Ecolife® / Severe Weather® Treated Lumber FAQs

  • What type of nails or screws do you recommend?
    • Use building-code approved, corrosion-resistant fasteners and connectors suitable for use in pressure-treated wood.
    • Recommended Fasteners are hot-dipped galvanized or stainless steel.
    • For coastal installations, use code approved stainless steel.
    • Ecolife is less corrosive to connectors and fasteners and can be used in direct contact with aluminum products, even in continuously wet applications.
  • How do I remove the grade stamp from my deck?

    In most cases a light sanding will remove the grade stamp or lighten its appearance.

  • How long do I need to wait before I stain or paint my deck or fence?
    • For optimal performance of paint and stain coatings, allow treated wood to dry prior to application.
    • Test the wood with a few drops of water to see if the wood is dry enough to readily absorb the water. Apply the stain to a small portion of the deck to ensure the wood is sufficiently dry. As soon as the wood is porous enough to accept the stain, it is ready to stain. Typically, treated wood will dry and be ready for finishing 60 days after installation.
    • Apply a high-quality oil or water-based finish with UV protection to slow down the process of wood turning gray from exposure to the sun.
  • What do you recommend I use to paint or stain my deck?
    • We recommend a good quality oil-based or water-based stain or exterior wood water sealant product with UV protection to help prevent the wood from turning gray from exposure to the sun.
    • Always follow the manufacturer’s application and use instructions.
    • Apply a water repellent sealer at least every two years.
  • How long will treated wood last?
    • Lowe’s Severe Weather / Ecolife® (EL2 noted on the end tag) treated wood carries a Lifetime Limited Warranty against fungal decay and termite attack.
  • What do you recommend I use to clean my deck?
    • To provide long-term aesthetic appeal, create a maintenance plan that includes an annual cleaning, and keep your deck free from dirt and debris.
    • A diluted solution of liquid detergent and water with a stiff brush will remove mildew and dirt.
    • For hard to clean surfaces, use a deck brightener containing oxalic acid to retain the wood’s natural beauty. 
    • Never use household chloride bleaches on wood decks as it can cause damage to the wood fibers and fasteners.
    • Care should be taken if a pressure-washer is used for cleaning decks, as excessive pressure may cause damage to the wood.

    For more information on why not to use bleach and to see top-rated wood deck cleaners, download the attached bulletin.

  • What are the benefits of Ecolife / Severe Weather treated lumber?

     Lowe's carries Ecolife (EL2) in narrow widths and deck boards - Check the end tag for the EL2 designation.

    • Ecolife is specifically treated to minimize cracking, checking and splitting with a built-in wood stabilizer.
    • An environmentally advanced preservative, the active ingredient DCOI is a non-metallic, extremely effective wood preservative at .019 pcf, a fraction of competing products that use two times the chemicals to achieve adequate above ground product performance. The Ecolife water repellent is a built-in part of the preservative system and not an add-on that can vary by treater supplier.
    • The amount of water repellent stabilizer in Ecolife is designed for maximum performance and it is standardized by the AWPA.
    • Ecolife treated wood fights exposure to the sun and rain and is used in building decks, railings, fence pickets,
      arbors, trellises, joists and beams.
    • Ecolife is less corrosive to connectors and fasteners and can be used in direct contact with aluminum products, even in continuously wet applications.
    • Proven performance, Ecolife is unsurpassed in effectiveness with virtually no warranty claims in its history.
    • Ecolife treated wood is designed for applications six inches or more off the ground.
  • What are the differences between Ecolife and CA-C treated lumber?
    • Wood preservative treatments are standardized by the American Wood Protection Association indicating they have demonstrated proven performance.
    • Ecolife is a new generation, environmentally-advanced preservative, that is non-metallic with a built-in wood stabilizer which repels water, reduces cracking, checking and splitting.
    • Ecolife fights exposure to the sun and is used in applications six inches or more off the ground for use in building decks, railings, fence pickets, arbors, trellis’, joists and beams.
    • CA-C is one treatment used for ground contact lumber specifically treated to protect wood in contact with soil and moisture.
    • CA-C can be used in above ground applications in areas six inches or less from the ground or in the ground; or in cases where soil, vegetation, leaf litter or other debris may build up and remain in contact with the component; or restrict air flow to circulate underneath the construction; are in direct contact with untreated wood or older construction with any evidence of decay; when deck beams are difficult to replace; when components are wetted on a reoccurring basis; and when used in tropical climates.
  • Installation Tips
    • Butt boards tightly together during installation as they will shrink slightly in width and thickness as they dry out.
    • Pre-drill holes no closer than 1/2" of the sides and ends of boards to help prevent splitting.
    • Use screws to improve holding performance.
    • Install fasteners flush to the wood surface. Do not overdrive fastener.
    • For ground contact support posts, install the uncut ends in the ground.