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.

General FAQs

What is pressure treated lumber?

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. 

How can treated lumber be good for the environment?

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.

Do your treated lumber products contain formaldehyde?

No, our pressure treated wood does not contain formaldehyde.

What do the tags or stamps found on the lumber mean?

These are grade and quality marks that indicate you are buying a superior product inspected by an independent organization. 

Is treated lumber safe?

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

Why can’t I burn treated lumber?

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.

Are there special handling instructions for treated lumber?

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.

I cut my treated wood and it looks like it isn’t treated in the middle – is this a faulty product?

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.

What is the difference between wood treated for ground contact and above ground use?

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.

Why should I use treated lumber?

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

Maintenance & Care FAQs

When can I paint or stain my project?

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.

What do I need to do to maintain the look of my treated lumber?

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.

How can I return my deck, deck accessories or fence to its original look?

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.

How do I remove the grade and quality mark?

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 FAQs

Can treated wood used for animal enclosures or animal feeding?

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.

Are there situations where using treated lumber should be avoided?

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

Can treated lumber be used indoors?

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 are properly cleaned up and disposed of.

What type of wood should I use for underwater projects?

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.

Can your products be used to build a dock in fresh water?

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