Tag Archives: pressure preservative treated columns

Avoid Being Driven Crazy With Barndominium Questions Part I

Avoiding Being Driven Crazy With Barndominium Questions Part I

Loyal reader and client GREG in KENTWOOD is planning his new post frame barndominium home and has questions no one else will answer. Mike’s answers are in italics.

Mike,

Good morning, I hope all is well with you.  

 I have some questions that I would like to understand and it is driving me crazy, because no one other than Hansen Pole Building, it seems will answer my questions and return my calls.  Most the crazy part is about the slab. I find cement workers are not great communicators.  I am 56, a mechanical engineer, have renovated several houses from the studs up, I can do plumbing without butt crack showing, I raced stock cars for 10 years, I tell you this, because I know how to build stuff and am not afraid of hard work. My job requires a detailed list of Bill of Materials, precision drills and reamers and very detailed processes to make fuel injection parts, ABS brake parts and other.  I hope you can help out, as I am ignorant about some simple facts that are driving me crazy.

Mike: We believe good communication is essential to successful completion of most any building. You will find we strive towards written communications in order to minimize (or eliminate) possible miscommunication of important facts and details).

I also would like to say Brenner is doing a fine job.

Mike: Brenner has a passion for post frame buildings and he is not at all afraid to reach out to higher authorities for answers to complex structural questions.

Due to your great level of communication, you so far are my #1 choice to partner with on my new house.  I also would be willing to visit you in MN if you have/think I could see examples of my questions first hand.  

Statements from details I learned at Code Meeting:

  • In Michigan, in my county I need to have a 2’ foam, below grade, with R10 barrier, around the full foundation or slab perimeter. 
  • So my building code staff recommends a Rat Wall 2’ below grade, or a crawl space with footers, or a slab with a wooden wall built to hold the 2’ foam below grade.
  • I don’t really have a problem with the Rat Wall, but it certainly will add more cost to cement.

My questions on this topic are:

    • If using a Rat Wall, it seems like the 6” * 6” poles will then be encapsulated in cement for about 2.5’ at minimum.  I thought the poles were not supposed to be in cement as it causes probably more decay than dirt.
      Mike: Concrete does not cause premature decay of properly pressure
      preservative treated columns.
    • What are your thoughts?
      Mike:
      Personally I would build over a crawl space because my knees are far happier living on wood than concrete.
    • What would you recommend for the 2’ below grade issue regarding the slab foundation?  Mike: With a slab on grade, you can use rigid perimeter insulation without a need for a ‘rat wall’ or wood foundation wall. It can be held in place by backfill on each side. It can be placed running from below base trim on exterior of splash plank, or on inside of splash plank. If on inside of splash plank, it eliminates having to protect it from possible UV degradation.

On attachment pictures in the middle pages show where the 6” X 6” poles go and spacing, listed are my questions:

I am concerned with spacing of 12’ and 14’ of the 6” X 6” posts.  (I’m sure the loading is OK, within code, but see below)
Mike:
Actually with your 21 foot eave height and Exposure C for wind 6×6 columns will not engineer out. Your building will have glulaminated columns manufactured out of high strength 2×6 or 2×8 depending upon location.

    • One concern is getting wood in today’s supply chain that are straight enough for the girt boards and purlins at 12’ and 14’, should I be concerned? ( I can’t get straight 2” X 4” at 8’ for the walls I have built in last year alone.) Mike: Lumber is obviously organic and we can no longer cut down those old growth trees where one might be able to get straight grained, narrow growth ringed lumber with few or no defects and very little warp, twist or cup. One beauty of steel roofing and siding is it hides a plethora of framing imperfections (like warp), due to high ribs of steel siding.

