Treated pine decking is cheap, sustainable, and flexible, however it is less durable and has a shorter life than hardwood decking.
If the decking requirement is for a material that is decay and termite resistant Treated Pine is proven to be the most economical option when it comes to decking. It is very versatile and can be painted or stained to match any colour scheme.
Whilst Pine is a plentiful, fast growing, sustainable, and inexpensive timber which grows almost anywhere- it is a softwood, so the raw timber is not durable and is prone to termites and rot.
Therefore- to make pine suitable for outdoor uses like decking – it requires a chemical treatment to overcome this shortfall. (Modern pine treatments are far safer than older methods)
Treated pine decking timber typically comes with one of three different treatment options:
Copper Chrome Arsenic: CCA treatment is still legal in Australia, but there are serious safety concerns about the arsenic content.
Alkaline Copper and Quaternary: ACQ treated pine is more common today and considered a safer alternative to CCA. ACQ treated pine decking is just as termite and rot resistant as CCA treated decks.
Light Organic Solvent Preservative: LOSP treated pine is an arsenic-free alternative to CCA
While ACQ and LOSP treated pine decking boards are considered safer than CCA, it is always advisable to wear a face mask, protective eyewear and gloves when working with treated pine.
Treated pine is also classified for durability. The two most important classifications to remember are H3 and H4. H3 treated pine is suitable for above ground use only, while H4 can come into contact with the ground. In practical terms, that means H3 is fine for your decking boards, but you will need H4 for your posts and other components that come in contact with the ground.
We find that H3 Kiln Dried treated pine provides little to no movement, is resistant of rot and insect attack, and is also the most economical option.
In spite of the chemical treatments used in producing treated pine, it is one of the most environmentally friendly timbers you can choose:
- A fast growing softwood, most of the pine used in its production today comes from tree plantations rather than virgin forests. Some popular hardwood decking materials such as merbau, on the other hand, are harvested from existing stands in countries where few if any environmental controls are in place.
- Because the pine has been treated it will last as long as most hardwoods. Because the pine grows relatively fast, the tree that replaces the timber used to make your decking will be ready to harvest before your decking needs replacement.