UV rays and below-freezing temperatures are only two examples of the harsh and varying weather conditions that define the outdoor environment.
Outdoor wooden furniture and other items might sustain damage from such situations.
To survive the elements, we have pressure-treated timber and exterior-grade cloth. However, an untreated wood be used outside if no treated lumber is available?
This essay aims to answer the query of using untreated wood outside.
Additionally, it discusses the dangers of utilizing such wood outside, recommends substitutes, and provides advice on preparing untreated wood for use outside.
VIDEO: How To Treat Untreated Wood For Outdoor Use?
Can Unpressure Treated Wood Be Used Outside?
Yes, it is undoubtedly feasible to utilize untreated wood outside.
This is not advised, though, as utilizing wood outside requires protection because the unpredictable weather outside can quickly and irreparably harm the wood.
There are a lot of things you can do to make sure the untreated wood is resilient even when used outside.
Read on, as this post will guide you through the possible strategies and tactics.
How Durable Is Outside Non-Pressure Treated Wood?
Depending on the weather, sun exposure, and how well it is maintained, non-pressure-treated wood typically lasts 5 to 10 years outside.
Depending on the climatic conditions it is exposed to due to poor upkeep, untreated wood may survive much shorter than five years.
However, safety precautions like those described in this article can increase the lifespan of unpressure-treated wood to over ten years.
Pressure-treated wood typically has a service life of roughly 15 years, making it generally more durable outside.
Lumber That Has Been Pressure Treated vs. Untreated
The primary distinction between these two types of wood is that pressure-treated wood has chemical preservatives infused into it while being subjected to a particular pressure and temperature conditions.
Thanks to these compounds, it is resistant to UV rays, water, and insects. Untreated wood, on the other hand, is in its natural state.
It will decompose if exposed to moisture or water because water will seep into its pores. Additionally, it is susceptible to the sun’s UV rays, which rob wood of its color. Additionally, insects may eat it.
However, not all wood species are created equal. Due to their inherent resilience and weather resistance, non-pressure-treated wood will withstand the elements better.
You may use teak outside without being affected by the weather since it contains natural oils that make the wood resistant to insect and water damage.
Pressure-treated lumber is more weather-resistant than untreated lumber due to the chemicals used in the treatment process.
However, non-pressure-treated wood can still be treated topically to make it suitable for outdoor use.
These topically applied preservatives can seal the wood and guard against sun, insect, and moisture damage.
Use of Non-Pressure Treated Wood Outside Risks
Without any topical treatments, non-pressure-treated wood used for outdoor applications will be exposed to various weather conditions that could damage it. Here are a few dangers that such timber might encounter.
Unwanted radiation from the sun’s UV rays is a component of the lovely sunshine. Unfortunately, leaving your untreated wood outside exposes it to harmful rays and could cause fading.
Although the natural hue of the wood is frequently lovely, exposure to sunlight can make it lose its color and fade.
The wood loses its natural oils as it ages, typically giving it its aesthetic appeal and structural stability.
Your wood will therefore lose more than simply color; it will also lose strength.
Water tops the outdoor hazards that pose the most significant harm to untreated wood. Water may cause unimaginable harm from snow, rain, or other precipitation.
There are pores in the structure of natural wood.
Water can get within these pores, leading to wood rot and disintegration. The structural integrity of the wood can be quickly destroyed by rot and decay, which results in the complete loss of the wood.
This is why treating wood before using it outside is usually essential. Sealants, external wood stains, oils, and paint are treatments that aid in sealing the pores in the wood, making it impermeable.
Water cannot enter and do damage in this way.
A stain caused by mold and mildew
Molds and mildew thrive in environments with moisture and dust. The least quantity of dust and moisture from the air is required for this fungus to survive.
This is why some wooden furniture or other wood items left untreated may develop black patches.
Sadly, discoloration doesn’t stop there. Wood rot always follows a mold infection, eventually leading to degradation and irreparable wood damage.
Over time, the lifespan of wood is shortened by all the exterior weather conditions that compromise its structural integrity.
This explains why properly maintained wooden furniture will live longer than inadequately maintained and left outside untreated.
Termites and insects that feed on wood can swiftly deteriorate your priceless untreated timber if left outside.
Chemicals that repel these bothersome insects are typically introduced during pressure treatment.
Untreated wood is exposed and might serve as a low-lying fruit for hungry termites in your yard.
How Can I Tell if a Piece of Wood Has Been Treated or Not?
Even if you know the advantages of pressure-treated wood, you might need to find out if the wood has been treated.
Understanding the difference between pressure-treated and untreated timber can help you stay away from using untreated wood outside and running the danger of ruining your project.
Look for the hue connected to the chemicals used in pressure treatment to recognize pressure-treated wood.
For example, timber treated with chemicals may develop a green or brown color due to the treatment.
The chemical used to treat the lumber is typically identified by stamps or end tags that the manufacturer includes. Therefore, you should be able to identify the wood using these tags.
Alternately, take note of the odor.
