Generally, wood is affordable and readily available, but it lacks durability. So, it undergoes a long process to become more durable. That’s how we get pressure-treated wood.
It’s more durable and less susceptible to mold, water damage, insect infestation, and decay. That said, can you use pressure-treated wood in a crawl space?
Look no further for the answer! In today’s article, I’ll tell you about using pressure-treated wood in your crawl space. Let’s dive in.
Can You Use pressure-treated Wood in a Crawl Space?
The short answer is yes! You can use pressure-treated wood in a crawl space. Let me tell you why it’s a good option.
1 – Resistance to Moisture Damage
Untreated wood can absorb moisture. However, that’s not the case with pressure-treated lumber, as it’s less susceptible to moisture damage.
Generally, we use crawl space for plumbing, which means there’ll be a risk of having high moisture in the area. That’s when pressure-treated lumber comes in handy.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean pressure-treated lumber is 100% resistant to moisture damage. It’s mostly safe for up to 28% of moisture. After that, fungi, and other wood-destroying organisms might start causing decay.
2 – Long Lifespan
Pressure-treated wood can last up to 40 years without any signs of decay or rot, depending on the climate and how well it’s maintained. You can also make the wood last longer by applying water-repellent sealers yearly.
It’s best to use a mildewcide cleaner if you notice any mildew on your wood. Doing this can help save your lumber and make it last longer.
3 – Resistance to Insect Infestations
Pressure-treated lumber is infused with many chemicals that can help protect it against insect infestations. The chemical substances within the lumber usually deter or even kill termite insects.
Therefore, termites, wood ants, and other insects will have trouble damaging the lumber. Although it’s not 100% termite-proof, it’s doubtful that termites would eat or damage chemically-treated lumber.
However, these chemicals can be harmful to humans too! When using pressure-treated lumber, you must ensure that your crawl space has proper ventilation.
Chemicals can travel from the wood in your crawl space and seep into your house. Unfortunately, it can cause various health issues.
Proper ventilation in your crawl space means contaminated air has a lower chance of reaching your house.
4 – Affordability
Pressure-treated wood is perfect for someone on a tight budget. Typically, it’s cheaper than most options.
On top of that, it’s highly durable and requires low maintenance. Therefore, you won’t be spending a fortune on repairs and maintenance.
5 – Availability
Pressure-treated lumber is easy to find. Additionally, it’s available in a huge variety of sizes.
You can rest assured that you’ll find the right size for your crawl space.
Before Using Pressure-Treated Wood in a Crawl Space
Before using pressure-treated lumber in your crawl space, you need to consider a few things.
1 – Hard to Deal With
Pressure-treated lumber is durable, which can sometimes make it hard to cut and shape. Not only that, but you’ll also need to wear protective equipment when handling the lumber during construction.
The chemical substances in the lumber can irritate your skin, eyes, and lungs. Therefore, you’ll need to wear gloves, goggles, and an N95 mask.
2 – You Need to Dispose of the Scraps Properly
Some people think that they can use the remaining scraps in other projects. However, this isn’t the best idea due to the chemicals that the lumber releases.
In fact, you’ll have to dispose of the scraps properly. Burning the scraps will lead to the release of toxic fumes into the air. Therefore, you’ll need to dispose of it in a landfill.
3 – Appearance
Pressure-treated lumber usually doesn’t have the best appearance. Additionally, it’s prone to fade and discolor over time, which makes it look even worse.
If you care about the overall appearance of your crawl space, you might need to paint the wood or consider other options.
4 – Building Requirements in Your Area
You need to check the building requirements in your area before using pressure-treated lumber in your crawl space.
According to section R317 of the International Residential Code (IRC), some areas require using preservative-treated wood to prevent decay.
So, can you use pressure-treated wood in a crawl space?
The answer is yes! Pressure-treated lumber is highly durable. It can withstand the toughest situations and has a long lifespan.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. As a homeowner, I love working on projects around the house, and as a father, I love investigating various ways to keep my family safe (whether or not this involves tech). I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.