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Frequently Asked Questions  

Treated Wood

Q: Why should I use treated wood joists and beams to support my deck?
A: Treated wood guarantees a much longer life for the understructure of your deck. Since many of today’s composite decking products are guaranteed for 20 years or more, it is unwise to use untreated lumber for the deck structure. Even in dry climates, it is advisable to use treated joists, and many decking manufacturers require the use of treated lumber to maintain the warranty.

Q: What is happening with the new treated wood?
A: At the end of 2003 all lumber treaters discontinued the use of CCA in treating residential products. CCA was a very effective treatment chemical for many years, but concerns about the ingredient arsenic made it advisable to change to a new generation of chemicals.

Q: Are my old structures made out of CCA safe?
A: Yes. The EPA has advised that the change to the newer chemicals was a cautionary step and that it is not necessary to remove older CCA treated lumber structures.

Q: Can you give me more information about the new treated chemicals?
A: McFarland Cascade treats our residential lumber with CA, or Copper Azole. This product is effective in prolonging the life of lumber used in outdoor applications. CA contains only copper and an ingredient that helps fight copper tolerant fungi. CA is not classified as a hazardous substance, and can be disposed of in traditional landfills, whereas CCA cannot. CA is safe for use in all outdoor structures, including play sets, sandboxes, etc.

Q: How does lumber treated with CA rate as an environmental product?
A: Using treated lumber greatly extends the life of the structure built, reducing the replacement cycle for that structure and the amount of material required to rebuild a non-treated structure. During the past 20-30 years, the pressure treating industry has helped save forest area equal to the size of New England  by increasing the effective life of outdoor structures.

Q: What is ACQ?
A: ACQ is another alternative chemical used to treat residential lumber. McFarland Cascade believes that CA rather than ACQ is the most effective alternative available today, and we only warranty structures built using CA treated lumber from McFarland Cascade.

Q: Should I seal my Extra Green Outdoor Select decking?
A: Yes. You should immediately seal your decking if you built it using our Outdoor Select pressure treated lumber. Any quality brand of water repellent sealer will be effective in reducing the effects of weather on your deck. It is necessary to perform a sealing every year to preserve your deck and its warranty.

Q: What does the warranty for Outdoor Select decking cover?
A: Our warranty for all Extra Green treated lumber with Copper Azole covers any product damage from fungal decay to termite damage. It does not cover damage from checking, splitting, twisting or other natural tendencies of wood.

Q: What fasteners should I use with CA treated wood?
A: Because of the high copper content of CA, extra care needs to be taken in the selection of fasteners. All hangers and fasteners must be hot dipped galvanized to the G185 standard. A common brand name that meets this standard is Zmax, manufactured by Simpson Strong-Tie. Stainless fasteners are recommended for best results in marine climates. Never mix stainless fasteners and galvanized hangers or vice-versa.

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