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deck and pressure treated wood

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I was wondering if anyone could help me out here.  I have a deck and front porch that is built with the old (I think it is called CCA) pressure treated wood with the arsenic.  They are both over 10 years old.  I was thinking about replacing them with the composite wood, but we are planning on moving in the next few years.  I would like to know if it is worth the cost.  My husband doesn't think that it is a problem with the wood and does not want to spend the money.  I want to do the right thing.  I have read on some websites, that it initially leaches arsenic after the first rain and  then it does not really leach.  Then some websites seem to indicate something different.  I have a 2 year old and a 6 year old who have started playing on the deck a lot and I worry about the wood.  So if anyone could give me some advice on what they have found, I would appreciate it.

post #2 of 3

I can only speak from our experience which is more of a financial take-not a treated wood take...but I would not put any money into a house that you know you will be trying to sell in the next few years.  We made a huge mistake in doing so & are walking away losing a fortune.  We bought 4 years ago at the height of the market, replaced all the windows (huge job because of a sunroom made of all windows) with good ones, replaced the basement floor with an eco-friendly option & some other projects.  DH lost his job 2 years in very, very unexpectedly & we are now selling at a $120k less than what we paid not to mention the $ put in to improve the home.  Because of this awful market, we had to accept an offer from a ruthless woman who is taking our swingset, grill, lawnmower, dining room set etc.  Thankfully we are able to pay off our mortgage & pay the transfer tax.  Other than that, nothing. 

 

They are not expecting the real estate market to get better for a very long time.  I would be very conservative if I was planning on selling in the next 8 years or so. 

 

Could you use a eco friendly paint or stain to form a barrier for your kids?

post #3 of 3

I would do more research on the possible harms of pressure treated deck.

 

If you need to replace the deck boards for other reasons (warping or something), cedar might be cheaper than composite (which I know is really expensive). Our cedar deck is 21 years old, and while it needs to be refinished every 2 or 3 years, the wood itself is still in good shape.

 

Composite is wonderful, but it is not as structurally strong as real wood. That means the support structure of the deck might need to be replaced if you went with composite - the joists might need to be closer together. That makes the project a lot more difficult and expensive, because you need to move existing joists, and add new ones, in addition to replacing the deck boards themselves. If you used cedar, the joists should be fine (assuming it was done right the first time).

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