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When choosing materials for deck construction, it is imperative to understand the difference between Above Ground pressure treated wood versus Ground Contact pressure treated wood. The American Wood Protection Association updated their standards in 2016 to state that some physically above the ground locations require Ground Contact treatment.

One of the requirements states: “Materials used above ground but are difficult to maintain, repair or replace and are critical to the performance and safety of the entire system” should be treated to ground contact retentions. Deck joists and beams ARE difficult to repair or replace and are absolutely critical to the safety of the structure. For this reason, joists and beams should always be treated to Ground Contact retention, regardless of warranties offered that state otherwise. In order to be building code compliant, AWPA standards must be followed, regardless of the material warranty offered.

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