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Why we don’t use pressure treated timber for our sheds

Why we don’t use pressure treated timber for our sheds

09 January 2024

Most people assume that pressure treated timber is better for sheds than untreated timber but, at Sutton Sheds, we disagree. Here’s why.

Sutton Sheds have been manufacturing wooden pent sheds and apex sheds in Lincolnshire for over 40 years and we are confident that we know and understand timber quite well. We have used pressure treated timber in the past for our sheds but don’t anymore. This surprises many people, but we trust in the quality of our builds which, with ongoing maintenance, can be expected to last for decades.

Pressure treated sheds

Pressure treated sheds are constructed from timber that has been pre-treated with preservatives that are forced into the wood under pressure. These preservatives penetrate throughout the wood and protect it against rot.

The disadvantages of pressure treated sheds

  • The pressure treatment process involves saturating the timber with chemicals which then takes many months to dry out. As the timber dries out, it can result in shrinking, warping and cracking – at Sutton Sheds, we stopped using pressure treated wood when we found this damage which leads to movement and shrinkage, was occurring after construction.
  • Pressure treated timber reacts to UV light, with sunshine causing colour change, cracking and warping. It requires diligent maintenance to avoid this, and the same ongoing care as non-pressure treated wood. Pressure treated wood is more expensive than untreated wood and, at Sutton Sheds, we believe that our customers shouldn’t have to pay more for the timber we use if it is going to need the same aftercare!
  • The preservatives used in the pressure treatment process result in the timber taking on a brown or green hue which is far from ideal for those who want to see the natural beauty and colour of the wood.
  • Previously, timber was treated with a preservative called CCA which has now been banned because of its risk to health. However, it is prudent even with today’s preservatives, not to inhale any sawdust generated from sawing.
  • Pressure treated wood can release harmful chemicals if you burn it that are unsafe to inhale, so avoid burning it in a wood burner or on a stove or barbecue grill.

The alternatives to pressure treatment

The main alternative to pressure treating timber is to dip treat it. As the name suggests, dip treatments involve the wood being completely submerged, or dipped, into a bath of preservative treatment. Unlike pressure treatments where the preservative used will penetrate the wood, dipping will coat every surface with a liquid preservative. While this is a much faster process, it requires a large amount of space and can result in undesirable and unattractive streaking. It will also colour the wood like pressure treatments.

Shed treatments from Sutton Sheds

Treating timber with a preservative goes a long way to increasing its lifespan and ability to withstand insect infestation and rot. At Sutton Sheds, although we do not use pressure treated or dipped timber, we apply a high quality water-based preservative from Protek, an ethical company that produces wood treatments that do not harm the environment or the user. We spray all external surfaces with one coat of the preservative; this provides a water repellant surface and allows the wood grain to be visible. We use a standard golden-brown colour but can offer customers a choice of colours.

Ongoing treatment and maintenance of a Sutton Shed

Our initial single coat application of preservative will last for 12-18 months before further treatment is required. However, customers can treat their buildings, adding more coats of their chosen products at any time.

To discuss any aspect of our wooden pent sheds or our apex sheds, please contact us via email or telephone on 01526 342777.


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