Outside Ramp Wood Question

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I am having a wood ramp built to enable me to get my lover in and out of out house (in wheelchair). I notice he is using pressure-treated 4X4's for the posts, but what looks like regular boards for the deck part. That worries me. Can/should I paint said wood with a preservative? If so what?
It is free, so I can't say anything.
Thanx
Big Fred
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Roger,
Ask whoever is building this ramp what sort of woods are being used. That will be easier than guessing.
Dave M.
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On 3/23/2014 5:07 PM, snipped-for-privacy@dodger.com wrote:

If you can't say anything, you ought not do anything, either.
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snipped-for-privacy@dodger.com;3214024 Wrote:

mp built to enable me to get my lover in and out of out house (in wheelchair). I notice he is using pressure-treated 4X4's for the posts, but what looks like regular boards for the deck part. That worries me. Can/should I paint said wood with a preservative? If so what?
It is free, so I can't say anything.
Thanx
Big Fred
Fred: You need to know that wood absorbs and evaporates moisture 15 times as fast through it's end grain as it does across it's grain, and so the deck boards really don't need the same rot resistance that the posts do.
However, if it were me, I would paint the wood at the ends of the deck boards multiple times with an end cut wood preservative, and just paint the exposed surfaces of the wood deck boards once with wood preservative. You can even spray it on if you have a garden sprayer. The undersides of the boards don't need to be painted with anything since water will never collect on the undersides of any deck boards.
Now, the active ingredient in wood end cut preservatives is copper naphthalene. Copper is a natural fungicide, and wood rot is caused by a fungus growing on the wood.
There are various strengths of copper naphthalene you can buy. Your typically end cut preservative will be about 12 percent. Wood preservatives meant for wood foundations in houses will be about 24 percent copper naphthalene. But, if you know of any agricultural supply stores in your area, there are products sold to treat a condition known as "Thrush" in horse hooves that is caused by a fungal infection of the hoof. Those Thrush treatments will be 37.5 percent copper naphthenate.
Now, wood end cut preservativew work just like wood stains. Wood stain is typically a yellow, red or brown dye that's soluble in mineral spirits or alcohol. When you paint the stain on the wood, the mineral spirits gets absorbed into the hollow wood cells and into the cell walls, and the dye goes along for the ride. After a period of time, the mineral sprits will evaporate from the wood, leaving the dye behind inside the cells and inside the cell walls. Because more stain is absorbed at the wood end grain, the wood end grain always stains darker than the rest of the wood. Once the mineral spirits evaporates from the wood, then you can apply more stain to darken the colour of the wood. Each time you allow the mineral spirits to evaporate and apply more wood stain, the wood will absorb more mineral spirits and more dye will be deposited and remain behind in the wood cells and wood cell walls.
Exactly the same thing applies to wood preservatives. If you use a 12 percent copper naphthenate end cut preservative, you'll only have half as much copper naphthenate in the wood as if you used a 24 percent solution of copper naphthenate. But, if you go back after a few weeks and give your wood a second coat of 12 percent copper naphthenate, then the end result will be much the same as a single application of 24 percent copper naphthenate.
So, if you have plenty of time on your hands, buy a lower percentage of copper naphthenate and give the wood multiple coats, especially at it's end grain. But, if you want to really load up that wood with copper naphthenate in a hurry, then go and buy some Thrush treatment for horses that says "37.5 % Copper Naphthenate" on the bottle, and paint that onto your wood, expecially at the end grain.
Google "Farnham Thrush-XX" or phone around to the Veteranarians or Agricultural supply stores in your area. All the horse hoof treatments for Thrush will be 37.5 percent copper naphthenate and cost between $15 and $20 for a 14 fluid ounce bottle. That's about the size of a small bottle of soda pop.
Here's a specification sheet for Thrush-XX hoof treatment: 'Thrush-XX for Animal Use - Drugs.com' (http://www.drugs.com/vet/thrush-xx.html )
Also, when comparing wood preservatives, note that the copper content can either be quoted as percent by weight of copper, or percent by weight of copper naphthenate. I don't know how to convert from one to the other, but you need to compare apples to apples. But, keep in mind that if you repeatedly allow the solvents in the preservative to dry out of the wood, you can build up the copper naphthenate content of the wood to well above what a single application of the preservative would provide.
--
nestork

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On 3/23/2014 5:07 PM, snipped-for-privacy@dodger.com wrote:

I can't see the harm in asking the type of wood being used and if there's any concern about weather issues.
Your concerns are justifiable. Regular untreated wood will rot within a few short years and that may be a generous guess depending on wood. There are paint sealers and clear sealers for normal wood, but it will need to be sealed "everywhere". If the wood is already laid, it'll be difficult to seal underneath and tight spots. Those areas will be the first to go.
I understand it may be free, but it's pointless to have something installed if it'll deteriorate in a short period. Don't be afraid to express your concerns. You can ask without coming across as a demanding paying customer.
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I will
Tomorrow
Big Fred
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Oh you caught that. :-)
Big Fred
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Ed Pawlowski;3214055 Wrote:

