3b or not 3b?

Is Timber that has been Imported to the UK Pre Pressure Treated Fit for Purpose?

Sadly the answer to the above question is NO!

Just because timber has been pressure treated and it is green does not mean that it has been treated correctly for many end uses.

Increasingly we have seen large volumes of timber arrive in the UK from the continent pressure treated green as this has proved a much cheaper way for importers to have the timber treated rather than use treatment plants in the UK

Huge volumes of this timber treated on the continent however is only treated to User Class 2.

The consequence is that many end users of this imported treated timber (who in fairness are probably unaware of different user classes for treatment) are purchasing this timber from various builders and timber merchants and using it for an end use totally unsuitable for user class 2 treated timber.

The timber industry is again doing itself a dis-service as the outcome is the timber will fail as it has not been treated correctly and timber will get a bad name.

Detailed below are the three user classes which we need to consider in this area

Anybody selling treated timber for general use out of ground contact, must ensure it it pressure treated to User Class 3b to ensure it is fit for purpose for all possible applications likely to be considered by end users.

By selling pressure treated timber for general use out of ground contact treated only to user class 2 we are doing our customers and our trade a huge dis-service

The User Classes are as follows which details where timber treated to this user class will be suitable for

Use Class 2:
Still only suitable for internal timbers, this level would indicate that the timber might be at a slight risk of wetting.

Use Class 3a:
This is the first level for timber to be used outdoors. It must be coated however and above ground

Use Class 3b:
Uncoated, external timbers that remain above the ground would be treated to this level.

When purchasing timber which has been pressure treated in the UK which you intend to sell to end users

“3b or not 3b?”
That is the Question

You might just be selling something that is not fit for purpose.

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