Pressure treated wood is the ideal option for outdoor projects like fencing panels. We need to cram as much outdoor living into the few months available, but that’s also why you need to build and finish your deck differently than most people do. Life’s too short to spend those precious warm months on your hands and knees staining a deck more often than necessary, and money’s too precious to waste on a deck that rots twice as fast as it could if it were built differently.
The AWPA is the only ANSI-accredited standards developer that requires a rigorous evaluation plus an open peer review of that data where the largest collection of wood chemical, wood technologists and wood preservers gather in North America for the express purpose of evaluating which wood preservatives are worthy to be standardized in the AWPA Book of Standards.
For a good compromise between the two, choose a penetrating-oil finish with finely ground, UV-inhibiting pigments, such as Penofin 550 (Performance Coatings, 800/736-6346, ); Ready Seal (Ready Products, 888/782-4648, ); or Total Wood Preservative (Gemini Coatings, 800/262-5710, ). The near-microscopic trans-oxide pigments effectively block most UV rays.
My personal preference, though it limits the architectural coloration possibilities, is ground-contact rated copper compound treated wood (NOT the Wolmanized brown product), which comes green initially but can be retreated with either green or brown solution or can be liquid colorized darker (though not easily to a specific tone) using either of those as a base.
You can rent a decent pressure washer at your home store, but I decided to buy a $300 model and then after using it for a few weeks, for pressure washing everything on my property, I’m planning on selling it on Craigslist Much cheaper than renting for a few days, if I get a decent price for it. If not, hey I’m already falling in love with it… and might just have to keep it!
Pressure treated wood used to be generally compatible with galvanizing, but now a very high concentration of copper is used and this causes a shockingly strong galvanic reaction with zinc, so the galvanizing must be very heavy and in accord with ASTM A153 link by ed. to spec at TechStreet , and even then I think the life expectancy is very limited.
All product and technical information pertinent to the Viance chemicals is available for download on the Specs page The wood and lumber products that are treated with Viance products come from various saw mills and wood treaters, so additional information on the lumber products must come from the actual lumber suppliers of the materials used in the project.
Some manufacturers, like Thompson’s, discourage the use of certain products on ipe and other hardwoods like it, because the finishes aren’t formulated to penetrate such dense wood. The water repellent inside the wood will provide long-lasting protection to deck boards, but the protection on any weather-exposed surface will lose effectiveness over time.
A wood preservative must have the ability to do three things: (1) penetrate the wood, (2) neutralize the food supply within wood in which decay fungi and wood destroying insects live, and (3) be present in sufficient quantities in a non-leachable form so that its protection outlasts the useful life of the wood product. Use a stiff broom to remove dirt and other debris from the surface of the wood.