When using double trusses, at all locations, why not just go to 8’ centers on the poles?   I know it is more 6” X 6” poles, but really is not anymore trusses and may help get straighter girt and purlin boards. 
Mike: Wider spaced columns allow for more flexibility in location of doors and windows and an added advantage of not having to dig as many holes. If you were thinking of using a single truss every eight feet, rather than a double truss every 12, I would discourage it. Double trusses allow for true load sharing and eliminate any possibility of a single truss having a weak point, where under extreme loads (beyond design loads) it may fail and bring down your entire roof.

Come back tomorrow for Part II in Barndominium Questions!

Post Frame Shouse Column Options

Post Frame Shouse Column Options – Risk vs. Reward

Loyal readers will recall a recent post involving GREG in KENTWOOD (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2020/09/dont-want-pressure-treated-columns-in-the-ground/).

Our discussion continues and I share below:

“Mike,

Thanks for the quick response.   

If I was a sane man, not sure I am, if properly pressure treated lumber will last a few generations, why would I not go with that?   

 

  • The time to DIY yourself wet set brackets could add a few weeks to the projects. ( I probably have the time.)
  • Using a Perms Precast Columns which are $152 each will be costly with probably needing 50 to 60 posts. (Adds about $10k to project)
  • I might be able to be talked into using pressure treated poles. 
  • Does the plastic help or does it add more risk of trapping moisture or other?
  • I will cost out each method, on a little “nerd chart” to determine what risk and reward I can accept.

Do you think your source for the pressure treated poles is better and more consistent than say a Menards or other source a non-builder would get supplies?

For a (2) story would you use laminated posts or solid?

Would you use only treated on the first 8’ to prevent shrinkage and warping at a (2) story height?

This will hopefully be all my questions prior to submitting a plan. 

Thanks Mike!”

Greg is probably going to be very satisfied with his end result – he is reading, asking questions and learning. Hours spent in preparation can save tens of thousands of dollars later.

I live in a million dollar shouse (shop/house) with roughly 8000 square feet finished. It has glu-laminated columns with pressure treated bases, embedded in the ground. I could easily have chosen any alternative solution, as cost was not a deciding factor.

Wet set brackets are probably only marginally more time consuming, however to minimize concrete needed for piers, you will (or should) be using insulated forms. When all is said and done plan upon roughly $100 per column for budget.

Precast columns have not just column investment, they are also heavy to handle onsite and do require a concrete footing or bottom collar to prevent settling.

Plastic sleeves might be effective, however I felt they were redundant given modern pressure treating technologies.

In most cases, it is impossible to walk into a lumberyard or big box store and get UC-4B treated lumber, it most usually has to be special ordered in. Our providers know, in advance, of this being our expectation (not to mention minimum requirement by Building Codes).

I would go with true glu-laminated columns (I did on my own building). They will be lighter, straighter and stronger than solid sawn columns and not have challenges as do nailed up columns. Lower portions are typically treated so laminations are a minimum of six feet of treatment (usually a 6′, 8′ and 10′ member are bottom treated segments). Pressure treating does not prevent shrinkage or warping – shrinkage is limited due to this lumber being kiln dried after treating in order to get moisture content low enough for proper glue adhesion. Warping is a by-product of laminations being oriented so lumber grain is all one direction and is a rare occurrence with glulams.

Ask as many questions as you need to feel confident in your decisions.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Don’t Want Pressure Treated Columns in the Ground?

Loyal reader GREG in KENTWOOD writes:

“We plan to build a house next summer with basically (2) – 40’x60’ units connected at 90°, wife is still in the planning stage, 2 story.  I feel that me and my sons should be able to erect a kit with directions from the supplier and tips.   I like your website and the pole barn guru – FYI.

Here is my first question(s):

Since this project will be a house, on a slab in Michigan, which will require 48” depth of some sort of pole / wall / perma-column / piers like CRS system / Cedar post / other.

I really can’t put a treated pole in a hole and expect it to last 100 years, even with a plastic cover.  But I do not want to break my “bank” going overkill.

I also kind of like the idea of laminated posts above ground, which could be untreated if some method was used to get posts above the ground, which would also allow them to be shorter and reduce cost.

