All timbers are not equal
Which timber to use on your building project is always a very important decision with the correct advice making this important decision can be so easy to.
Mr Verandah will only use stress-graded structural timbers with the correct durability.
All exposed timbers should be either treated or cypress to provide the longest possible life span. Both treated timbers and natural cypress pine offer the best possible protection against weathering and insect infestation.
Facts about outdoor timber structures
The choice of suitable timber for external use can save thousands of dollars in repair or rebuilding costs. Building with inappropriate timbers (low durability which can lead to failure) in outdoor situations, can lead to structural failure in as little as 10-15 years, even if painted with exterior timber finishes. (Durability means resistance to rotting, termite or other insect attacks).
Copper Chromium Arsenate (CCA) Preservative treated pine has been proven to be one of the most reliable and long-lasting building materials available today. Preservative treatment dramatically improves the durability of radiata pine (sapwood), provided that good quality timber (sapwood) is used, and correct treatment is carried out.
Types of preservative treatments available for pine
Although there is a number of preservatives registered for use in Australia, the most common and effective are:
CCA TREATED PINE (COPPER CHROMIUM ARSENATE) uses a water-borne preservative that is pressure impregnated into the timber and then allowed to dry – it is suitable for in-ground use (or “ground contact’) provided the correct treatment level (Hazard level) has been ensured at the production plant.
LOSP TREATED PINE (LIGHT ORGANIC SOLVENT PRESERVATIVE) uses a preservative mixed with a solvent or spirit base, that is vacuum pressure impregnated into the timber – only suitable for above-ground use and gives effective protection for house frames, joinery, and other similar applications.
How durable is timber
A long-term research project by CSIRO has proven CCA -Treated Radiata Pine to have superior durability to Australia’s most durable hardwoods and Treated Pine will outperform well-known and highly regarded imported timbers such as Western Red Cedar and Californian Redwood. CCA-Treated Pine has been in continuous use by engineers and builders for nearly 40 years in Australia, and outdoor structures built in CCA-treated pine are assured of far longer life spans than those built-in low-durability timbers (e.g.: hardwoods such as unseasoned or green hardwood).
How safe is CCA-treated pine?
Scientists at Australia’s leading research organisation – CSIRO, agree that CCA-treated pine is safe, and is a magnificent building product that will outperform most of Australia’s durable and highly regarded hardwoods.
Treated pine offcuts should not be burnt. Mr Verandah will remove all leftover timbers and dispose of them correctly and safely.
Mr Verandah builders always carry out safe working practices
Preservative Treated Pine, as with any other timber or building material is safe to use.
Common sense rules are always followed by Mr Verandah’s staff members including:
- Use sizes of timber and strength grades in careful compliance with the Building Code of Australia and the Timber Code
- Apply for a building permit at all times unless your council does not require it
- Use correct spans for timber sizes, and noggings to prevent beam movement and possible twisting
- Dispose of all leftovers correctly and leave the site clean and safe
Oregon and other reliable outdoor structural timbers have been successfully used in well-planned construction for centuries. Over the past 30 or 40 years, with the trend to build outdoor structures such as verandahs and decks, it was common and COMMON practice for other builders to use low-durability timbers such as Oregon and some unseasoned local hardwoods, in weather-exposed outdoor structures.
While these timbers are generally excellent construction materials, they are low-durability timbers and have in recent years become recognised by leading scientists and engineers as far less suitable for exterior structures where continued exposure to rain or moisture will lead to decay and likely structural failure, (particularly if stain or paint is not kept in first-rate condition). Mr Verandah will always use the correct durable timbers.
Cypress Pine is ideal to use and is highly recommended by Mr Verandah
Most importantly, Cypress has no chemicals added to protect it against insect attacks (termites) and fungal attacks (rot). Because it is naturally resistant, working with Cypress has none of the hazards of alternative products (no need to wear masks & goggles to protect from illness-inducing chemicals).
Cutting, sanding and working with our posts is, therefore, easier and quicker. No need for regular termite inspections or chemical treatment, making Cypress environmentally safe and ideal for outdoor use, especially for posts supporting the verandah or carport.
Beautiful cypress pine posts are ideal to stain or paint
Rich honey tones streaked with darker shades, scattered knots and wonderful grain add to create a beautiful, versatile, environmentally safe building timber for all applications.
Cypress has the best features of softwoods and hardwoods, Plus some unique qualities belonging only to this timber. These include, not only being naturally resistant to rot & termites, but also achieving the top durability rating given to an Australian building timber. Cypress not only has an attractive appearance, but also very low, uniform shrinkage, and the highest joint strength of pinewood.
Mr Verandah has found that Cypress posts are ideal for all outdoor structures with only one negative feature. Surface cracking often occurs in hot weather, but this is not a structural issue, and the cracks can be filled and painted. Mr verandah recommends cypress as a very good natural choice in posts.
Dependable and reliable
CSIRO studies continue to show the long-term reliability of CCA-treated pine and Cypress timbers. However, all outdoor timber structures should be protected by correct staining or painting procedures on a regular basis, to prevent timber movement, splitting, cracking, and fading over time. This is a maintenance issue and the responsibility of the homeowner.
There are many very durable Australian hardwoods that can be used safely in exterior structures, but due to their high costs and alternative uses in high-quality export grade furniture, many of
these hardwoods are almost unprocurable for the homeowner.
Timber frame verandahs and carports using the correct durable timber such as treated, and cypress pine will last for many years.
Mr Verandah will ensure that your timber frame structure is built for life.