life of treated lumber.

So if you wish to use a softwood species for your deck, , You Can't Beat Perennials For Glorious Color All Season Long check what preservative treatments have been applied, and especially with the newer preservative treatment chemicals, ask what guarantee the lumber supplier is prepared to offer on the lifetime of the decking material. Although untreated softwoods typically have a very short life in exterior exposed conditions, if pressure treated with appropriate chemical, a softwood deck , Grow Some Interesting Plants You Won't Find At Your Local Greenhouse will provide many years of continual use and enjoyment.
Malcolm Kay is the CEO of Intex Pacific Pty. Ltd. an international supplier of landscape , Brighten Your Path By Installing Decorative Lighting materials including modular decking tiles. , Adirondack Chairs: An Ole' Time Becon for Rest For more information , Small Garden Design - Creating Illusions Of More Space see http://www.swiftdeck.com

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