Disposing of Pressure Treated Wood – Should You Burn It?

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We tend to burn wood in freezing weather to keep ourselves warm. Suppose you go to a shop, but you see that the shopper has run out of firewoods. At this moment, you may think of the woods that you have collected from breaking a deck. But did you ever wonder if you can burn them?

Furniture’s out structures are mostly made of woods that are pressure treated. Pressure-treated woods usually come with few chemicals, and those preservatives are not good. Here in this article, we will discuss why you should not burn treated woods. 

Can You use a Pressure Treated Wood?

Pressure treated woods are like normal wood that goes through a preservation process where pressurized chemicals are used. Pressure woods are usually used as outdoor structure’s construction materials for furniture, decks, flower beds, and more. You can use them for work where they don’t need to be burned. 

How to Detect Pressure treated wood?

There are a few ways that can detect the wood, whether they are pressure treated or not. Below three methods are effective ways for detecting a pressure treated wood:

Get a Fact Sheet

If the wood you have selected does not have any tag, then you should ask the seller for a fact sheet. The fact sheet includes what kind of chemicals has been used in the woods. If you see the wood has Copper and Tebuconazole, those woods are surely pressure-treated wood.

Smell the Wood

Smelling woods is also a good way to detect. Woods will smell oily and have no natural smell of woods when they are treated. The smell of treated wood is really different, that you will know it even if you never smelled it before. 

Telling by Eye

This method is a bit trickier than other methods, but you surely can give it a try. Woods are being eaten by insects and fungus while getting age; thus, the woods turn into gray color. So you can try to cut the middle part of the woods to check if it’s white or gray. If the wood is white or gray inside, no treatment has been applied to it.

Can You Burn Pressure Treated Wood
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Can You Burn Pressure Treated Wood?

It is advisable not to burn pressure treated woods. Treated woods contain harmful chemicals to make them last longer. So when you burn them, those chemicals come out as smoke which is dangerous to inhale. You can dispose of those treated woods instead of burning them and creating air pollution.

How to Dispose of Pressure Treated Wood Instead of Burning?

You have learned why you should dispose of treated woods instead of burning them. Here are steps on how you can dispose of treated wood in the right way:

Step One

You can sell those treated wood as a way of disposing of them. Still, you may remain with few pieces of wood if you overestimated them. You can put them in advertisements for sale. That’s how you can dispose of pressure treated wood. 

Step Two

You can put pressure treated woods in a give-away mode if you fail to get buyers. Gather your extra pieces of wood in the yard with a FREE sign. Few people in your neighborhood would like to take them when they don’t need to pay. You can also sell apps to dispose of them. 

Step Three

Treated woods can be recycled in many ways, such as use for building a separate structure. You can also call the environment authorities to find a landfill where you can dispose of treated woods. Or else call your area’s local waste collecting service. They will come and collect them; then, they will dispose of them by using different ways.

Read More: Best Deck Sealers for Pressure Treated Wood in 2021

Safety Precautions

Pressure treated woods come with toxic chemicals that can’t come in human contact, so you must avoid them. There are few things that you need to consider as safety precautions before dealing with them. Those precautions are:

  • Don’t forget to use gloves while working with them, and wash your hands immediately once you are done with your work.
  • Always cut the treated woods outside your home or in any open place.
  • While cutting your treated woods, wear goggles and a dust mask.
  • Never burn treated wood.
  • Before staining or painting, let the pressure-treated wood dry completely. 
  • Before you drive in, a scream, drill, or make a pilot hole in the wood. It will reduce the splitting of the wood, and also, it is very important when fastening near the end of a wood.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What if it’s new?

Burning pressure treated wood inside the home or in your yard releases toxic chemicals into the air. Whether those woods are new pressure treated woods or old, you should not burn them as it puts your health and nature in danger.

What kind of chemicals pressure treated woods use?

Pressure treated woods go through a preservation process where chemicals are used to make them last longer. In the process of treating-woods, woods are stored in a sealed tank where the air is extracted. This process creates a vacuum, then chemicals like chromium, copper, and arsenic are added to it. The chemicals can go inside the woods nicely due to the vacuum.

Can you get sick from burning treated wood?

Pressure treated woods carry toxic preservatives for docks, seawalls, and pilings. And they are not good for the human’s biological system as well as for nature. When you burn treated woods, the smoke of burning exposes toxic chemicals in the air. So there is a possibility of getting sick from burning treated wood. 


Now you know that the pressure treated woods should not be burned as they contain harmful content. You may fall sick if you inhale the smoke of burning treated woods. Besides the health issue, treated woods are also not suitable for nature.

In case you need to work with pressure treated woods, please do follow the above safety precaution to avoid health issues. Also, you can dispose of them by selling or offering those woods for free. 

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