Thirty-four year test of on-site preservative treatments to control decay in wood above ground
T L Highley, T C Scheffer
This research was initiated in 1958 to investigate efficacy of various preservatives and treating methods for new lumber going into exterior structures of buildings. Post-rail units (2x4 inches) constructed of Southern Pine sapwood, Douglas-fir heartwood, and mill run western hemlock were dip- or brush-treated before or after assembly. Units were trested with pentachlorophenol in various petroleum solvents or with copper napthenate in mineral spirits. Both painted and unpainted units were exposed on a test fence in Madison, WI. Most of the painted untreated pine units (controls) failed by 34 years. Surprisingly, painting completely protected the untreated Douglas-fir units from decay and afforded substantial protection to untreated hemlock. Significant decay in painted units was present only in lightly treated pine units (2-second dip after assembly or brush treated). Copper napthenate (1% copper) was markedly less effective than the penta treatments on unpainted pine and hemlock units. There was no evidence that type of oil carrier or incorporation of a water repellent improved effectiveness of treatment. Three or 15-minute dips in penta were equally effective. Penta-grease applied to unit ends only was effective.
Keywords: FIELD TESTS; STRUCTURAL TIMBER; PERFORMANCE; PRESERVATIVES; TREATMENTS; SERVICE LIFE; BRUSHING; PAINTS; DIPPING; PCP