You’ve just finished building the perfect outdoor space, and now you need to furnish it. You’re pretty sure you can use pressure-treated wood indoors without worrying about it being unsafe to have around, right? After all, it’s treated with chemicals so that it won’t rot and mildew like regular untreated wood would. Besides that, it has a solid reputation as being safe for outdoor use in things like decks and fences. But do those same properties make it suitable for indoor usage as well? It turns out there are a few conditions under which you can feel confident using pressure-treated wood inside your home or business. Read on for more details about when (and when not) you can use this type of wood indoors.
Can You Use Pressure Treated Wood Indoors?
In order to use pressure-treated wood indoors, you need to do a little research on the specific chemical being used for treatment. Depending on the specific chemical used, the toxicity varies greatly. Some chemicals may be safe for use in non-food areas, such as in a basement or garage. Others may be safe for use in food-contact areas, such as on wooden countertops. Still, others may be safe for use in non-food and food-contact areas, but should not be ingested. It is important to do your research and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on the product label.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Pt Wood Indoors?
Voids will cause rot and mold.
The biggest reason you shouldn’t use pressure-treated wood indoors is that it won’t keep out pests and other organisms that cause decay. In addition to the chemicals used in treating the wood, a certain amount of moisture is also needed to make the woodwork correctly. When you use treated wood indoors, this moisture can seep through cracks in your walls and into your home, so you risk having an infestation of pests inside.
It won’t last very long.
You need to keep pressure-treated wood indoors for a certain amount of time before it starts to degrade and eventually fall apart. If you don’t plan on using the wood for more than three years at a time, then go ahead and buy it; otherwise, you should stick with untreated wood for longer-term projects.
It might not be safe for kids or pets.
The most important reason why you shouldn’t use pressure-treated wood indoors is that there have been reports of people being exposed to chemicals when using untreated pressure-treated lumber in their homes or petting animals that are allowed to chew on it over extended periods of time (like dogs). The proper way to treat PT lumber would be by using a solution called “pressure wash” which would be applied before installation in order for the chemicals on the PT lumber to completely penetrate into all cracks and crevices prior to installation (this is how they are supposed to work). However, the EPA has stated that this is not a safe method for treating pressure-treated lumber.
It might be too toxic for you or your family.
Pesticides used in pressure-treated wood are known to cause cancer, birth defects, and other health problems if inhaled or ingested, so it’s possible that you could be exposed to harmful chemicals when using untreated wood indoors. In addition to this danger, there have also been some reports of people having allergic reactions to PT lumber. Some people are allergic to the chemicals used in treating the wood and others may have reactions to the treatments themselves. If you have any of these symptoms after using pressure-treated wood indoors, then it’s best that you find a different solution for your project. If you don’t know what these symptoms are, then contact an industrial hygienist or toxicologist who can help identify the cause of your symptoms and recommend a solution accordingly.
It might not be as strong as you think.
Because pressure-treated wood is treated with chemicals, it probably won’t be as strong of wood as untreated wood. When you are comparing the two materials, the untreated wood should outperform the treated wood on the strength test. However, if you’re using pressure-treated lumber in an area that is subject to high moisture levels, then there won’t be much difference between the two. The best way to tell if pressure-treated lumber will hold up to moisture is by checking how well it holds up underwater after installation. For example, if your PT lumber gets wet and stays wet for more than 30 days, then it will likely start to rot and fall apart after only one year of use.
When You Can Safely Use Pt Wood Indoors
1. When it’s outside
You can use pressure-treated wood inside your home or business if it’s outside. Pretty much any time you want to use it for something that would be outdoors, like a deck or fence, you’re good to go. It won’t rot or mildew while it’s out there, and the chemicals will continue to protect it from rotting and mildewing indoors.
2. When it’s in a garage
If you have a garage, you can safely use pressure-treated wood inside that as well. This is because the chemicals used on pressure-treated wood are typically safe for indoor use in enclosed spaces like garages and sheds. The same rules apply as with outdoor usage: anything that would be outdoors will be fine indoors too (even if it would normally be considered an outdoor space).
3. When the wood is protected by glass
In some cases, using pressure-treated wood indoors means using pieces of furniture made from glass-protected (GPS) lumber instead of untreated wood. These pieces are designed so that they never come into contact with the chemicals used on the PT lumber themselves (they only come into contact with solvents used to clean them). So even though they still contain those same chemicals, because their surfaces are protected by glass, they won’t pose any health risks when used indoors. That said, make sure any piece of furniture made from GPS lumber is made of solid pieces of wood not just glued together, and that the pieces are large enough to handle the pressures they’ll be exposed to.
4. When it’s protected by another product
If you have a patio or deck built from pressure-treated wood, it will be fine for indoor use as long as it’s covered with a coating that prevents the chemicals from being absorbed by the wood itself. You can find just such a coating at most home improvement stores or online retailers. The same would apply to fence posts or beams made of pressure-treated lumber if they are covered in this type of coating.
5. When it’s in an area where there are no other products around
If you have no other products around that might interact with your piece of pressure-treated wood (such as a patio or fence), then you can use it indoors without worrying about any health effects it may have on you and your family.
6. When your family members don’t spend much time in the area
You don’t need to worry about using pressure-treated wood inside your home if you only use it every now and again, but not on a daily basis. Since these chemicals aren’t meant for long-term exposure, even brief contact with them isn’t good for people who spend their days inside buildings like offices and schools (where there are plenty of other sources of toxins). If this is how you usually use the piece of furniture in question, then you can use it indoors without worrying about any health effects it may have on you and your family.
Pressure-treated wood is a common building material that can be used outdoors in many situations. It can also be used indoors in some instances, like when it’s used in cabinets or as flooring. But that’s only if it’s wet C-T wood, which is treated with a special preservative that prevents it from releasing humidity. Dry C-T wood, on the other hand, is not safe for indoor use because it releases excessive amounts of water.