How Long Does Pressure Treated Wood Last?

Pressure treated wood is a great option for outdoor projects because its chemical treatment improves the strength, rot resistance, and durability of the wood. Pressure treated lumber can be used in decks, fence posts, gazebos and other building materials.

Pressure treated wood is a type of wood that has been pressure treated with chemicals to make it last longer. The chemicals give the wood a protective layer that prevents rot, insects and decay from occurring. Read more in detail here: how long does pressure treated wood last on the ground.

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Do you want to know how long pressure-treated wood will last? It is a long-lasting and cost-effective alternative to a variety of different materials. It has the potential to endure a long period if properly cared for.

With appropriate care and handling, pressure-treated wood may endure up to 40 years. The life expectancy of pressure-treated timber may be reduced to roughly 10 years depending on how and where it is used, the circumstances it is exposed to, and how well it is maintained. 


When dealing with treated wood, you may wonder how to make your fences or decks last longer, as well as ask questions like: will the wood decay, what are the hazards of utilizing treated wood, and is it worth it? Continue reading to find out more about all of this and more. 


Contents Table of Contents

  • What Is the Difference Between Pressure Treated and Regular Wood?
  • Is it Possible to Make My Own Lumber Last Longer? 
  • Why does pressure-treated wood last longer than untreated wood? 
  • Is Treated Wood Ever Going to Rot?
  • How to Take Care of Treated Wood Fences and Decks
  • The Best Ways to Extend the Life of Pressure-Treated Wood
  • Is it possible to use old pressure-treated lumber in my fire pit?
  • Alternatives to Pressure-Treated Wood that are Long-Lasting
  • Conclusion

What Is the Difference Between Pressure Treated and Regular Wood?

Pressure-treated wood, as its name implies, has been subjected to a process that transforms it from ordinary timber. To extend the life of pressure-treated wood, it has undergone a sealing treatment. 

How Is Pressure Treated Wood Treated? 

Pressure and a chemical solution that is deeply integrated into the wood are used in this procedure to transform raw timber into pressure-treated wood.  

The wood is put in a depressurized storage tank, where the air is evacuated and replaced with a chemical solution containing chromium, copper, and arsenic. 

This technique makes it somewhat more costly than natural untreated wood, but it is well worth the expenditure for people who want their building projects to last longer. 


Is it Possible to Make My Own Lumber Last Longer? 

It’s almost hard for homeowners to treat wood themselves because to this intricate procedure and apparatus, since most of these chemical and pressured methods come with their own set of concerns. 

However, using a borate treatment to make wood endure longer is an old-fashioned method that many people have utilized. It merely entails immersing the wood in this solution, which may aid in the prevention of various insect infestations, including termites. It is also known to protect against fungal deterioration. 

When using this method, homeowners should immerse the wood twice in the solution and allow it to dry fully before painting or staining it.

Why does pressure-treated wood last longer than untreated wood? 

The durability of pressure-treated wood over untreated wood is the fundamental difference. How does it function if the air suction and chemical solution don’t make treated wood stronger? 

After being treated, the wood has a variety of traits and characteristics that help it last longer:

  • The preservative protects the food against decay and insects. The chemical injected into the wood is a rot-resistant preservative, which helps keep insects at bay. There is nothing for bugs to eat or dwell in if the wood is moist and rotten. 
  • Chemicals are used to plug the pores. Insects that aren’t interesting can’t get in. 
  • Moisture is repelled by the covering. All exposed surfaces are sealed with a water-repellent sealant after construction. 

Natural timber lacks these safeguards, however certain woods, such as redwood, cedar, and teak, are inherently more resistant to insects and decay than others. All of these woods, however, are pricey. Pressure-treated timber is frequently made of a less costly wood, such as yellow pine, and is thus less expensive than the more expensive options. 

Untreated wood fences are more susceptible to water and fungus, making their durability less stable than treated wood fences. 

When we’re talking about fungus, the following question arises.

Is Treated Wood Ever Going to Rot?

