Avoid replacing, using pressure-treated wood with these tips

Last week, following publication of my column about disposal solutions for wood treated with preservatives, a colleague reminded me I had ignored the best alternative to disposal.

Recycling pressure-treated wood is not possible in local programs because toxins must be kept out of mulch and compost, and reuse is limited by concerns about breathing toxic dust from cutting and sanding treated wood. But “reducing” discards should be the top priority.

Rather than removing and replacing pressure treated wood, first consider repairs. If the framing is still strong, problems like warped, cupped, split or splintering wood can be fixed with some effort, while problems like loosening nails or faded luster can be fixed more easily.

The simplest aesthetic repair is power washing and wood staining. Over time, foot traffic, weathering and the sun’s ultraviolet rays will affect wood’s surface, but for unpainted treated wood, you can bring back the beauty of the original wood grain.

More:Eco-tip: Options slim for treated wood disposal, solutions needed from state

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