Sorry, but I have to disagree with Ed Powlowski on that statement.
The trunk of a tree has a "heartwood" core which is surrounded by "sapwood".
Heartwood is dead wood cells, whereas sapwood cells are still living cells. When the sapwood cells die, the openings in the cells through which water flows between wood cells are sealed off. Thus, heartwood cannot be pressure treated because the preservative will not flow through the wood. Only sapwood can be pressure treated.
ONLY the heartwood of cedar and other species known for their rot resistance (like Redwood) is naturally rot resistant. That's because of chemicals called "extractives" that get deposited into the oldest sapwood cells as those cells die and form part of the heartwood.
The sapwood of all species, including cedar and redwood, if un-pressure treated, have no better rot resistance than spruce, fir, poplar or pine, or your common species of construction grade lumber.
'UMass Amherst: Building and Construction Technology' (http://bct.eco.umass.edu /)
'UMass Amherst: Building and Construction Technology Wood Myths: Facts and Fictions About Wood' (http://tinyurl.com/ozu4clf )
So, unless the cedar is "all heart", I would treat it with a wood preservative, and once he's finished loading up the wood with copper naphthenate, then treat it with a deck preservative every year to keep the wood from absorbing moisture from the rain and snow melt and twisting and warping and splitting as a result.
--
nestork

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On 3/23/2014 8:01 PM, nestork wrote:

Feel free to dissent but not rvryone agrees with you.
http://www.garden.org/articles/articles.php?q=show&id 7
Resistant or very resistant: old-growth bald cypress, catalpa, cedar (either eastern or western red cedar), black cherry, chestnut, junipers, honey locust, white oak, old-growth redwood, sassafras, and black walnut
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_Cedar_wood_rot?#slide=1
http://woodworking.about.com/od/typesofwood/p/Woodworking-With-Cedar.htm Cedar is a type of wood that encompasses a variety of species, including Spanish Cedar, Eastern Cedar, Juniper and the aromatic Red Cedar. The advantages of cedar is that it is much more weather-resistant than other varieties of commonly-available lumber, making it ideally suited for use in outdoor woodworking projects such as benches or window boxes.
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Also, I should say that loading up wood with copper naphthenate will make that wood rot resistant, but it won't make it wet-resistant.
Rain and snowmelt will be absorbed into wood treated with end cut preservatives just as it would be into untreated wood. So, to prevent the wood from absorbing water and twisting, or splitting or warping, it's also a good idea to use a deck sealer on the wood.
So, after the OP is finished loading up that wood wheelchair ramp with copper naphthenate, he should treat it like a deck and apply a sealer to the wood regularily, perhaps the product that Ed mentioned. The copper naphthenate will prevent the wood from rotting, but the wood sealer will prevent the wood from absorbing rain water and snow melt, and that will prevent all the problems that wetting and drying of wood repeatedly causes. And, of course, you want to apply that sealer to the wood end grain where moisture is absorbed into the wood the fastest.
--
nestork

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I really doubt the wheelchair ramp is being built from cedar. Besides Balsa, cedar is about the softest wood you're likely to find, and that means that dirt that collects on the ramp is going to get embedded in the cedar underfoot making the ramp look ugly real fast. While some people might think cedar is a good choice for an outdoor project, I expect we'd all agree that it's a lousy choice for a walkway/ramp.
If it wuz my ramp, I'd load it up with copper naphthenate and then treat it like a deck from then on, and I'd focus my attention on getting the preservative and the sealer on the end grain of the wood as much as possible.
The OP wanted to know how to deal with this non-pressure treated wood that's being used, and the above is my best advice. No one comes on these boards to give bad advice, but we all differ in our opinions because we all have had different personal experience.
--
nestork

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On Mon, 24 Mar 2014 04:53:43 +0100, nestork

Cedar is one of the more popular decking materials around here. Cedar fencing, outdoor furniture, etc. I don't know how well it would work as a ramp.
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On Mon, 24 Mar 2014 04:53:43 +0100, nestork

My cedar deck stood up quite well for about 28 years with NO chemical care. If I had treeted the end grain on my cedar front porch it would still be there - I replaced it at about 26 years with Trex.. The PT replacement deck is something like 12 years old and has a few spots showing deterioration. PT SYP.
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How long is the guy oin the chair going to last?? Good chance just about any "real" wood will last until he doesn't need it any more. (sad to say)
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Actually, the OP sounded kinda young to me.
Decks and walkways get completely different usage. Decks are a warm weather summertime place to hang out. Wheelchair ramps get used year round, and have dirt, road sand and other kinds of grit tracked onto them from people's winter boots, and that dirt would get embedded into almost any wood underfoot. I guess that's one reason cedar wood flooring isn't popular.
Wheel chair ramps have a harder life than cedar decks. Wheelchair ramps have to put up with people tracking wet traction sand onto them and walking over that sand to grind it into the ramp wood. If I did that on your cedar deck, I probably wouldn't be invited back to your house for quite a while.
--
nestork


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On 3/24/2014 6:59 PM, nestork wrote:

Good point if the OP lives in a cold climate. If he is in Florida, he won't see much road salt and sand.
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Tekkie;3214492 Wrote:

I would use solid copper wire to hold some expanded metal down to the ramp boards.
http://tinyurl.com/q6azjwd
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On Tue, 25 Mar 2014 16:53:58 +0100, nestork

I would not use PT. I'd likely use standard Trex or some other "plastic lumber" with traction-tred surface - as used on docs etc.
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Trex is a durable decking material.
But, the reason I was thinking of expanded metal is because the snow is going to accumulate on the ramp and freeze pretty hard. With expanded metal on the ramp, you can remove any hard packed snow with an ice chipper.
'Enlarge Image' (http://www.metrosupply.ca/enlarge/330276 /)
But, I'm now thinking that if you used Trex with stainless steel screws, you could use salt on that ramp to melt the ice off, whereas salt would accelerate the rusting of expanded metal. (Although expanded metal is cheap enough to be replaced every 10 years or so.)
--
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wrote:

docks
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