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Drying PT lumber before deck building

Hello all!

We're about to build a deck, and I'm hearing differing opinions on letting lumber sit to dry prior to building, and how long to dry. If I'm buying pressure treated posts, joists, and decking, both ground-contact and above-ground, from a local Home Depot or Lowes, talk to me about drying time!  I have no garage or concrete pad, but I can stack on the ground, raised off the ground on scrap wood and with spacers, and a tarp to cover when rain is in the forecast.  My actual biggest worry is theft - having a pile of good lumber in our back yard (in our area of the city in particular) is just a pure theft target - so I was hoping for as little sitting-around time as possible.  BUT I don't want a bunch of gaps (and cracks) in the deck during the first season of course. 


Re: Drying PT lumber before deck building


What you have heard as someone's "opinion" is for unprotected lumber. Preassure treated is at its ideal time now. To dry untreated wood would take years without a kiln. Preassure treated wood will become hard the longer it sits. You will see liquid come out of the lumber at times. Do not touch it and then touch your eyes or mouth. Do you know what chemicals it is injected with? I would never use preassure treated around my home, and especially not in my home. If you drop food on it, throw it out. Never a good idea to eat it after it has come in contact with the wood. I built my deck using PurpleHeart and replaced all the porch deck with Massaranduba hardwood. Be sure to use stainless steel fasterners every where. That is the only material that will hold up against the chemical that the wood is injected with.


Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

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