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Treated Wood: What is it and why is it good for your foundation.

When exploring the different types of foundation and specifically Pier and Beam foundation we’ve come across the subject of timber and while we’ve talked about the differences and benefits between cedar and pine for instance, this time we will go more in-depth into the subject of treated wood as a whole, and why this is a paramount choice for pier and beam foundation repairs.

But first let’s define treated wood: this is wood that has been treated with preservative chemicals in an appropriate way, with the intent of prolonging its useful lifecycle in comparison to untreated wood. And given its exceptional resistance an durability this material will ensure a foundation that can stand the test of time providing safety and stability for structures.

But how is it actually treated? By sheer pressure. Intense pressure which forces a number of chemical compounds deep into the wood grain. These chemicals help the timber to protect itself against the elements, fungal and bacterial grow, infestations and even fire, when using fire retardants.

Before going any further, we have to mention that different types of applications and preservatives are used for wood, and all the chemical preservatives used are regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so you don’t have to worry about any health hazard.

Some of the main pros of this material are: Durability and longevity: Once the wood has been treated it will resist decay, fungi and termites, ensuring a longer lifespan for the foundation. Everybody knows how natural wood will soften, becoming a breeding ground for fungus, bacteria and microorganisms if left in damp environments for prolonged periods of time, and once this has happened the only outcome is that the wood will decompose. When wood has been treated however, the chemicals used will protect it from harmful fungi and microorganisms that are directly related to its decay, therefore becoming suitable for your foundation under different weather conditions through the entire year. And just like fungi and microorganisms, insects can make their way through the wood leading to weakening and to hazardous structural problems. But just like with fungi, the treatment that the wood has undergone will provide barriers against infestations and discourage insect activity.

Secondly, it is cost efficient. In the long run the resilience of treated wood can lead to fewer repairs and replacements which in turn translates to money being saved. Not to mention that in comparison to other building materials it is less expensive to purchase and construct because of its easy installation process. The fact that it comes in a wide variety of sizes will also make the whole repair and/or building process much less of a hassle, which will again translate into less man hours and less waste of material. And given that it can be easily sawed, penetrated by nails or drills, is more lightweight and maneuverable than other materials used for construction, practically anything can be built quickly and efficiently, therefore saving even more money on your home renewal/repair project.

It’s improved stability is also a huge plus as treated wood can withstand the natural movements of the ground and environment. This is specially important considering the nature of the soil we have in our state and it’s changing temperaments through out the seasonal weather changes.

Moisture resistance to specially humid or wet conditions is also one of its greatest strengths as once wood has been treated it will resist moisture which would in turn lead directly to potential damage or rot.

One of the biggest threats to wood is fire. However treated wood can also be treated with fire retardant chemicals which will reduce it’s flammability, making it incredibly more safe than untreated wood.

And finally one of the great advantages of treating wood to extent it’s longevity is that the modern treatments are eco-friendly, protecting both your foundation and environment. Not only that, but using treated wood will ultimately require fewer trees in order to perform the same function that is required with using untreated wood throughout the years, therefore having a huge positive impact in the ecosystem. For instance, if untreated wood, depending on the environmental conditions, lasts for 5 years and treated wood lasts over 25 years, you’d be saving at least 5 times the trees in that same timespan, something that definitely means the world to mother nature (and once again, will benefit your pocket through the savings that this entails)

So there you go; quite a handful of reasons to choose treated wood. And now that you know of its benefits, if you see any sign of foundation damage in your pier and beam foundation (or any other type of foundation for that matter) do not hesitate to call us; you can have the assurance that we will use only the very best of materials for your home. And even if you don’t see any apparent sign of damage, give us a call; remember that prevention is the key to keeping your home safe and sound.


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