Projects & Inspiration

Benefits of Pressure-Treated Wood Fence

March 16, 2020

Ashley VanderWall

Outdoor Essentials offers fence in a variety of species – some pressure-treated, some not. What is pressure-treated wood anyway? And what are the benefits? Should you use pressure-treated wood to build your fence? We’ll provide you with the answers in this blog.

What is pressure-treated wood?

Pressure-treated wood is lumber that has undergone a process to drive preservatives deep into the wood fibers to achieve some level of protection against termite attack, fungal decay, and other environmental factors. The preservatives and process may vary depending on the company that treats the wood. The amount of preservative may vary too, depending on the end-use application of the wood being treated.

Micronized Copper Azole

Outdoor Essentials pressure-treated wood fence is made with ProWood® lumber or UFP-Treated lumber, which uses a preservative called Micronized Copper Azole (MCA). This preservative is clean, odorless, and non-irritating. It has been thoroughly researched and is safe for contact with humans, animals and the environment. Refer to our safe handling instructions for details.

End-Use Application

Lumber is treated to different standards based on the intended end-use application - Above Ground, General Use Ground Contact, Structural Use Ground Contact. You'll want to choose the correct standard for your application. If you’re burying posts in the ground, be sure to purchase ground contact lumber.

Why does pressure-treated wood feel wet?

Often, pressure-treated wood will still be wet (and feel heavy) when you buy it. This is because water is used during the treatment process, and the wood swells in the same way a sponge swells when it gets wet. The wood will naturally dry out, but that will typically happen after the wood is purchased or even after your fence is built. When the wood dries out, expect it to shrink a little. If your are going to paint, stain, or seal your fence, wait until the wood is completely dried out.

What are the benefits of pressure-treated wood?

The preservatives in pressure-treated wood provide protection against biological and environmental elements including termites and fungal decay. If not protected, these elements could cause your fence to fail. Pressure-treated wood offers a lot of benefits compared to non-treated wood:

  • Protection against termite attack and fungal decay
  • Longer life
  • Weathers more gracefully
  • Made with strong pine species
  • Easily stainable or sealable

How long does a pressure-treated wood fence last?

The life expectancy of pressure-treated wood varies based on the preservative and treatment level. Look at the pressure-treated wood’s warranty to determine how long you can expect it to last. If you’re shopping online, you can find the warranty on most web pages. If you’re in-store or have recently purchased a fence, you can find the warranty information on the end tag.

Outdoor Essentials wood fence that is treated with ProWood will last a lifetime and is backed by a lifetime limited warranty. Our UFP-treated wood fence is guaranteed for one year.

Whatever the treatment, you can prolong the life of your pressure-treated wood fence by taking good care of it. This includes cleaning and staining or sealing it every couple of years. You’ll also want to keep the bottom of the fence clear from the build-up of debris and ensure you have at least two inches of space from the ground to the bottom of the pickets.

Are cedar fence boards pressure treated?

Cedar fence components are not pressure treated. This is because Cedar contains oils that make it naturally resistant to decay and rot.

Is color-treated wood different than pressure-treated wood?

Color-treated wood is pressure-treated wood infused with color. Pigment is driven deep into the wood fibers during treatment, giving your fence a natural tint without the look of staining. Many of our Outdoor Essentials color-treated fence products are made with ProWood DuraColor lumber. In addition to the lifetime limited warranty against decay and rot, it features a 2-year color-assurance warranty.

How do I maintain a pressure-treated fence?

After the initial installation, we recommend applying a waterproofing sealer or stain to your fence. After that, reapply every 1-2 years. Check out this blog for a complete wood fence maintenance guide.


Looking to build a wood fence? Check out our selection of wood fence products here.