Might even like the idea of pouring cement at the base of each pole hole for better support then use a perma-column, instead of a cookie.  (Wish they did not cost so much, alternative?

With my concerns, what method would you suggest to use for the poles?

My wife should be done with the exterior plan in a week or so then I will send it to you for a quote. 

Thanks

How do I create a client account?”

Thank you for your interest in a new Hansen Pole Building as well as your kind words. We have assisted thousands of clients just like you to erect their own beautiful buildings – basically anyone who is physically able and can read directions in English can become a success story.

While properly pressure preservative treated lumber will last for generations embedded in ground (even without any sort of plastic sleeves), we recognize there are those, just like you, who feel far more confident with columns above ground. With this in mind, your least expensive and easiest to construct design solution will be poured concrete piers with wet set brackets embedded into them to attach your building’s columns.

With this option, we do account for your columns being shorter in length. We do recommend use of true glu-laminated columns in markets where they are logistically available as they are stronger and straighter than similarly sized solid sawn columns.

Poured concrete foundation walls with footings (and wet set brackets in the top of the wall) will be a budget buster. Nine years ago the cost of a single 40’ x 60’ foundation for a two foot frost depth was roughly $12,000 (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/buildings-why-not-stick-frame-construction/).

Permacolumns (besides just their cost) can prove to be unwieldy (https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/perma-column-price-advantage/). They also would require a poured concrete footing beneath in order to adequately distribute roof and second floor loads plus building dead weight to supporting soils. Concrete cookies will rarely be adequate for even minimally sized buildings and loads.

Depending upon species of cedar, soil moisture conditions and amount of freeze and thaw cycles, it may last 15 to 30 years – so probably not a viable alternative.

A Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer will be reaching out to assist you further.

Pressure Treated Post Frame Building Poles Rot

Presenting actual factual evidence, from a peer reviewed and published study seems to have little bearing upon reality in today’s social media influenced world.

Instead, people tend to rely heavily upon those with a vested (financial) interest in promotion of something other than actual and factual truth. Those invested interests vary from those selling alternatives to properly pressure preservative treated lumber (various lumber protection products, precast concrete piers, brackets, etc.) to competing building structural systems (PEMBs, weld ups, etc.).

In reality, I know a couple people in either lumber or post frame building industries. Having spent my entire adult life in these tends to add to those I know. I have yet to meet anyone, who can tell me they have actually experienced a properly pressure preservative treated wood building column rot.

Zero.

Of course there are always those who have stories such as, “My Uncle’s cousin says he knows of somebody, who knew somebody who had all of their pole barn poles rot off”. Could be – and those poles were most probably inadequately treated (or maybe not at all).

In order to put this matter to rest and ease my already untroubled mind, I utilized Google to do some research.

Well, it turns out four fine people named Stan Lebow, Bessie Woodward, Grant Kirker and Patricia Lebow got their collective thinking caps together and authored an article entitled “Long-Term Durability of Pressure-Treated Wood in a Severe Test Site”. Said article was published in Advances in Civil Engineering Materials, Vol. 2 No. 1, 2013 on pages 178-188 (for those of you who want to read it in its full and unabridged glory: https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/pdf2013/fpl_2013_lebow001.pdf).

Our team of authors was motivated, as stated in this article’s introduction, by this:
“Pressure-treated wood has been widely used as a durable construction material in the United States for over a century. However, despite its long history of use, there are relatively few reports on the long-term decay and insect resistance of pressure-treated wood”.

Now, as it so happens, USDAFS (U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service) has a test site located near Saucier, Mississippi.

You ever been to Saucier, Mississippi?

This plot has a relatively high annual rainfall (67 inches average) and warm temperatures (average high temperatures are 80 degrees F. or more from May until November) creating a harsh decay environment. Eastern subterranean termites are active at this site. Bugs, heat, water – you have it all! This location is within American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) Deterioration Zone 5, Severe Hazard – there is no greater severe hazard classification.

