Do termites eat pressure treated wood?
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Yes, but only in an outdoor and wet environment after years of exposure. Wood that is treated under pressure with chemicals to resist rot is also required to be termite resistant—but it is not permanently termite-proof. There are two ways that termites can attack pressure treated wood:
- The pressure-treatment does not fully penetrate to the center of large wood posts. So, if the bottom of a post is trimmed off before it is buried in the ground the core is vulnerable to termites. Manufacturers recommend applying a second treatment of chemicals to a cut end before installing a post in the ground.
- The chemical treatment of wood that is unpainted and exposed to outdoor weather lasts about 8 to 10 years before it has mostly leached away by rain. Then the termites attack. If you look closely at the rating tag on pressure-treated wood, you will notice that some lumber is rated for “ground contract” and some is not. The ground-contact rated lumber has a higher level of chemical treatment and will resist termites for a longer period.
Also, see our blog post I think I have termites. What does a termite look like?
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To learn more about termites, see these other blog posts:
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