Pressure-treated wood ought to smell chemically or greasy. This is very different compared to untreated lumber, which emits a distinctive natural smell.
The fact that wood naturally has a pleasant aroma should indicate that you are on the right track.
How to Use Outdoor Non-Pressure Treated Wood
The dangers that unpressure-treated lumber faces outside can be reduced with a few preventative steps.
Here are some steps you can take to use untreated wood outside correctly.
Keep it out of the sun’s direct rays.
We mentioned that wood could fade and become weak structurally due to the sun’s UV radiation.
Protecting the wooden object from direct sunlight can reduce the risk of sun exposure and the resulting damage.
Dry it out.
The fundamental factor causing the wood to rot and degrade is water.
You can reduce the risk by cleaning up spills as soon as they appear on the wood or covering the wood with a cover so that rain does not fall on it.
Put a season on it
When not used, such as in the fall, spring, or winter months, you can bring non-pressure-treated wood furniture inside if it is made of wood.
Use chemicals to protect it.
Applying UV-blocking topical chemicals to coat your wood is the best protective approach. Make sure to follow the instructions we provided above to accomplish that.
How to Prevent Wood from Rotting When Used Outside
You should use only one despite the dangers of using untreated wood outside. Then, seal the wood using one of the many available methods.
The procedures for weatherproofing non-pressure-treated wood are outlined in this section.
Tools and supplies required.
- Sandpaper for Sealant Applicator
- Sanding block or sander
- tidy rags
- Dishwashing liquid or soap (optional)
- hand mitts
- Tying cloth
Steps to take
Any wood and sealant should work with the instructions in this section, whether you use an oil like linseed or tung oil, a transparent layer like polyurethane and varnish, or wood stain-sealant combinations like Ready Seal external deck stain and sealant.
Always check the wood for soundness and ensure there are no early or advanced symptoms of decay before treating it.
Step 1: Wash the wood.
The state of the wood will determine how you should clean it. First, you must wash it with soap and water to remove any sticky stains or dirt, and you should use a sponge dipped in soapy water to do this.
After finishing, carefully dry the wood before rinsing it with clean water and moving on to the next step. You can wipe it down with a moist rag and let it dry if it is only a little bit dirty or dusty.
Step 2: Sand the wood.
Cleaning wood with water frequently raises the grain. Once the outdoor furniture wood has dried, some roughness that may be seen through the finish should be apparent.
To make the surface smooth to the touch, grab some sandpaper and start sanding. Depending on the project, the wood you’re using, or the sealer you’ve chosen, you can use 180 to 220-grit sandpaper.
If you have a little project, like sanding a wooden plank, you can use a sanding sponge. However, if you have a large project, like building a deck, you can also use an orbital sander.
To remove the outdoor wood dust left behind from sanding, wipe the surface with a moist rag or tack cloth. Additionally, the scope of your project will determine this.
Step 3: Apply the sealant.
Follow the directions on the label to apply the product to your exterior wood when it has thoroughly dried.
You should find the recommended application technique in the manual and adhere to all instructions for your outdoor project.
Step 4: Add more coats
Your project will typically require more than one product layer for proper protection.
So, depending on the weather, let the first coat dry for a prolonged time before applying the second coat.
Make careful to wait until the second coat is entirely dry before applying the final coat if the manufacturer suggests three.
After that, let it cure before using it.
Is it possible to use untreated wood or non treated wood outside? This article should have provided a thorough response to your query.
You can use untreated timber outside if you coat the surface with a protective oil like linseed or tung oil or seal it with an appropriate outdoor wood sealant.
To make the wood weatherproof, you can also paint it with exterior-grade paint.
With weatherproofing, utilizing untreated wood outside can be a good choice because the teak wood’s lifespan will be drastically shortened.
After learning about utilizing untreated wood or non treated lumber outside, it’s time to find out if pressure treated wood deck or pt wood is permitted within.
FAQ on Can You Use Non Pressure Treated Wood Outside
Is pressure-treated wood required outside?
However, the use of treated wood is restricted by building codes, typically in situations where there is a risk of excessive moisture. Any wood used for outside work should, in general, be pressure-treated. The level of care required for wood features in your interior design, such as cabinetry or furniture, is not the same.
How long until untreated wood begins to rot?
Wood may begin to rot in one to six months if:
Can normal wood be weatherproofed?
Wood can indeed be waterproofed. There are various approaches of doing it. Linseed oil, sealing agents, or special waterproofing stains are all options if you so want.
Can I build a deck out of non-pressure treated wood?
Can unpressured wood be used for a deck? Untreated wood can be used to build a deck, but it must be sealed with stain-sealant mixtures or painted with exterior-grade paint to withstand the elements.
How is untreated wood handled?
You must apply the treatment to untreated wood in order to prepare it for outdoor use. Chemicals used in this treatment can help wood resist insects and bad weather. Pine tar is your greatest option for treating wood for outdoor usage. Given that it may produce a stain-like finish, it is a popular choice.