Can You Build With Wet Pressure Treated Wood?

Can You Build With Wet Pressure Treated Wood like the ones in this image?

A lot of people have continued to ask this question: Can you build with wet pressure treated wood? as they look to construct different wooden structures without having to wait for the lumber to dry. Wet pressure treated wood is all over the place today as treatment remains the primary step of wood protection.

So, it’s a big YES, you can build with wet treated wood. The only drawback about this type of wood is that they contain so much moisture components. Therefore, they are heavy and would take so much effort when lifting from one place to another.

Should I Let Pressure Treated Lumber Dry Before Building With It?

Well, it is the most advisable thing to do- allowing your pressure treated wood to dry. Kilns help in the faster drying of timber, and if you have one, it will be an added advantage in trying to get your lumber to dry for the various building projects. 

Usually, a block of wood can dry in the standard environmental conditions. However, this can take up to months to dry completely. Most of us cannot wait that long as we tend to work on a timeline; that’s why we opt to use wet pressure treated wood. As wood experts, we recommend that you shop for wood that has dried already to minimize the chance of buying wrong pieces of timber, which might prove costly in the long run.

How to Dry Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure treated lumber is best for exterior usage. Recently, wood treatment companies have abandoned the use of Chromate Copper Arsenate (CCA), which contains chemicals that are dangerous to human and animal health. Instead, they have adopted the use of Alkaline Copper Quatemary(ACQ), which is non-toxic. Much as ACQ is friendly to humans and other animals, it inhibits the action by insects and other microorganisms that might be destructive to wood. These chemicals will help prevent decay and rotting of the wood.

Wet pressure treated wood expands and is not very great when used for construction in that state. So that you prevent things such as warping, you must allow your wood enough time to dry. It might take a very long time of up to several weeks before the wood is finally dry and ready for your projects. Your local climate will affect how fast or slow the treated wood will take to dry.

NOTE: Always try to order your pressure treated wood in time to give it enough time for drying.

There are, however, steps that you can use to allow your pressure treated wood to dry before putting it to use. The steps include:

Step 1

The very first thing that you should do is to locate a flat area that is out of the sun and not in an area that experiences water stagnation. The area that you settle for should be spacious enough to accommodate the length of the boards that you tend to dry.

Step 2

Follow the first step with the positioning of three 4 by 4 inch by 4-foot pieces of wood with even spaces along the flat surface. Ensure that the pieces are parallel to one another and well-spaced such that they will be able to hold together the pressure treated wood that will be arranged on top. The first set of wood pieces on the ground will help keep the pressure treated lumber off the ground.

Step 3

Arrange the first row of pressure treated wood over the 4x4s, leaving half an inch of space between every board.

Step 4

Arrange three thin strips of wood over the top of pressure treated lumber in a similar position as the very first 4x4s on the ground.

Step 5

Follow the above step by laying the pressure treated wood over the top of these strips in a similar way to the initial row. Keep repeating the process of arranging the pressure treated lumber and the spacer strips in that sequence until you have stacked all the wood. The stacking of the wood in that sequence allows the wood to have enough space for air to move and circulate through the lumber.

Step 6

Cover the pile of wood using the tarp, however, allow openings every end so the wind can circulate all over the wood.

Step 7

Allow the stack of wood about 2 weeks to dry. Use moisture inspection methods to determine how dried they have become.


Can You Build With Wet Pressure Treated Wood?

Every time you are talking about pressure treatment, wet wood will always be in the subject. If you go shopping for these treated wood, you will find them dry or just requiring a little longer to dry as most have undergone a drying process called kiln dried after treatment (KDAT). So even if you get wet wood, you should not worry as you can use wet pressure treated wood for building.

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Tyron Otieno

Tyron is an avid woodworker and writer. He founded this website to help other woodworkers, whether hobbyists or professionals by sharing his knowledge and experiencie after a decade of woodworking.

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