As a control, some untreated posts were placed and all failed in less than three years!

Current Building Code standard for pressure-preservative treated lumber for structural use is UC-4B (read one of my better articles of all time regarding pressure-preservative treating here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/10/pressure-treated-posts-2/). UC-4B requires a chemical retention for many water borne treatments such as ACZA, CCA-B and CCA-C of 0.60 lb/ft^3 (pounds of chemical per cubic foot of lumber). With retention levels LESS than this current UC-4B requirement, there have been ZERO failures in these chemically treated woods in tests of well over 60 years!

When will those properly pressure preservative treated timbers rot?

Impossible – no, however probably not within your grandchildren’s grandchildren’s lifespans.

And there you have it, research and all.

What Is Keeping Posts Above Ground Worth?

What is Something Worth?

I can be overly anal. Sometimes I have to really work hard to get around it – I purposefully have conundrums on my desk and for some perverse reason I feel comfortable in them. 

I inherited my maternal grandmother’s counting gene. Even into her nineties, if I called her up and asked what she had been doing, she could tell me she picked 384 strawberries. Passing trains are my worst – if I see it right in front of me I have to work to not count cars.

Back on track – traditionally post frame buildings have been pressure preservative treated columns, embedded in augured holes.  Pretty low tech – as most people have available technology to dig a hole.

I will share a recent Facebook exchange, regarding a drawing posted by a potential barndominium owner:

MK:  “Looks great if its stick built on a poured stem wall.”

Me: “Looks like it would be a challenge to stick build. Those poured stem walls also add significantly to costs.”

Here is an article I had authored on foundation costs: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2011/10/buildings-why-not-stick-frame-construction/

MK: “I imagine $20k extra. But you more than doubled the lifespan of a “AG building” with a wood foundation, which average is 60 years depending on soil. Usually less.”

Me: “Your $20k is probably pretty close. Properly pressure preservative treated columns will last far longer than any of us will be around to witness. https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/12/will-poles-rot-off/

MK: “I’ve personally seen rotted pressure treated wood. For AG buildings, use perma columns. You won’t catch me building my dream home on a wood foundation. That would fall under the same term as “throw away society”, and what about our children who inherit a house that’s rotting? I understand these shomes are driven by demand, but please inform people about the differences between a AG building and a house.”

Me: “I have seen it also and every single case I have seen documented the pressure treating was unrealistically low what its intended use should have been.

The treating standards in the past were much more lax than today. 30 years ago you could treat wood to “.60 or REFUSAL” with CCA. Lots of really not treatable wood was ‘treated’ – I personally know people who did it. A past employer of mine used to send 6×6 DouglasFir to be CCA treated. DougFir will not take a waterborne treatment except with heat and different chemicals.

 

Hansen Buildings only uses properly treated lumber to UC4B. UC4A doesn’t cut it. After over 30 years and 20,000 buildings I have yet to see a member treated to UC4B rot.

I could live in any type of building anywhere in the world I choose. Even though our weather can be brutal, rural Northeast South Dakota has its own charm. We live in a million dollar post frame building by choice and we love it. How much do I believe in our product? Good enough to live in it every day.

If you become a reader of my blog articles, you will find me referring people to Professional Engineers and promoting the use of plans from a Registered Design Professional. A great post frame engineer will design a stronger building, with few(er) materials. It actually costs less to do the job right.

Permacolumns are expensive and difficult to handle – in my humble opinion. It is more economical to pour a pier with a wet set bracket and far easier. If the bottom of the column is an inch above the top of the slab, the columns do not have to be pressure preservative treated even.”

For information on Permacolumns: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2018/04/perma-column-price-advantage/

All of this got me thinking and thinking hard. For four decades I have been standing upon a soap box extolling longevity of properly pressure treated wood embedded in ground. Perhaps I have been making this issue more difficult than it had to be.

