Caring For Your Pressure Treated Garden Product

So you've just brought a new wooden shed, structure or timber feature for your garden. It states that it has been pressure treated, but what does that actually mean? Check out our handy guide which will explain the benefits and concerns of owning a pressure treated garden product.

Created by Andrew Taylor on Wednesday, 14th of September, 2016.
Updated on Wednesday, 11th of October, 2017.


When buying a new piece of wooden furniture, shed, storage unit or structure for your garden you may have a few questions in regards to what is meant by 'pressure treated'. Common questions include: what it actually is, how it affects the wood and if you'll ever need to paint or retreat the wood at home yourself.

Buying an outdoor product which has been classed as being 'pressure treated', effectively means that the wood will have already been through the process of having a preservative treatment forced deep inside the wood's pores, creating a barrier against rot and decay.

The benefit of buying a product which has already had this type of treatment means that, firstly, it would normally be provided with a longer guarantee against rot when compared to other products which have not been treated.

Secondly, you wouldn't need to treat the timber yourself at home when it first arrives, which can save quite a bit of time, stress and lets you set up and enjoy your new product even quicker! 

Here's our guide on the most common benefits and concerns regarding pressure treated garden products as well as the most popular frequently questions asked by our previous customers:
 

Painting

If you plan on painting your garden product in order to change its natural colour to match your garden, then this is perfectly fine to do, however, some manufacturers recommend to wait for around 6 months after receiving the product in order to give the wood enough time to settle after its pressure treatment process.

We would recommend using a suitable branded outdoor wood paint solution such as those from Cuprinol, Ronseal and Sadolin. We would advise following the paint's guidelines on when re-painting would need to occur (normally once per year thereafter).

Re-Treating

Standard pressure treated wood normally comes complete with a long guarantee against rot, however, you may wish to keep it topped up with a treatment in order to better protect the wood from the harsh rainy weather within the UK.

We would advise using a branded outdoor wood preservative and re-apply a coating on a yearly basis in order to keep your timber product looking fresh, clean and protected as much as possible from weathering.

Adding treatment on a yearly basis will help to keep the timber looking in that "freshly cut" state. However, if you didn't plan on re-treating or painting the wood, then most of the wood used in our products will mellow into a silvery-grey colour over time.

Splits and Cracks

Splits in a wooden plank.

Timber is a natural product and so splits and cracks may appear, this is due to the change in temperature from day to day and season to season, where a change in humidity within the air can cause the wood to expand and contract.

During colder and wetter months, especially during lots of rain timber can expand as it naturally soaks up fallen rainwater. On the other hand, during dry and warm months, timber tends to contract into a denser state due to water drying out and evaporating from the inside.

This is a normal occurrence with natural wood and so splits and cracks are not any cause for concern. In 99% of cases, it will not affect the strength or structural integrity of the product.

 

Green Spotting

Green spotting on a timber wood plank.

Patches of green spots on freshly cut pressure treated timber can often be mixed up as being a type of mould or fungi. This is by no means the case, and green spotting on wooden garden products is quite a common thing and is also perfectly natural.

It's caused by the pressure treatment process in which the treatment solution is forced deep into the wood. The green spotting is an after-effect of the treatment stage in which salt from within the wood is forced out of the timber, thus leaving the leftover green salt spots on the surface. Hence, seeing green spots on the wood is a good sign that your timber has been pressure treated fully.

Green spotting will naturally wear away with time but can be brushed off with a broom on light areas, or with a brush and some water on more stubborn spotting.

These patches are not harmful and will not affect your product's lifespan.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m missing instructions, what do I do?
Assembly instructions can normally be downloaded from the individual product pages on our website. However, if one of our products don’t have a PDF instruction manual available to download, simply contact us and we’ll happily email one over to you.

What type of timber is used for your wooden garden products?
Many timber furniture and structure products on GardenSite, which don’t specifically say which wood type they’re made from are crafted using FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified mixed Softwood. However, some products are crafted using differing wood species including Teak, Swedish Redwood, Mahogany, Cornis and Spruce - these products will state the wood type used on their individual product pages.

How long do I need to wait before I can treat or paint my product?
Wooden products can be painted at any time after delivery, although some manufacturers recommend waiting at least 6 months in order for the pressure treatment to completely settle.

Which type of paint should I use?
Any paint or treatment specifically designed for timber that is to be left outdoors would be suitable.

Do I need to drill holes myself?
Each product may differ, some timber products will require pre-drilling holes before you assemble at and other products will be supplied ready pre-drilled. Please refer to the assembly instructions for more details.

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