Ask the Experts - Questions and Answers
Can a fire retardant be added to Ecolife and still be effective?
The Ecolife treatment does not impart fire retardancy properties to decking.
Unfortunately there isn’t a treatment on the market for both durability and fire retardancy.
A fire retardant coating will likely wear off over time because it is not pressure impregnated. In addition, building codes do not recognize sprayed-on or brushed-on coatings as code approved fire retardants for wood products; they only recognize formulations that are vacuum/pressure impregnated products.
Most pressure treated fire retardants are for interior use only, i.e. our D-Blaze fire retardant treated wood product. However, there are some exterior fire retardants available but they don’t increase the weathering, durability, or insect/fungal protection of wood so they are usually only used on naturally durable species of decking like Redwood and Western Red Cedar. The availability is somewhat limited so you would have to check with your local retailer on availability.
Todd Schoffstoll, Western Regional Manager
Do I need to treat the cut ends on my fence posts?
I just got a fence installed with ground contact pressure treated 4x4 posts. I think it is your Preserve. Do I need to treat the cut ends of the posts? They look to be green all the way through but I wanted to be sure.
Construction projects necessitate the need to cut and drill into wood. Building codes and the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) Standard M4-15 require "all cuts, holes and injuries such as abrasions or holes from removal of nails and spikes which may penetrate the treated zone shall be field treated." The extra effort protects the longevity that the preservatives offer.
Copper naphthenate is one of the most used preservatives for cut ends and holes. The minimum recommendation is 2% copper metal with 1% copper naphthenate appropriate in those regions of the country where the higher concentration material is not readily available.
Another two preservatives, oxine copper and inorganic boron can be used for field treating in above ground applications. Oxine copper can be used for applications originally treated with oil-borne or waterborne preservatives. Oxine copper preservatives, containing the recommended minimum .675% oxine copper (0.12% copper metal), are available colorless or in various colors and have little odor, according to preservedwood.org. Inorganic boron can be used in applications originally treated with a waterborne treatment and in areas continuously protected from liquid water.
These topical preservatives are available in the retail market and can be purchased at local home centers, building material retailers and paint stores who stock products for wood decks or ordered online. Be sure to follow the preservative’s manufacturer's application instructions.
Does Preserve ACQ protect against powderpost beetles?
This question comes from a homeowner in Washington state.
Based on a study performed by the International Research Group on Wood Preserveation, ACQ is effective in protecting wood against the Powderpost beetle.
Michael Merchant, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Urban Entomologist, with Texas AgriLife Extension Service states, "The most commonly infested woods include ash, oak, hickory and walnut." He also explains in an article on the Texas A& M website, that powderpost beetles pose little threat to the structural integrity of most homes because they are framed with softwood lumber, and thus not susceptible to attack. Removing infested wood and replacing it with treated wood will eliminate the problem in most cases.
Aaron Sooter, Technical Services Representative
Can treated wood be used for interior applications?
Treated wood is intended for exterior use. However, all treated wood material for residential use do not contain chromium or arsenic, so they can be used for indoor, outdoor or in play set construction.
Example: If the Ecolife product is going to be used 6” above the final grade and will be on a wood subfloor as a sill plate for the stud walls, then EcoLife treated wood is okay to use. Please read the Ecolife installation instructions and adhere to all fastener requirements listed in the Ecolife document at this link
Example: If the Ecolife treated lumber is going to be used on a concrete slab, then a foam sill seal must be used as a barrier between the concrete and the EcoLife treated wood. We recommend that Dow’s Sill Seal be used to provide this moisture protection. Please adhere to all of Dow’s installation instructions on proper installation. The installation instructions can be found on the product or on data sheets at your local Lowe's retailer. Be sure that the concrete
building surface will be above the final grade and all water is diverted away from the slab. If you have any further question please let me know. Thank you again for your inquiry and happy building.
Jonathan Whitehead, Eastern Region Sales
Can you use pressure treated lumber for your raised garden beds?
While there is scientific consensus that it is safe to use for vegetable/garden beds, the information in this article explains what chemicals are used in Viance ground contact treated wood for residential use and the results of numerous scientific studies.
The American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) specifies the use of treated lumber for horticultural purposes to be Ground Contact. In the AWPA Book of Standards, copper azole (CA) and alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ) are listed preservatives for Ground Contact use in residential applications. CA and ACQ are both available from Viance under the brand name Preserve.