Easier said than done. That's the conclusion of a nine-year WWPI-sponsored research project comparing the protection performance of preserved wood against coating products. The research, conducted by Oregon State University, tested wood coatings claiming to offer the same protection as preserved wood.
Samples were placed in Hilo, Hawaii, which offers some of the most demanding conditions for exposed wood. Three different coatings were placed at the site, along with untreated wood and samples treated with Copper Azole.
As expected, the coatings failed to deter termites, with most samples completely destroyed by the insects after 18 months. Treated samples, by comparison, remained intact with little damage. It took longer for decay to impact all wood samples, but after 108 months, only the Copper Azole samples remained serviceable.
While the three coating products are no longer available, similar coatings have emerged under differrent brand names but carrying the same performance claims. The research indicates the newly-promoted formulations likley offer little protection, certainly compared to the documented performance of preservative-treated wood.
>> Download the research report
WWPI has posted two new additions to the online library providing timely information on checks and splits in preserved wood products, as well as detailing preserved wood's environmental friendliness compared to alternative materials such as steel, concrete and composite plastics.
The new PreserveTech: Checks and Splits reviews how and why checks and splits appear in preserved wood products and explains they typically have little impact on the strength or serviceability of the wood. The two-page guide details how current construction standards take checks and splits into account when assessing the structural capabilities.
The newest title in the PreserveWise series, Life Cycle Assessments and Preserved Wood, explores the best way to determine a material's environmental impacts by using objective standards such as LCAs. The two-page guide notes how recent LCAs confirm that preserved wood offers the lowest environmental impact in a variety of areas compared to alternative materials.
>> Download the publications
Get the latest information for specifying Western preserved wood products under the AWPA Use Category system with an easy-to-understand infographic and a detailed PreserveSpec technical guide.
Both feature the up-to-date descriptions of Use Categories from the AWPA Book of Standards and provide specific information to help select the right preserved wood product. The infographic shows the most common uses for preserved wood at homes, including treated decking, posts, imbers, plywood and other wood products. Review the common preservatives available for Western species, as well as the recommended use category for typical construction applications. The PreserveSpec guide is one of a series of guides to assist those specifying preserved wood products for any project.
>> Download the publications
Videos highlight preserved wood benefits for homes, infrastructure
The many benefits of using preserved wood in residential and infrastructure applications are highlighted in two new one-minute videos on YouTube.
Produced by WWPI and Wood Preservation Canada, the videos detail how preserved wood extends the life of the wood in uses where it is exposed to weather and where a long service life is required.
The video on residential uses describes how preserved wood is used in typical residential applications, from sill plates to outdoor uses such as decks, pergolas, fences and planter boxes.
The infrastructure video details the many ways preserved wood is used that contribute to everyday life, from rail ties that carry food and goods to wood utility poles, timber bridges and highway guardrail posts. Also highlighted is the role of preserved wood in agriculture, from structures to posts and fencing.
At the end of each video, viewers are directed to the PreservedWood.org and Wood Preservation Canada websites to get more information on how to properly select, specify and install preserved wood products.
>> See the videos on YouTube
A new website, TWWDisposal.org, has been created to provide comprehensive information for those disposing of Treated Wood Waste, or TWW, within the state of California.
The state requires TWW to be disposed per the regulations in the Alternative Management Standards (AMS) for Treated Wood. While the AMS has been in place for nearly three decades, it was reaffirmed by passage of AB 332 in 2021.
NEW! An annual report reviewing the wood preserving industry's TWW disposal outreach activities in 2021 and early 2022 is now available. Click here to review.
The website feature information specific to those users disposing TWW, from households and contractors to businesses and large quantity generators. Specific sections include identifying TWW, handling, storage, labeling, transportation, notifications, recordkeeping, reuse and TWW prohibitions.
Visitors also can get the most current list of approved landfills in the state that can accept TWW and review disposal regulations from the California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control.
>> See the website
There are now two different campuses online where you can get an eduction on preservative- and fire-retardant-treated wood products, as well as continuing education units, or CEUs, from more than two dozen organizations.
The Wood That Lasts eUniversity is open 24/7 and now features courses from AEC Daily and Architectural Record's Continuing Education Center, the top online education platforms for architects, designers, specifiers, contractors and building product distributors.
Featuring self-directed and narrated courses, the Wood That Lasts eUniversity is offered for preserved wood products and fire-retardant-treated lumber and plywood. Unlike other schools, the campus is always open and the textbooks are available at no charge.
You must complete the free registration on the selected platform to take the courses and earn CEUs. Those completing the courses can earn continuing education credits (CEUs) available from more than 25 associations, including American Institute of Architects (AIA), Landscape Architecture Continuing Education (LA CES), National Assn. of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Assn. of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).
>> Review the Wood That Lasts eUniversity
Two top publications on preservative-treated wood are now available in foreign language editions for use in three countries.
The guides Preserved Wood: Wood that Lasts and Specifying with AWPA Use Categories have been translated into Chinese, Japanese and Spanish editions. The two guides offer key information about the benefits and uses of preserved wood, as well as important specification details for international customers who want to use the products.
Asian countries have expressed interest in preserved wood, given climate conditions that are conducive for decay and the presence of wood-destroying insects such as the Formosan termite. Also, in Mexico pressure-treated wood is popular in constructing facilities at resort destinations.
The publications will be used within the respective countries by trade offices supported by the Softwood Export Council (SEC). WWPI is a member of the SEC
>> See the international publications
Determining any potential impacts from using preserved wood in aquatic or sensitive environments is now easier with a new, user-friendly Environmental Assessment Model.
The online model streamlines the process of modeling the conditions for a project to estimate the potential migration of preservatives from preservative-treated wood immersed or over water. It is based on pioneering research by Dr. Kenneth Brooks and has been peer reviewed, repeatedly field tested and proven to protect the environment.
The model, which is also available as an Excel spreadsheet, has been used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Park Service, Environment Canada and Canadian Department of Fisheries & Oceans as well as a host of local and state regulatory bodies.
For more information on the model, go to the Aquatics section or review materials in the Online Technical Library.
>> See the model
Corps removes treated wood ban
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has settled a lawsuit brought by the preserved wood industry and has agreed to allow the use of preserved wood over and near waters or wetlands.
>> Read more