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Pressure-treated lumber best for outdoor use

Take precautions to avoid contaminating living space, pets

Whether it's a deck, a fence, a wall or a horseshoe pit, when you're building with wood outdoors or in any area where lumber might be in contact with moisture or insects, you want to use a product that's going to last. For the majority of applications, pressure-treated lumber is the right choice. Pressure-treated lumber is simply lumber that has been treated with a chemical to make it resistant to insects and fungus. In the pressure-treating process, dry sawn lumber made from woods such as Douglas fir, Hem-Fir, and many species of pine is loaded onto trams and moved into huge cylindrical tanks. A vacuum removes air from the tanks, then a liquid preservative is pumped in and high pressure is then used within the tank to force the liquid deep into the wood's cells. Some harder species of wood, such as Douglas fir, may be "incised" first -- a process of creating short, narrow slits in the wood that increases the penetration of the preservative. Until fairly recently, chromate...

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