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  1. #1
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    Default Pressure treated wood in attic

    While performing an inspection on a home built in 2004, I noticed that several 2 x 4s were pressure treated wood. I was wondering if it was allowed to be used in an attic.
    It was my understanding that it was only to be used outside or for a sill plate.
    Anyone know?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Pressure treated wood in attic

    I know of no prohibition. Since it costs more, you won't normally see it in use. I can't think of any reason not to use it, can you?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Pressure treated wood in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    I know of no prohibition. Since it costs more, you won't normally see it in use. I can't think of any reason not to use it, can you?

    With the fallout from the FEMA trailers, that would be one reason. The other is after reading about the chemicals used, I don't know if I would want them in my attic.

    Until 2003, the preservative most commonly used in residential pressure-treated lumber was chromated copper arsenate (CCA), an extremely toxic chemical. Remember "Arsenic and Old Lace"? How about that old box of rat poison you have lurking in the garage? CCA is so toxic that the Environmental Protection Agency, over 20 years ago, imposed strict guidelines regarding the manufacturing practices of companies using CCA.

    However, one must distinguish between the toxicity of the chemical and the toxicity of the wood product in everyday use. Extensive studies were done since the mid 1980's concerning the potential dangers of pressure-treated wood. And rightfully so! Large volumes of CCA were being used, and the treated wood products were beginning to be widely distributed, justifying the need for some hard research.

    The research was mixed, but the typical hysteria ensued as attorneys and plaintiffs lined up to claim damages from exposure to CCA. In the end, the industry agreed to voluntarily eliminate use of CCA for residential use. Your local home store or lumberyard is now selling lumber treated with (hopefully) less toxic alternatives... amine copper quat (ACQ) and copper azone (CA)... though you may find other chemical combinations in specific areas. CCA is still being used in certain marine and industrial applications since it is still the best preservative available at the present time.

    Whether these new chemicals will turn out to be less hazardous in the long term is anyone's guess.

    Eric Van De Ven Magnum Inspections Inc. (772) 214-9929
    www.magnuminspections.com
    I still get paid to be suspicious when I got nothing to be suspicious about!

  4. #4
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Pressure treated wood in attic

    Go over to Hawaii everything is pressure treated. The termites over there are so bad they can eat up a home in 5 years.

    Best

    Ron


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