In this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVwUl4cm8fQ Kyle from Rural Renovators demonstrates how to pour piers and place wet set brackets: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2019/05/sturdi-wall-plus-concrete-brackets/.

I conducted an informal and not overly scientific poll on Facebook:

“Traditionally post frame (pole barn) buildings have been designed with pressure preservative treated columns embedded in holes. Research proves properly pressure preservative treated columns, in ground, should last a lifetime without decay. There are at least two very popular post frame building companies who use only columns above ground, in brackets. We are investigating if there are enough perceived benefits to justify an added investment.

Along with this we would consider going to all high strength glu-laminated columns. These would be stronger than any other regularly utilized post frame columns in the industry. They are also very straight and lighter weight.

Per column, what range do you think is reasonable?”

Out of 22 respondents, exactly 50% felt an added investment of over $100 per column would be reasonable.

The good news is – we can make this happen for about half of this!

Post Frame Construction On Clay Soils

Many years ago, when I first went to work at Lucas Plywood and Lumber in Salem, Oregon I was given a quick tour of some areas where new construction was prevalent. Having moved from sandy/gravel soils of Eastern Washington, I was totally unprepared for bright red clay soils in this Willamette Valley region. When wet walking across these soils would add huge and heavy red clay mud balls to work boots.

Post frame (pole) building construction, or indeed any type of building, can become problematic when dealing with clay soil.

Reader JEFF in GAMBIER writes:

“I have a high water table, a 24 in diameter 5 foot deep augured post hole in clay soil will fill up in 3-4 days with water. Will a CCA treated 0.60 retention 3 ply glu-laminated post survive in these conditions or is this a good place for the concrete “perma-columns”.”

Mike the Pole Barn Guru says: Let’s take a step back – to site preparation:

At a minimum, site preparation includes:
· Remove all sod and vegetation.
· For ideal site preparation, remove topsoil and stockpile for later use in finish grading. In frost prone areas, remove any clays or silty soil
from within future building “footprint”.
· Replace subsoil removed from around building with granulated fill to help drain subsurface water from building.
· Distribute all fill, large debris free (no pit run), uniformly around site in layers no deeper than six inches.
· Compact each layer to a minimum 95% of a Modified Proctor Density before next layer is added. Usually, adequate compaction takes more than driving over the fill with a dump truck, or
earth moving equipment.

Why would clay be an issue to build upon? Clay expands and contracts depending upon amount of moisture present. When wet – clay expands, when dry it shrinks. These movements will cause buildings to move as well – not a good thing.

You might also add a french drain beyond the building perimeter, in order to direct water away from your site. Make sure to slope the ground away from your new building, no less than a 5% slope. Downspouts should discharge water at least five feet away from building.

Whether your site is adequately prepared or not, properly pressure preservative treated columns should provide more than a lifetime of use. Your real question to be answered is if you want your building to be stable and straight, or if you are willing to accept it moving up and down, in and out (and perhaps randomly) with time.

Starting from the Ground Up- UC-4B Treated Columns

Starting From the Ground Up- UC-4B Treated Columns

Decades ago, when I began training a sales staff for Momb Steel Buildings (my 1990’s post frame construction company) I developed an outline we called, “From the Ground Up”. Just as implied by its name, this training went through features and benefits of a typical post frame building, starting with ground line and working upwards.

In this and subsequent articles, features and benefits will be described relevant to a typical Hansen Pole Building kit package with double trusses placed upon widely (most commonly every 12 feet) spaced columns.

FEATURE: Structural building columns pressure preservative treated for in-ground use.

BENEFIT: Pressure preservative treated to a UC-4B rating, these columns are warranted against decay for as long as you are building owner!

WARRANTY INFORMATION HERE: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/pole-building-warranty/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/images/warrantylarge.gif

EXTENDED READING ABOUT THIS SUBJECT: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2017/12/will-poles-rot-off/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2012/10/pressure-treated-posts-2/.

