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How To Stop Pressure Treated Wood From Rotting

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How To Stop Pressure Treated Wood From Rotting

Treated wood or pressure treated wood looks great, is easy to work with and it’s long lasting. Occasionally we overlook it and forget about it once we have it installed. Pressure treated wood is used for fences, posts, decks, picnic tables and more. But a lot of people wonder — does pressure treated wood rot? Most people think that this material is completely resistant to rot and termite infestations. This is not always the case. Sure, pressure treated wood will last longer than untreated wood. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be attacked by fungus, especially in the wet seasonal conditions that occur in Toronto. Read on to learn about does pressure treated wood rot and how you can prevent it!

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 1. Why Does Pressure Treated Wood Rot?

  • The answer to does pressure treated wood rot is simply yes. Any pressure treated wood rot is usually due to a fungal issue. The fungi that cause this are very small organisms that move into the wood and feed on it over time. This causes the pressure treated wood to decay and soften which then turns into rot. All kinds of fungal issues basically create the same problem: rot.
  • Fungi or fungal spores usually affect wet wood. The easiest way to stop the damage they do is simple: keep your pressure treated wood dry. On the occasions where dry wood is affected brown-rot fungi is to blame. This type of fungus does not need much moisture to grow. In general, though, dry pressure treated wood is less likely to rot and in the event of rot can be more easily repaired than wet rotted treated wood.
  • Brown-rot fungus occurs most commonly in birch wood and will look like an uneven pattern or brick-like cracking. Keep in mind that although treated wood is protected by chemicals, pressure treated wood rotting is actually a physical change that will occur when micro-organisms in the air affect wet or dry wood.

Amazing deck transformations

2. the typical places to check for rot

Sometimes wood rot isn’t so obvious to the naked eye. When you do your yearly inspection, be sure to actively look for rot on the wood. If you suspect that a spot might be rotting out, use your fingers to press on the wood. If they feel soft or crumble easily to the touch, there’s definitely something going on there. Some typical spots to inspect are:

  • Deck support posts or beams
  • Where two pieces of trim meet
  • Surfaces such as exterior window sills and railings
  • Exterior wood stairs (especially at the base or towards the bottom)
  • Where wood siding meets the trim

3. How Can I Prevent Treated Wood Rot?

  • To prevent any kind of pressure treated wood rot you should keep it coated in paint, oils, varnishes, protecting spray, waxes or any other kinds of substance that will enhance the longevity of your treated wood.
  • Pressure treated wood can crack and split from water exposure and this will allow fungi to get into the cracks and create wood rot. If you have a pressure treated deck this can be a harder problem to avoid. The best way to protect from pressure-treated wood rot is to apply a deck preservative. Like we mentioned earlier, stains, paints and sealants are the best choice to use. You can find these items easily at the local hardware store. Some of these protectors can also contain a fire retardant, which can be useful and help keep you and your family safe.
  • Although a sealant provides effective resistance of moisture damage (which leads to rot), you will need to apply it periodically, at least once a year. None of these products will offer lifetime protection though. A higher grade sealant will result in longer protection, but cost can be a factor. Just be sure to inspect your treated wood for signs of wear and tear and keep it coated. Doing so will stop your treated wood from rotting!

4. Can I paint pressure treated wood?

  • A popular question that a lot of people have is if they can even paint pressure treated wood. The answer is yes, but it is slightly complicated.
  • If you just recently received your wood from the hardware store or your local lumber supplier, it will definitely need some time to dry out before painting. You can do a water test to see and if the water absorbs into the surface, it’s ready for paint.
  • Also, it’s important to think about what kind of paint you’re going to use on your pressure treated wood. Our expert recommendation is to use an exterior latex base paint (vs. an oil-based paint).

Exterior paint colours for fence painting 

If you’re starting from scratch and need to figure out what kind of paint to use on your fence, it’s great to start with an oil based paint. Behr’s Premium Plus Exterior Oil Based Primer & Sealer is a dependable choice. If you want to go the latex route, try out Sherwin Williams Exterior Latex Wood Primer.

As far as exterior painting colours go, white fence painting will be big in the 2021 season. So, be sure to check out White Diamond. Also, if you want something modern that won’t show the dirt as well, grey is another big colour for fence painting as well. Thundercloud Gray is a pretty mid-tone gray that will brighten up any yard.

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The beauty of your home can rely on knowing how to stop treated wood from rotting. With the tips mentioned above you should be able to do just that and save money in the future. However, if you have already noticed pressure treated wood rot or you just don’t have the time to invest in protecting it yourself, allow our home painting services to take over! Give HPT a call and we’ll happily do it all for you! Call us NOW at 416-494-9095 or email [email protected]! And don’t forget to follow us on our social media accounts below.

Brian Young - Home Painters Toronto

From The Owner & Founder


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I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

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I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.