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Old 10-13-2014, 04:33 PM   #1
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Non-ground contact lumber for ground contact?


What happens if I use borate treated lumber, not rated for ground contact, as ground contact? Okay, okay, I know the answer is a resounding DON'T DO IT.

The problem is that where I live (Maui) the only lumber available locally is borate treated, above-ground use only. Ground-contact rated lumber is available by special order only, which would be fine if I were building a huge project but is cost prohibitive for a couple of 4x12's and 4x4's. This is essentially a small backyard project, think of something like a mini-retaining wall, and some of the wood will be below ground. What if I were to coat the wood in something like an asphalt roofing cement? I know it won't survive long enough for my great-grandchildren to enjoy it, but realistically, how long is something like this going to last? I know there's a bajillion variables, so I'm really just looking for information so I can decide if it's worth it.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:18 PM   #2
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Well to me it sounds like the little project you are working on is not for living space at all and is just some kind of retaining wall.
I think as long as you are not retaining much, say 2' of dirt or something like that then if it were my project I would probably go for it knowing that is will last maybe 4-8 years.
Don't ask how I came up with those numbers, I am just pulling them from you-know-where.

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