WHAT OTHERS DO: Hansen Pole Buildings provides post frame building kit packages in all 50 states, so we know how difficult obtaining properly pressure preservative treated columns can be. Many local lumberyards and even big box lumber dealers inventory pressure treated columns rated for “Ground Contact” rated only to a UC-4A level of chemical retention. They can’t be used structurally in-ground according to Building Codes!

Speaking with these providers and being told ‘everyone’ in their area uses UC-4A rated columns for post frame buildings adds to frustration levels!

WHAT WE DID IN 1980: Lucas Plywood and Lumber was providing ungraded 6×6 columns pressure preservative treated to .60 pcf (pounds per cubic foot) or refusal with CCA. The catch in this was “or refusal” meant there was a lot of CCA untreatable lumber (primarily Douglas Fir) was being sent to treatment plants. Being unable to take a CCA treatment and was, for practical purposes, merely painting lumber green with chemicals!

An excellent article written by Sharon Thatcher editor of Rural Builder magazine about Pressure Treatment Beyond CCA can be viewed here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2016/01/pressure-treatment-beyond-cca/.

 

What is the Correct Overhang Distance?

Welcome to Ask the Pole Barn Guru – where you can ask questions about building topics, with answers posted on Mondays.  With many questions to answer, please be patient to watch for yours to come up on a future Monday segment.  If you want a quick answer, please be sure to answer with a “reply-able” email address.

Email all questions to: PoleBarnGuru@HansenPoleBuildings.com

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: I am still building my pole barn. I have recently finished the roof metal and ridge cap. While looking at the construction manual for installing the soffit and roof trims I noticed a conflict of information.

On page 119 figure 16-4 shows an overhang of 2 1/4” to 2 1/2”

On page 365 figure 55-20 shows an overhang of 1 1/2” to 1 3/4”

Which is the correct overhang distance? AARON IN VIRGINIA

DEAR AARON: Actually BOTH of them are correct, and here is why. On Page 119, the overhang is from the outside edge of the eave girt BEFORE the steel siding is applied (no sidewall eave overhang situation). The steel siding is 3/4″ thick, which leaves 1-1/2″ to 1-3/4″ of overhang past the siding after it is installed. On Page 365, the overhang is beyond a fascia board (buildings with eave overhangs). The net resultant of each is the same and perfect for gutters, if they are installed.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Hi, We purchased a Pole Barn kit from you several years ago.  When installing the roof my husband (the non-builder man) would miss the wood that he was supposed to screw the roofing screw into.  With that said we have screw holes in the roof which are really leaking.   We really need to try to plug the screw holes somehow!

What would you suggest to use to plug the holes in my metal blue roof? SHIRL

DEAR SHIRL: There is a good chance this is easier solved than imagined.

Step #1 Clearly identify where the leaks are – puddles on the floor are a good clue, as are “shiners” (screws which have obviously missed a purlin).

In most cases the “misses” will be several screws along a particular roof purlin where the purlin bowed up towards the ridge or down towards the eave past the pre-drilled holes in the roof steel. If this is the case, one person needs to carefully get up on the roof and utilizing adequate safety precautions, remove the screws from that particular purlin. From the inside, another person needs to push the purlin uphill or downhill far enough so as the screws will now hit it.

In the case of just a random miss – remove the screw, have one person hold a block of wood securely beneath the hole and run the screw back through the hole.

Screws which were not driven in straight or with the EPDM washers adequately compressed can also be a source of leaks, which can be remedied by removing reinstalling the offending screws.

In no case should caulking or other sealants be applied to a screw hole, as they will not afford a permanent fix.

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

DEAR POLE BARN GURU: Howdy,

Noticed a magazine report on treated poles and questioned our treater on their .23 treatment vs. the .60 you mentioned and they said it is equivalent, the only difference is the chemical used. Curious on your take, and if you feel these are ok to go in the ground?

JOEL from MIDLAKES METAL SALES

DEAL JOEL: As best I can tell from the data presented, any of the treatment combinations which meet the UC-4B treating requirements should be totally adequate for structural in ground use (burying them in the ground).

