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Old 08-29-2011, 04:11 PM   #1
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PT Lumber ends underground


Is it worth the time and money to coat any cut ends of PT lumber being buried?

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Old 08-29-2011, 04:30 PM   #2
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No it is not worth the time or money, since it is already treated.

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Old 08-29-2011, 05:01 PM   #3
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PT Lumber ends underground


Is your PT rated for soil contact?

If it has a .40 pcf or higher for ACQ you should be fine.
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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PT Lumber ends underground


Just to clarify I'm talking about your cuts where you often see the yellowish wood color(unpenetrated core).
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:32 PM   #5
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PT Lumber ends underground


Always treat your cuts on pressure treated lumber. Yes, this lumber is treated, but not all the way through. If it has the slits, it is injected and goes most of the way to the center, but not all the way. If it has no slits, it is just dipped and only goes into the wood a couple mm's or so.

Always soak the ends a few times before putting under ground. It is even easier for moisture/bugs to get into wood on the end cuts because of the open grains. Also, make sure to purchase below-ground grade Pressure treated.
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:11 PM   #6
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PT Lumber ends underground


Pressure treated lumber is not dipped in anything. Some are incised and some are not. Larger dimension materials are usually treated to .40 OR rejection meaning that the materials will not absorb any more chemical. That can yield materials in the middle untreated if the size is large enough. The raw lumber is put in a pressure cylinder, the cylinder flooded with chemicals, pressure is brought up to 150lbs in most cases and the materials will sit under pressure for several hours. The chemical is drained away and the materials are usually air dried for a week before being kiln dried, if at all. Depending on the size of the materials you are using, it may not require any below grade treatment.
http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docush...eb%20color.pdf

If you know exactly how much is going in the ground, you can flood coat the end grain of the wood with any kind of water protectant be it paint, oil, etc. Most any water intrusion is going to come via the end of the grain of the wood.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:23 PM   #7
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PT Lumber ends underground


just a note about PT lumber: "only use it if you HAVE to." at least the stuff sold by HD and Lowe's is soaking wet with the treatment and dries slowly so that when it finally dries completely (after you've built with it) the result is really crooked lumber. I learned the hard way by building my deck railing with PT that I bought at HD. have to rip it all out and rebuild it with regular lumber since it looks so bad being so crooked and all. is this something DIY'ers should know?

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Old 08-31-2011, 11:06 PM   #8
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PT Lumber ends underground


Wouldn't mind hearing other peoples thoughts as I've seen this with plain spruce as well as PT. Alot of people use the age old excuse that it's just wood...
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:36 PM   #9
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PT Lumber ends underground


The most common problem with any wood twisting or getting crooked on a deck or exterior environment is caused by moisture or actually I should say, uneven moisture. A lot of folks really screw up when they put any kind of sealer on wood. Yeah, it might stay prettier longer but it'll crank it. The issue is the wood absorbs the moisture as it rains on it or gets wet. Once it has been saturated and the sun comes out, the moisture has to come out too. If it comes out uneven or in places rather than all over, it'll get crooked quick due to the steam created in the cell structure. Best thing to do with treated lumber is to put it up and leave it alone.
Ever see someone put up a wood fence and then stain it and then watch it curl up after a rain? The reason it does that is because the folks don't seal the bottom of the wood where it absorbs the moisture from the ground side. And they don't flood coat the top where more moisture gets in. When the sun comes out, the wood is a virtual steam engine trying push the moisture out. When it does this, the grain gets distorted and we call it getting crooked.

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