I have built a walkway in my front yard. It is lined with pressure
treated 4x4's. Is there a way to preserve their appearance somewhat.
I've been noticing PT wood in my neighbors' yards and it's got that old
rotted look, although upon closer investigation it is solid - just looks
awful. I don't mind it changing color, but I don't want to develop large
cracks. What do I do?
Many thanks in advance,
First you must decide for how many years you want to maintain
the appearance of the wood. We know that wood in contact with
ordinary damp earth will develop rot and cracks in anything from 2
to 20 years, depending on local conditions.
That's a pretty tough one, and depending on where you are, can be
almost impossible. They pump in a boatload of chemicals, along with a
lot of water, under pressure, and the wood is usually Southern Yellow
Pine. PT wood tends to shrink and check a lot. To prevent checking
you have to keep the wood from releasing its moisture content. If
you're in an arid area, it will start checking quickly.
You could try to seal the exposed surface with something - basically
any deck sealant, but that's not a guaranty.
You've built in maintenance where there should be none. I would have
buried a piece of Trex, or approved equivalent, which would look
pretty much the same for years/decades.
Hi Aaron, common here in my area. There's several ways to deal with it to
make it last longer. Deck wash 'stuff' (Thompson's water deck seal isnt
very good but you know the type of product). That goes a long way. The
clear stuff can be applied every year pretty easy with a mop (grin).
No matter what, it will eventualy need boards replaced. They wont fail
evenly either so most here have a bit of a patchwork look of new and old.
Built 'right' it's easy to replace a board or two. Usually about 5 year
point for here, you start to replace a few evey year. If you did it like we
do here, you can replace 5 or 6 boards in about 2 hours time (less if you
are used to such and have good tools).
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