Yes, pressure-treated wood will decompose over time. Because of the preservatives used, it might take years, but that does not imply it will stay forever. According to a number of homeowners, most treated fences begin to rot after 15 years.

  • Decomposition is caused by water and fungus. Fungi exposure is the most common cause of rot, which finally eats away at the wood. Termites or persistent water exposure are two more possible reasons. As a result, it is critical to maintain your treated wood dry at all times.
  • The life of wood may be extended with proper treatment. Even if the wood has been treated to strengthen its resistance, it is essential to learn how to properly care for it in order to maximize its longevity. 

Learning how to care for and preserve pressure-treated wood can extend the life of your projects by years. 

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How to Take Care of Treated Wood Fences and Decks

If not properly maintained, your treated wood fence or deck might succumb to a variety of naturally occurring issues such as sprinkling and swelling, mildew growth, and ultraviolet damage. To avoid each form of harm, different steps must be done. 

Shrinking and Swelling are lessened with the use of a sealer.

Your pressure-treated wood will shrink and swell as a consequence of either water absorption or water loss. This may cause problems with the wood’s look, such as warping and twisting. 

Applying a sealer or stain formulated specifically for pressure-treated wood is the best way to prevent this issue. 

To prevent mildew development, clean and use a mildewcide. 

When wood is exposed to humid weather, mildew development is a regular problem. To avoid this, the wood must be maintained by cleaning it with a mildewcide-containing substance. Your fence and deck will stay clean, fresh-looking, and mildew-free as a result of this. 

Reduce Sun Damage by Using an Ultraviolet Stabilizer

Ultraviolet damage, like everything else under the sun, may change the color of your wood, altering its look. 

Regularly washing your deck or fence and applying the proper finish are the greatest ways to help limit this damage and prevent ultra-violet decay. An UV stabilizer is required for the Finish to be effective. Consider the UV stabilizer to be a sunscreen for your pressure-treated wood.  

The Best Ways to Extend the Life of Pressure-Treated Wood

Develop a maintenance program that incorporates recommended practices to extend the life of your pressure-treated timber projects:

  • Use a cleaner to clean the wood.
  • Allow the wood to air dry.
  • To guarantee that the wood is preserved, use a water repellent. 

Checking to See if Your Sealant Is Effective

After applying the repellent, test the wood by placing a little quantity of water on it to see how effectively it repels water.  

Your sealant isn’t functioning if the water is immediately absorbed into the wood. It’s possible that you’ll need a second coat. Reapply after at least 24 hours, then test for efficacy again. Usually, one coat suffices. 

Is it possible to use old pressure-treated lumber in my fire pit?

Whether your pressure-treated fence has to be replaced, you may be wondering if you can burn it and, if not, what you should do with it.

It is not safe to burn treated wood because of the many chemicals put to it. 

These harmful substances should not be ingested by people or released into the environment, regardless of how old the wood is. 

Arsenic is the most dangerous of these substances, since it may severely impair normal cell function when exposed in large doses. You can’t even throw pressure-treated timber in the garbage because of this. To get rid of it, contact local garbage hauler to find out what the rules are in your region. 

Alternatives to Pressure-Treated Wood that are Long-Lasting

If you wish to avoid pressure-treated wood, there are a few typical options, such as naturally resistant wood, which is a bit more costly but has less dangers.

Composite fence is another alternative that is gaining in favor. For outdoor applications, this wood replacement comprised of wood fibers and plastic is an extremely sturdy, tough, and long-lasting material. It might be pricey up first, but with good maintenance, it can survive for 20 years or more. In addition, “appropriate care” for composite involves much less effort than “proper care” for pressure-treated timber.


Pressure treated wood is still a popular choice for many homes owing to its excellent durability, support, and cost. It is, in the end, a fantastic approach to complete outdoor projects that will endure for years. Make sure to check out our list of the finest pressure-treated wood primers!


Pressure treated wood is a type of wood that has been treated with chemicals in order to resist rot and decay. This type of wood is most commonly used for outdoor projects, such as decks, fences, and sheds. Reference: how long does pressure treated wood last in florida.

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