Need to build a new dock. Old one is just about done.
It'll be a floater like the old one.
The question is wheather pressure treated wood or
cedar is better. The problem with pressure treated is the arsnic
content. For a dock that swimmers and skiers will be sitting on and
pulling themselves up on, that's not so good. Cannot always get
pressure treated without arsnic.
How well does cedar hold up to extreme weather condiitions.
Fresh water, Canadian winters and all that.
Still plenty toxic. The MSDS on ACQ:
Section 8 is the applicable one for a fresh water lake.
To the OP: What you want to do, and what you should do, are not
necessarily the same thing.
I would say to avoid treated no matter what. Splinters from treated
wood are very bad, and a simple sliver in a finger can end up
requiring pretty dramatic surgery. If you don't want to use composite,
then consider cypress as a very rot resistant alternative.
Red Pine, painted with hull-paint, ought to hold up as well
as any other common species. By the way, the arsenic in the
wood is a non-issue for casual human contact. Decades of
immersion might leach enough out to have a detectable effect
on the lakes ecosystem.
The hard science of whether a PT dock will kill someone is secondary to
perceptions. Sooner or later you'll have a guest that won't let their
kids play on it if it's PT, and sooner or later the local newspaper
will report that mysterious substance X is in the lake and maybe it's
coming from someone's PT dock. Nothing will beat being able to say that
your deck is just good old 100% cedar as you put your feet up in your
Muskoka chair and open another Blue Lite.
What are you planning on using for a float? If you are using styrofoam
(bead board) you can just glue AC plywood to the top, wrap a canvas
skirt around it to shield it from sunlight, and hang lath lattice off
the sides to protect the foam, or maybe hang 2x8 boat bumpers. You
might build a ladder or two for the swimmers, and screw some cleats to
the plywood for the boaters.
All new treated wood is ACQ. You need dipped fasteners and hardware but all
dock hardware is dipped already. Arsenic is a thing of the past. But that is
in US just noticed your up north.
Go with the treated. I have built many and never had a problem. Composite
requires 16OC centers or it will sag. Depending on your flotation system it
may be difficult to get framing that close together. You can span almost 3'
with a treated 2x6.
I have never built a dock so can't speak directly to that but have had
splinters from both CCA and cedar (arsenic is no longer used for
pressure treating in the US). The cedar splinters (IMO) are a real
bitch compared to pine. Either way I suggest you use a good marine
finish on whatever you choose. Several coats of marine paint or
varnish would reduce splintering.
Have you considered using cypress?
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