Pressure-treated wood is a chemically treated Southern Yellow Pine intended for increasing the rot resistance and preventing damage from insects. This type of wood can be used when it will be exposed to moisture or the outdoors.

If you are looking to replace your existing deck or better yet build a new one, you may come across a few types of deck materials to consider. So here are some advantages and disadvantages of the material characteristics when you pick pressure-treated (PT) wood for decking.


Advantages of Using Pressure-Treated Wood



When you consider per square foot of pressure-treated wood for installation, substructure, and decking, it is quite a cost-effective option compared to cedar or composite material.


Rot Resistant and Insect Repellant

Using pressure-treated wood is also advantageous as it provides a two-for-one deal. This is due to the fact that the chemicals used to make pressure-treated lumber are able to prevent rot and an insecticide in one.


Ground Contact

If your beams, fascia, joists, or decking area situated six inches or lower to the ground, pressure-treated wood is a more ideal option. That is because PT wood is now approved for ground contact on the basis of the newly revised guidelines.



Most consumers are not aware of the warranty that PT wood provides. In fact, most lumber manufacturers offer a long-term warranty that covers termite infestation and fungal decay.


Disadvantages of Using Pressure Treated Wood



Arguably, the chemicals being used in treating the lumber in PT wood are harmful to the environment, regardless of the industry standards that have changed.



If the wood is exposed to the natural elements, it will obviously deteriorate, particularly when exposed to the sun. A scientific process called photo-oxidation to the surface of the boards is responsible for it to fade to gray. However, this process can be delayed when applied with paint or stain.



In locations where you experience several seasons in a year, such as in the Midwest, you have to consider wood decking conditions exposed to the environment.

In different seasons, water can enter the pores of the wood which causes it to expand and contract, as moisture enters and leaves the wood. That said, it can cause splits or checking in every wood deck. But you may apply some sealant to decrease the effects of the natural process of degradation.



Upkeep is one of the challenges in using pressure-treated wood for decking. PT wood can last up to 30 or more years in any weather condition, provided they are maintained regularly.

Basically, it includes the application of water sealant annually, staining the deck every other year, and pressure washing the deck a couple of times a year.

Overall, pressure-treated wood has some advantages and disadvantages that you have to gamble with its excellent features being resistant to termites and fungal decay. Perhaps it will be up to you to decide on whether or not you have to consider using pressure-treated wood for your decking needs.


WICR Waterproofing & Decking is Southern California’s premier waterproofing and decking specialist covering Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. We are trained by all the major manufacturers of waterproofing systems so that we can install or repair any waterproofing project. Please visit us at