If you’ve never shopped for lumber before, you may be confused about the different types that are available. At Capitol City Lumber, it’s our business to let our customers know about the products they’re considering for their projects. This allows you to make an informed decision on what you’re buying. So, what is pressure treated lumber?

Exploring Pressure-Treated Lumber

Pressure-treated wood is softwood lumber, typically southern yellow pine that has been chemically treated to resist rot, decay, and termites. All treated wood is now “ground contact”.

“Ground contact” has a high chemical retention level and can be placed directly on or in the ground. This provides better protection against rot and decay.

Since all treated wood is now “ground contact,” it can make your projects last longer whether you’re a general contractor or taking on a DIY project at home. 

Uses for Pressure-Treated Lumber

Pressure-treated lumber is widely used because it is durable and high-quality. Pressure-treated lumber is usually recommended in situations where there is direct contact between the wood and anything else that can supply moisture. This includes:

  • Any posts or beams that come in contact with the ground or are buried underground
  • Retaining walls
  • Lumber that touches concrete or masonry work

Pressure-treated lumber is typically used in heavy construction such as bridges, guardrails, and docks. It is also ideal for residential and outdoor use like decks, fences, docks, and building structures.

Types of Pressure-Treated Lumber

There are various types of pressure-treated lumber. These include:

  • Borate products that are treated with water-based mineral salt solutions. These retain the wood’s color and protect against mold, mildew, and fungi.
  • Alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) is treated with an environmentally friendly solution consisting of copper and ammonium alkyl. This does tend to change the color of the wood.
  • Noncombustible wood is used less for residential projects.

“Ground Contact” vs “Above Ground” Lumber

When you’re talking about pressure-treated lumber, it’s important to understand the difference between ground contact treated wood and lumber designed for above-ground use. 

Ground Contact Lumber

Ground-contact lumber is pressure treated with chemicals to withstand the effects of being close to the ground, in contact with the ground, or exposed to continuous moisture.

Ground contact lumber is made for outdoor projects where the wood is exposed to all types of weather or has a high potential for decay. This includes salt water exposure.

Above Ground Lumber

Above-ground-contact lumber is treated to withstand rot and decay even when it physically touches the ground, water, or leaves. Any above-ground lumber is treated to a lower standard of resistance.

It’s often been talked about using “Above Ground Treated” lumber or lumber that is 18” above ground level and will not be exposed to an area that will stay moist due to the treatment being lighter on this wood.

Contact Us for Pressure-Treated Lumber

Whether it’s a project that needs “above ground treated” or “ground contact treated” lumber, using our wood at a “ground contact treated” level every time will give you peace of mind. More treatment on the wood means fewer problems in the future.

If you’re looking for lumber for a project, we’ve got you covered. Capitol City Lumber is the place for amazing promotions on different types of wood. And if you’re still wondering what is pressure treated lumber, just drop us a line and talk to one of our experienced wood shop team members! We love helping people figure out exactly the look, feel, and durability they need for a project!

Call us today at 919.832.6492 or reach out to us online for more information. Discover why so many in the Raleigh area trust Capitol City Lumber.