Pressure treated wood is the most common material we use for our patios. The wood has undergone a process that makes it resistant to rot and fungal attack. Basically, this means that it will be fine without treatment – the wood will just turn grey over time. But that doesn’t mean the tree won’t crack and peel, and over time become less comfortable to walk on. Therefore, it is still recommended to treat the boards.
How long should I wait before treating pressure-treated wood?
This varies depending on how long the boards have been left to dry before arriving at your home. Usually they will be workable 4-6 weeks after impregnation, but the most important thing is that the wood is completely dry, i.e. when the moisture content is below 15%. One tip is to check with the construction market how long the boards have been in stock there, and choose boards that have a fairly uniform green colour. This may also be an indication of how long you have to wait. The greener the boards – the longer the wait.
The chemicals in the new boards will be withdrawn weeks after they are produced. Weather and outside temperature will also play a role in the drying process. In spring and autumn, it takes longer for the wood to dry, but the rule of thumb is 4-6 weeks. On hot summer days, the terrace dries more quickly. Then it may be a good idea to start planning for treatment.
Why should I wait to treat the deck?
There is no point in being impatient here. Treating your patio too early can interfere with the drying process of the boards and the wood can crack or wear out. This will only give you extra work as you will have to start again with treating the patio, to make sure you get a well-protected terrace. But, you shouldn’t put off the job for too long either. A winter season with untreated wood can be tough on the woodwork, with snow, frost and wind and weather causing cracks in the wood.
Remember to wash
Many people don’t think to wash their new patio before treating it. There may be a layer of chemicals on the surface of the boards, as well as pollen and other things that often accumulate on the patio in a short period of time. Therefore, make sure to clean your patio with a suitable detergent, which is also gentle on the new boards. Rinse well and let it dry thoroughly. Want to know more about the best way to clean your patio? Read our step-by-step guide here.