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Old 02-13-2011, 10:56 AM   #1
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Framing with treated lumber posts


I'm vaulting the ceilings in most of my one story remodel. Apparently Lowes does not sell untreated 4x4s so my carpenter used about a Dozen treated 4x4s to support the beams on inside walls. I'm concerned about bowing and moisture seeping out of the posts and into the drywall. The walls are still down so I can rip them out and replace them. Should I replace them? If so, should I use untreated 4x4s or 2x4/ply sandwich beams to replace them?

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Old 02-13-2011, 11:02 AM   #2
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Framing with treated lumber posts


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I'm vaulting the ceilings in most of my one story remodel. Apparently Lowes does not sell untreated 4x4s so my carpenter used about a Dozen treated 4x4s to support the beams on inside walls. I'm concerned about bowing and moisture seeping out of the posts and into the drywall. The walls are still down so I can rip them out and replace them. Should I replace them? If so, should I use untreated 4x4s or 2x4/ply sandwich beams to replace them?
What do the plans call for?

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Old 02-13-2011, 01:02 PM   #3
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Framing with treated lumber posts


I was always under the impression that 'treated' wood could NOT be used for INTERIOR framing - something about the release of harmful gases if those framing members were to catch fire (which is a possibility)
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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Framing with treated lumber posts


Thanks for the quick replies guys… After just a bit of research, I have decided to replace the treated posts with either Fir or Cedar 4x4s from a real lumber yard. It won't take long to do this right and I can reuse the treated posts outside where they belong.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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Framing with treated lumber posts


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Thanks for the quick replies guys… After just a bit of research, I have decided to replace the treated posts with either Fir or Cedar 4x4s from a real lumber yard. It won't take long to do this right and I can reuse the treated posts outside where they belong.
I doubt cedar is a structurally acceptable replacement, unless they're decorative.
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:47 PM   #6
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Framing with treated lumber posts


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Originally Posted by That70sHouse View Post
Thanks for the quick replies guys… After just a bit of research, I have decided to replace the treated posts with either Fir or Cedar 4x4s from a real lumber yard. It won't take long to do this right and I can reuse the treated posts outside where they belong.
What do the plans call for?
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Old 02-13-2011, 01:51 PM   #7
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Framing with treated lumber posts


Control tech has it right.

Pressure Treated Wood is poisonous to insects, fungus, and bacteria. It is also poison to humans and other life forms. It is listed by the State of California (and most other states) as a carcinogen. The basic elements involved are copper, chromium, and arsenic. All are hazardous to human health and the environment and do not break down into harmless substances.
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:18 PM   #8
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Framing with treated lumber posts


Use Fir, Cedar is not generally used for structural applications, it's significantly weaker.

And yeah, as said, you can't frame with PT on interior walls.
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:18 PM   #9
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Framing with treated lumber posts


CCA (copper chromium arsenic) pressure treated lumber has not been sold in the US for several years. It used to be standard, so if the posts are a few years old they definitely could be CCA. If they are new, they are most likely ACQ (alkaline quaternary copper) which contains no chromium or arsenic. It does contain a lot of copper, which so far as I understand is not especially toxic to humans (most water piping in the US is copper), however it is possible that if the posts burned they could release toxic chemicals into the air. Then again, if your house burns down, the plastic in your house is going to release enourmous amounts of toxins, so I don't know that some ACQ is going to matter much.

As to use of ACQ as an interior product, I am not familiar with specific code based provisions that prevent its use, I would be curious if someone can cite the specific location in the code that discusses use of ACQ in an interior application.
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #10
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heres a good article. http://www.ufpi.com/literature/acqsafe-59.pdf

with all the chemicals and the unknown, i would just use regular lumber. if its hidden theres no reason not to double up 2x4's
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:47 PM   #11
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Framing with treated lumber posts


Joe, There are no plans for this remodel. A whole thread could be created about all the good reasons there should be plans. However, it's too late for that. I'm sure that I have overbuilt using all of the 4x4s in the first place. I just let it slip by me that treated lumber was used. It's my fault for not checking materials before they went in. I must now find the most reasonable solution to the dilemma mentioned in my post.

southshoreconst, I was hoping to replace the installed treated 4x4s with beams of 1/2" plywood sandwiched between two fir 2x4s OR it's looking like fir 4x4s. I was thinking the later would just be more expensive but I'll check on that tomorrow. I was hoping someone could tell me if the fir 4x4 would be stronger than a well made sandwich beam.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:36 PM   #12
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Joe, There are no plans for this remodel. A whole thread could be created about all the good reasons there should be plans. However, it's too late for that.
Then why don't you start one. Explain why there were no plans, permits and inspections for a major structural renovation for your house.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:45 PM   #13
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Framing with treated lumber posts


My house framing experience goes back to the 60's ,70's ,80's framing for large home builders. (hard work ,no money) and using green lumber for the sill plate was mandatory per building code. Personally I think carpeting is much more dangerous, health wise than treated lumber.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:58 PM   #14
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Framing with treated lumber posts


1. What is the application of the 4x4 or 2x4's?

2. Are you trying to reduce the span of the existing rafters?

Explain the existing roof framing, please. 2x?, at ? on center, spanning ? from bearing to bearing.

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Old 02-13-2011, 06:18 PM   #15
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Treated lumber inside a framed wall is not much of a hazard. Corrosion resistant fasteners must be used.

The hazard come in with no plans, no permits and no inspections. That's not to say that you are not capable of building a code compliant structure but if and when you get caught you will pay the piper. What would you do if there were a fire and the insurance company denied your claim? How about when you attempt to sell or refinance? When you finally do get a permit, it will cost double and you will have to tear it apart to verify the structure meets the plans you will have to produce. Whatever you do, stay on good terms with your neighbors because they will turn you in at the drop of a hat.

Then again, you might live in an area where permits aren't required.

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