With warmer weather on the way for much of the U.S., the time-honored tradition of “spring cleaning” will soon be upon us. This means we’ll have an opportunity to get outdoors once again and assess the damage done by winter. When it comes to outdoor structures such as patios, porches, treehouses and other wooden structures, rot is almost guaranteed. This is an unfortunate fact since so much of the lumber that’s purchased to build outdoor structures – not to mention the frames of our homes – is treated with preservative chemicals to extend their lifespans and give them a fighting chance against deterioration.
First, a word on why we’re taking special precautions on safe disposal during our spring cleaning processes. Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is a heavy metal that will eventually leave the wood rotting in a landfill and seep into the ground. This is unfortunate and can be minimized by knowing what to do with leftover lumber. According to construction goods store Home Depot, “deck wood” and other hazardous construction materials can be taken to municipal disposal sites to be properly dealt with. This is similar to what we do with motor oil or paint so folks don’t turn to dumping gallons upon gallons of waste down the drain. Another option for those doing construction renovations of decks or tree forts damaged by winter is to call a trash-hauling company that will take away the lumber for a fee. Other wood-waste dealers could be consulted, and recycling or reuse is also a possibility.
Meet the Author
Dr. Todd Shupe is the President of Wood Science Consulting, LLC. He is a well-recognized expert on wood forensics, wood preservation, wood decay and degradation, and wood species identification. He has a broad background in new product development, quality management, and marketing and sales in both the public and private sectors. For more information please visit DrToddShupe.com.
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