An Analysis of the Physical Properties of Recovered CCA-Treated Wood from Residential Decks


  • David S. Bailey
  • Robert L. Smith
  • Philip A. Araman


CCA, MOE, MOR, chemical retention, residential decks, recovery, reuse


A large volume of CCA-treated wood removed from residential decks is disposed of in landfills every year, and better environmentally conscious alternatives are needed. Recycling CCA-treated wood from the decks could be a feasible alternative, but there is a lack of knowledge regarding the physical properties of the material. This research analyzed the chemical and mechanical properties of spent CCA-treated wood from residential decks to evaluate the material for reuse in other applications. Several of the joists and the decking of removed decks were found to be below the originally stated retention level. The joists had higher retention levels, and length of service was not a factor in level of chemical retention in the decking or joists. The spent decking had similar stiffness properties, but the bending strength was lower than recently treated material. As with the chemical properties, the mechanical properties were not affected by the amount of time the deck was in service. Overall, it was found that the preservative retention properties were lower than expected, the stiffness was equal to, and the strength was lower than, recently CCA-treated wood. This does not indicate that the material is unusable, but aids in determining suitable applications where recycled CCA-treated wood can be used.


Alderman, D. R. 2001. An investigation into attitudes towards recycling CCA-treated lumber. Ph.D, dissertation. Department of Wood Science and Forest Products, Virginia Tech. Blacksburg, VA.nAmerican Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). 2000a. Annual Book of Standards. Vol. 04.10, D 198-99, Standard test methods of static tests of lumber in structural sizes. ASTM, West Conshohock, PA.nAmerican Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). 2000b. Annual Book of Standards, Vol. 04.10, D 4442-92. Standard test methods for direct moisture content measurement of wood and wood-base material. ASTM, West Conshohock, PA.nAmerican Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). 2000c. Annual Book of Standards, Vol.04.10, D 199-00. Moisture adjustment procedure for development of characteristic values for mechanical properties of lumber. ASTM. West Conshohock, PA.nAmerican Wood Preservers Assoc. (AWPA). 1984. The AWPA Book of Standards. Woodstock, MD.nBodig, J., and B. Jayne. 1982. Mechanics of wood and wood composites. Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York, NY.nFalk, R., D. Green, and S. Lantz. 1999. Evaluation of lumber recycled from an industrial military building. Forest Prod. J.49(5):49-55.nFinch, C., and F. Dainelle. 1993. Arsenic leaching from lumber with chromated copper arsenate. American Nurseyman4(15):105-106.nGinsberg, G., and D. Stilwell. 2001. Arsenic exposure issues from children's contact with pressure-treated wood. Presentation at Office of Pesticide Programs' Preliminary Evaluation of the Nondietary Hazard and Exposure to Children from Contact with CCA-Treated Wood Playground Structures and CCA Contaminated Soil. FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Open Meeting. February 24. Arlington, VA.nHauserman, J. 2001. The poison in your backyard. St. Petersburg Times St. Petersburg, FL. March 11.nKluger, J. 2001. Toxic playgrounds. Time 7(16):28-29nMcQueen, J., and D J. Stevens. 1998. Disposal of CCA-treated lumber. Forest Prod. J.48(11/12):86-90.nOtt, L., and M. Longnecker. 2001. An introduction to statistical methods and data analysis. 5th ed. Duxbury, Pacific Grove, CA.nPianin, E. 2002. Arsenic lingers in treated wood: Group's study disputes government's view of exposure risk. Washington Post, August 29, Washington, DC.nShook, S. R., and I. L. Eastin. 2001. A characterization of the U.S. residential deck material market. Forest Prod. J.51(4):28-36.nSouthern Forest Products Assoc. 1999. Pressure-Treated Southern Pine: Standards, Specifications, and Applications. Southern Forest Products Association No.300/20M/8-99. Kenner, LA.nSPIB. 1986. Special Product Rules for Radius Edge Decking. Effective June 1, 1986. Southern Pine Inspection Bureau, Pensacola, FL.nSPIB. 2002. Personal Correspondence. Southern Pine Inspection Bureau, Pensacola, FL.nSPSS. 2001. SPSS for Windows release number 11.0. SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL.nTownsend, T., and H. Solo-Gabriele. 2002. Project Summary Sheet: Environmental Impacts of CCA-Treated Wood.'>http://www.ccaresearh.orgnTruini, J. 1996. Deck data. Home Mechanix92(805): 12.nWinandy, J. E. 1995. Effects of waterborne preservative treatment on mechanical properties: A review. Proc. American Wood Preservers' Association.91:17-32.nWinandy, J. E., R. S. Boone, and B. A. Bendtsen. 1985. The Interaction of CCA Preservative Treatment and Redrying: Effects on the Mechanical Properties of Southern Pine. Forest Prod. J.35(10):62-68.n






Research Contributions