Ask the Experts - Ecolife® Stabilized Treated Wood
What are the benefits of Ecolife®/Severe Weather® treated lumber compared to other wood treatments?
- The built-in wood stabilizer keeps boards straighter and minimizes cracking, checking and splitting.
- An environmentally advanced, non-metallic preservative, Ecolife (EL2) is extremely effective at .019 pcf retention, a fraction of competing products that use two times the chemicals to achieve adequate above ground product performance.
- The water repellent stabilizer is a built-in part of the preservative system and not an add-on that can vary by treater supplier.
- Fights exposure to the sun and rain and is used in building decks, railings, fence pickets, arbors, trellises, joists and beams.
- Less corrosive to connectors and fasteners and can be used in direct contact with aluminum products, even in continuously wet applications.
- Unsurpassed in effectiveness with virtually no warranty claims in its history.
- Designed for above ground applications six inches or more off the ground.
Edie Kello, Director of Marketing
Can treated wood be used for sill plates and interior applications?
Treated wood is intended for exterior use. However, all treated wood material for residential use 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.
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 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
Can treated wood be used on aluminum boats?
I am going to use Ecolife treated plywood for my jon boat floor since it is safe for aluminum contact. The floor will be attached to braces that are 14" on center so it will be 2" off the bottom of the floor so it will have air under it. My question is painting...should I paint the plywood on both sides or paint the top side and leave the bottom untreated?
Pressure treated products are not a one-use-fit-all category. EcoLife (EL-2) is only for residential building purposes and the warranty will not cover any industrial use, such as boat repairs. The use of EcoLife (EL-2) with aluminum products was specifically tested on residential flashing. Please visit the American Wood Protection Associations website, https://awpa.com/images/standards/U1excerpt.pdf, for the proper use of treated products.
Viance highly recommends that you contact the boat manufacture for the proper repair for your boat.
Jonathan Whitehead, Eastern Region Sales
What are helpful tips when working with treated wood?
- For exterior project applications, treat all field-cut ends of boards and drilled holes with a brush-on wood preservative. Copper naphthenate formulations are available from home centers, lumber dealers and hardware stores. Deck stains and sealers do not provide adequate protection.
- Butt boards tightly together during installation as they will shrink slightly in width and thickness as they dry out.
- Pre-drill holes at the ends of boards to help prevent splitting.
- Use screws to improve holding performance.
- Install fasteners flush to the wood surface. Do not overdrive fastener.
- Install the un-cut end of support posts in ground contact applications.
- For more details on basic design and construction methods for single-story residential wood decks, this link focuses on the significant changes in the 2018 IRC Code.