Working with the wooden item is always fun. They are much better than working with metal and other stuff. You can do so many things with wood. From making simple things to, you can even make a house with the help of wood. There are various kinds of woods available, and they are used for different purposes. That is why one needs to know the different types of woods. Here we will discuss one particular thing: how to tell if the wood is pressure treated.
Pressure-treated wood is quite popular and vastly used for making many things. They are not only cheap but also very durable to make stuff. But all things have their own stigma, and pressure-treated wood is not the best choice either. There is a various reason why people may not prefer pressure-treated lumber. And if you are familiar with the type, then you should know what they are. But if you are not familiar with pressure-treated wood, we will give you a brief introduction.
What is Pressure Treated Wood
As you should know, wood is not safe from being attacked by different species that can ruin the quality of the wood. A plank of wood can be attacked by bacteria and fungi. Once the wood has them, the wood will start to take a different shape and look and slowly become unusable. That is why people began to think about a way to preserve the wood so they can be safe from the attack of bacteria and fungi.
The pressure treated woods are the type that will not be affected by those things. These woods are prepared by putting them on different kinds of chemicals to preserve them. It is the same way that we make pickles. As the wood is solid, they put pressure on it to enter the chemical inside; hence the name is pressure treated wood.
There are reasons why one should not use pressure-treated woods. Because the chemical used in the product is very toxic. When you are going to work with it, you need to take the extra measurement, at least. You should use enough protection to prevent the wood and the chemical from causing any harm to your body. You should also think about the environment around you as the toxic chemical can damage it.
Various Ways of How to Tell If Wood is Pressure Treated
Now that you know what is pressure-treated wood, you can guess why some people may not want to use pressure-treated lumber. Or, maybe they want to use it but cannot identify them. Whatever is the purpose, there are many ways of how to tell if the wood is pressure treated or not.
Checking the Tag
The first way you can check if the wood is pressure treated or not is by checking the tag. When you are going to buy the wood, you have to apply the technique there. Every item should have a title to them where various information should be mentioned. If the wood is pressure treated, it is supposed to be written in there. Otherwise, you need to see if there are said of the specific chemical used for pressure-treating wood, such as copper or tebuconazole. If these items’ names are mentioned in the tag, then you know that the wood is pressure treated.
Checking the Fact Sheet
What if the wood that you have purchased does not contain any tag? Then you have to apply another method, and it is by checking the fact sheet. Usually, the person or shop you are buying the wood from should have a fact sheet. What you have to do is ask the owner for the fact sheet to be given to you.
In the fact sheet, there are going to be mentioned all the characteristics of the wood. It will also be noted what sort of chemical has been applied to the wood. By viewing them, you will understand if the wood is pressure treated or not.
Smelling the Wood
This is a fundamental way, and it may sound weird. I mean, you will not see people around sniffing in woods! But as you know that there are smells in chemicals, so it is understandable that the pressure wood is going to have a specific type of fragrance. The chemical used in the wood is very thick, so there is no chance for the smell to go away.
A block of regular and natural wood will have its own distinctive wooden smell, or it will somewhat smell like oil. So, if you get a bouquet of chemical instead of the natural ones, then you would know that the wood is pressure treated.
Visualizing the Wood
If you can tell the wood by its smell, if it is pressure treated or not, then you can also tell by seeing the outlook of the wood. It might be a little bit difficult for those who are not very familiar with woods or do not have much experience. But it is relatively easy once you know how to do it.
Usually, a block of natural wood will turn grayish over time due to the attack of various bacteria and fungus. That is why you need to cut a portion of the wood to see inside of it. If the inside has its natural color, that means it is not pressure treated.
Measuring the Width
The next way of how to tell if the wood is pressure treated or not is by measuring the width of the wood that you have. As you should know, every wood is cut in a specific way. They will have their own width that is common for the natural wood. As for pressure-treated lumber, the width is going to be a little bigger than regular wood. So, if you cannot find any tags or other ways to know if the wood is pressure treated, then you can apply this method to understand.
Checking the Stamping
If any other method does not apply, then you can check for the stamping as you know that pressure-treated woods use chemicals. So, that is why the product with preservative chemicals should have some AWPA code on them to identify what sort of chemical has been used in them. Because the preservative chemicals could be very toxic, so, when no other method works, you can look for the code and see if the wood has any or not.
Checking Retention Level
The final way to tell if the wood is pressure treated or not is by knowing the retention level of the wood. The retention level is going to tell you the amount of time you can use the preserved item after the process is done. When you see that the wood has a retention level, you will know that it is pressure treated has it has instruction for it to be used.
That was all for how to tell if the wood is pressure treated or not. There are many reasons you should be checking out the wood quality and preservation level. The chemical used in the wood is very toxic to the environment as well as human. So, if you spend too much time around it or somehow the wood releases the toxin around you, you can be harmed at a great level. The best way is to know if the wood is pressure treated or not and take measurement according to it to prevent any further accidents from happening.