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  Frequently Asked Questions  

You've got questions about lumber, and Spartanburg Forest Products has the answers. After more than three decades in the business, we've shared a lot of information. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive.


By extending the life of a wood structure you are reducing your consumption of our earth’s natural resources. Millions of trees are saved every year because of pressure treated wood. Feel free to read more about Spartanburg Forest Products’ commitment to our planet.

No, our pressure treated wood does not contain formaldehyde.

These are grade and quality marks that indicate you are buying a superior product inspected by an independent organization. Learn more about grade and quality marks for yellow pine and treated lumber.

Treated lumber is very safe when used as directed. It’s clean, odorless and safe to handle. The preservatives used in treated lumber are locked in so you don’t have to worry about them impacting people, pets or plants.

Although treated lumber is clean and free of fumes, it should not be burned. Burning treated wood releases chemicals into the air and in the ash. Federal and state laws require treated lumber to be burned in an approved facility.

It’s best to wear gloves when handling treated lumber. When sawing or cutting treated lumber wear goggles and a dust mask, just as you would when working with untreated wood. The most important thing to remember is that treated lumber should not be burned.

No, the product is not faulty. You are typically seeing the heartwood which is naturally decay resistant. While it may appear to not have been treated, you do not need to be concerned.

Lumber that is acceptable for above ground use can function in a variety of ways but should not come in contact with the ground. When wood is required to come into contact with the ground, it’s important to use specially treated lumber that is designed and prepared for this purpose. Ground contact pressure treated lumber is developed to handle the additional moisture it encounters when meeting the ground. Click here for more information on the available levels of treatment.

Treated lumber is better equipped to handle attacks from enemies like termites, fungi, bacteria and rot.

Pressure treated lumber is wood that is put inside a pressurized cylinder where preservatives are forced into the wood, protecting against rot, decay and termite attack. This process can take between several hours and several days.


It’s a good idea to stain or paint your project as soon as possible. Make sure that the wood is completely dry and check the manufacturer’s instructions before applying any products.

Your lumber is already treated to resist decay, termites and rot. But applying a water repellent coating will help maintain the look of your treated lumber.

All wood, treated or untreated, will weather. It’s inevitable that exposure to UV rays and water will alter the look of your wood. However, there are products that may help return the wood to its original look. Look for cleaners, brighteners and restorers from your local home improvement store.

The ink stamp found on your wood is an industry symbol that you are purchasing quality wood. The grade and quality mark can be removed with light sanding and it will also fade over time.

Use of Treated Lumber

Treated wood can be safely used for animal enclosures such as bird feeders, livestock fencing or fish ponds. But it’s not recommended to use treated lumber where preservatives come into direct contact with food.

Yes. It’s best not to use treated wood for kitchen countertops or any use where it comes into direct contact with food.

Yes, treated lumber can be used for indoor projects, except those where it comes into direct contact with food. Make sure all sawdust and debris is properly cleaned up and disposed of.

To ensure you are using wood treated for underwater projects, make sure it is rated for fresh water or marine use, depending on the type of water the wood will come into contact with.

Yes, treated lumber can be used for dock building in fresh water as long as it’s rated for Ground Contact Use.