Is Pressure Treated Wood Safe For Picnic Tables – Good Advice For You!

Have you ever thought about making a table from pressure-treated wood to organize a party when friends come over, or family gathers on a picnic? Is this type of wood safe and long-lasting enough? 

Let’s discover the answer to the question “Is Pressure Treated Wood Safe For Picnic Tables?” and other useful information around this wood type! Scroll down!

Is Pressure Treated Wood Safe for Picnic Tables? 

Short answer: It depends on many factors. To be more specific, people used to treat woods with Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA). However, according to the EPA, most of the wood is now treated with Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ) that has been approved for use on benches, picnic tables, or other outdoor designs! Those woods will be more toxic than modern-treated timber.

What Is Pressure Treated Wood?

Is Pressure Treated Wood Safe For Picnic Tables

A simple definition of pressure-treated wood is timber that has been treated with chemicals and pressure for protection and long-time use or preservation.

Preservatives can help repel insects and help the wood resist rotting in the long run. Moreover, this method has been around for more than 60 years.

Pressure Treated Wood is mostly made from softwood, typically pine. However, depending on the region, there are also lumber-treated woods made from other types of timber. 

People normally use lumber-treated woods for outdoor design, such as picnic tables or benches. Hence, there are parameters we need to know about this wood type for better results. For example, we have PT as its rating parameter for “ground use” or “ground contact.”

Or as a parameter of chemical concentration. It is known that if this number is high, the PT of the wood will be more inclined to “ground use”!

Nevertheless, pressure-treated wood is not stronger than regular wood; it is only more rot-resistant than other types!

How Can Long Treated Wood Exist?

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As mentioned before, pine is the main element used to make lumber-treated wood. The existing time for this wood is about 15-20 years.

However, not all pressure-treated woods have the same lifetime. Besides, wood in direct contact with the ground is damaged fastest, that’s for sure! There are also many factors affecting its life expectancy, such as environment, weather, etc.

CCA And Its Problems With Pressure Treated Wood? 

Many studies show that old wood or timber-treated wood will more or less contain a combination of CCA compounds that cause cancer in humans. Unfortunately, getting rid of CCA is not easy stuff!

Due to this issue, some questions arise like “how to limit the occurrence of CCA in wood?” and “how to prevent it?”. We have two ways to help you solve the issue!

The answer is based on the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Report. In detail, CCA can be removed by regularly using oil-repellent coatings or other coatings to cover designs with pressure-treated wood during use.

In addition, you can also reduce the rate of CCA cancer if you limit the use of pressure-treated wood to reinforce outdoor designs, especially when the timber has passed its shelf life.

Please also be mindful in limiting the children’s exposure to timber-treated wood for the best protection from CCA.

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What Are Some Alternatives To Pressure Treated Wood?

Let’s find out what types of wood can replace the pressure-treated wood from pine!

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The most popular alternatives are redwood, white oak, cypress, or western cedar. These candidates are excellent choices as they possess features such as insect repellency and high natural longevity. However, their prices are not cheap at all! The inner heartwood of these woods is also less rotting than the outer bark.

There is a small tip for you: if you want to use traditional pine to make it become timber treated, you simply finish and stain the wood for preservation. In this way, you can save both money and freedom!

Another trick for you to preserve outdoor furniture made from regular wood: Let’s use wood glue to cover all the parts of the furniture directly in contact with the ground. By doing this, you can avoid mold that leads to rapid decay!

Last Word 

Is Pressure Treated Wood Safe For Picnic Tables? We believe you will have the answer and other useful facts about this wood type through this article. Moreover, please note down all the things we have mentioned in the CCA part for the best safety of you and your family! Or, you can choose to make your own pressure-treated wood from regular pine with our instructions. Thank you for your interest in the article!

Reference Source: How To Stain a DIY Picnic Table

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