Lifespan of Pressure Treated Lumber Dock

by Carl
(Northern New York State)

Do you have a thought on the "lifespan" of a DOCK built of pressure-treated lumber if it is NEVER treated? The structure is located in northern New York state and, obviously, always exposed to water on the underside.

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Aug 28, 2008
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Pressure Treated Lumber in Water
by: Editor - Rich Bergman

That is a good question. The chemicals used to preserve lumber can vary from my understanding. Generally speaking a pressure treated board that is exposed to rain and sunshine an above ground should last 20 years or more.

But things change considerably if the board is constantly soaked or submerged. In fact, the preservative can be defeated if the cut ends are not equally treated as they are fully subject to water being sucked into the wood.

Worse is the fact that the lumbers used for treating are generally lacking the natural oils and preservatives naturally occuring in woods such as cedar and redwood. Thus, you can expect more rapid deterioration in a pressure treated board if the rot has started at an untreated cut end.

If anyone else has anything else to add or if I have misspoken please add your comments to the discussion as this is a fairly common question.

Hope that helps.

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