For more reading on MCA pressure preservative treating: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2013/08/mca-micronized-copper-technology/

Here is an article I wrote for Rural Builder magazine on pressure treating, as well: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/05/building-code-3/

Mike the Pole Barn Guru

Wood Rot and Bugs in South Carolina

Hansen Pole Buildings’ Designer Dave Gross sent me this note recently: I have a client questioning steel versus wood. I have gone through the blogs and discussed the pros and cons with client. Her main comeback is wood rot and bugs in South Carolina.

She is a sharp cookie. 30 year business owner. Just built her 4500 SF house and was the GC on it.  She is direct and wants the truth.”

Dave was certainly right in sharing some of my articles with his client. Among these would be why wood decays to begin with: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2011/07/how-untreated-wood-decays/ and what the Code requirements are for pressure preservative treated wood: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/10/pressure-treated-posts-2/

One of the questions I posed of Dave was, did your client happen to build her house out of all pressure preservative treated wood? Of course the answer was “no”.

Wood is an inherently durable material which is resistant to most biological attack provided it remains dry. However prolonged wetting leads to a risk of decay by wood rotting fungi. Various insects also use wood as a food source.

“Dry Rot” is a term most often used to describe a particular kind of dry, cracking, rotting wood. However, dry rot occurs because of a variety of brown rot species, most notably the “true” dry rot fungus known as Serpula lacrymans. It originally got its name from the thought that it did not need water to survive and used a fermentation process to survive. Research has long since been proven untrue, and it is now called, more appropriately, “brown rot“, although the old name hangs on. Dry rot needs much less moisture than other types of wood rotting fungi–a wood moisture content of at least 28-30% — to survive.

Treated Wood StampThe solution to wood rot problems is to prevent it from ever starting – the use of properly pressure preservative treated lumber in critical areas can reduce or altogether eliminate the potential for insect and fungal decay.

And yes, Hansen Buildings uses lumber which is treated to UC4B standards for all structural in ground use.

Read more about this here:

https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/10/pressure-treated-posts-2/

 

 

 

 

 

Pressure Treated Lumber

Preserving Wood Columns Beyond Code Requirements

The Building Codes (IBC – International Building Code and IRC – International Residential Code) specify minimum requirements for pressure treated lumber used to structurally support buildings.

My previous dissertations on pressure treating are available for your reading pleasure here: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/10/pressure-treated-posts-2/ and https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2014/05/building-code-3/

Pressure Treated PostsHansen Pole Buildings Designer Kelly brought to me the question (posed by one of his clients) about the available (and feasibility) of the utilization of greater levels of preservative treatment chemicals for wooden columns embedded in the ground.

Higher levels of pressure preservative treating are available for pressure treated lumber. However they are going to be done by special order at the pressure treating plant. Special orders come with “special” (read – higher, sometimes MUCH higher) pricing, as well as extended periods for delivery of product.

The reality is, if the Code requirements will last the useable lifespan of the building or more, an increase in the treating levels is probably not the best investment of a building owner’s hard earned funds.

If one is skeptical (or even unbelieving) about the ability of properly treated pressure preservative columns to last when embedded in the ground, there are some alternatives.

Plasti-sleeves® https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/04/plasti-sleeves/ or Post Protectors™ can be placed over the in-ground portion of pressure preservative treated columns to isolate the wood from contact with the surrounding soils.

Carrying the argument even further, columns can be removed from ground contact completely! Engineered brackets are available which allow columns to be mounted to foundations, or even concrete piers which are poured into the ground: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/blog/2012/09/concrete-brackets-2/.

Also available, are patented pre-cast concrete short columns with brackets on top, which can be placed into previously augured holes and the wood columns are then attached to the brackets.

The end game is, there is a design solution available to fit every future building owner’s level of comfort and pocket book when it comes to pressure treated lumber.