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Can You Use Pressure-Treated Wood in a Crawl Space? (7 Factors To Consider)

Can You Use Pressure-Treated Wood in a Crawl Space? (7 Factors To Consider)

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Wood is one of the top choices when it comes to building materials. It’s affordable, readily available, and easy to use as well.

Pressure-treated wood, in particular, offers many benefits when used in construction. This type of wood is known for its durability. It’s resistant to moisture, fungi, and insects.

If you’re a homeowner, you might be eyeing this sort of wood for your home. Can you use pressure-treated wood in a crawl space, though? In this article, we’ll explore the answers.

Can You Use Pressure Treated Wood in a Crawl Space: 7 Factors To Consider

Crawl spaces are mostly used for wiring and plumbing purposes. This is why they are typically narrow in width and limited in height.

Is using pressure-treated wood for your crawl space a good idea? Let’s find out!

1 – Resistance to Damage

The most significant advantage of pressure-treated wood is its ability to withstand insects, fungi, and moist environments. This characteristic makes it more durable.

The lifespan of this type of wood can even reach up to 40 years. This might sound good to a homeowner who wants to make sure that their crawl space stays intact for a long time.

2 – Cost

Pressure-treated wood is your best bet if you’re working on a tight budget. Since it’s resistant to damage, you won’t need to spend much money on repairs.

This variety of wood is also known to be cheaper than redwood, cedar, and others.

3 – Maintenance

Repair and maintenance are essential concerns for any type of construction. Fortunately, treated wood requires less care compared to its untreated counterpart.

The chemicals in the wood make it solid and tough. This also means lesser scratches, dents, and bumps are formed in the wood.

4 – Chemical Treatment

Most homeowners have no problem with using pressure-treated wood throughout the house. However, this type of wood also poses some risks.

Using pressure-treated wood outdoors ensures proper ventilation. However, the same cannot be said of your crawl space.

Air from your wooden crawl space may seep through and travel into your house. Your crawl space might even have vents.

The chemical treatment infused in the wood might irritate your eyes, nose, and skin. It can cause harm to your health and to the environment.

5 – Usage

The chemicals soaked into the wood make cutting and shaping it harder. Furthermore, the extra scraps from your work need to be properly disposed of in a landfill. Burning scraps isn’t a good idea as it releases toxic fumes into the air.

Personal protective equipment is a must when handling treated wood during construction. To protect your lungs and eyes from the chemicals, use an N95 mask, gloves, and goggles.

6 – Building Requirements

Materials required to be used in construction may vary depending on your location. In some areas, crawl spaces actually require the usage of wood that is either naturally durable or preservative-treated.

According to the 2021 International Residential Code (IRC), the mentioned types of wood are required in crawl spaces with the following specifications:

  • Wood joists or the bottom of a wood floor that is within 18 inches of exposed ground
  • Wood girders that are within 12 inches of exposed ground
  • Wood columns that are within 8 inches of exposed ground

The main objective of the building requirement is to ensure that the wood-based parts of the structure are well protected from decay.

7 – Appearance

This factor is important if you’re particular about how your space will look. Pressure-treated wood might appear rough and uneven depending on the distribution of the soaked chemicals.

It’s also prone to fading and discoloration over time. Adding a layer of paint can be an easy fix to this.

Final Thoughts

So, can you use pressure-treated wood in a crawl space? You can! However, the final decision is still yours to make.

We hope that this article gives you not only an answer but also the reasons behind it. Be sure to carefully review the mentioned benefits, disadvantages, and potential risks of using pressure-treated wood first before you finalize your verdict.

After that, it’s time to go chopping!


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