CCA & ACQ Timber Treatments
Designed for lasting application, our timber is treated meticulously to ensure that we provide our customers with only the highest quality products available.
Of the different timber treatments in Australia, we mostly use two different timber treatment methods, known respectively as CCA by LifeWood, and ACQ by NatureWood. For the sake of clarity, and to allow you a better understanding of what goes into your timber, we have detailed some technical information and the advantages and disadvantages of both forms of timber treatment.
What is Timber Treatment?
Treating timber involves impregnating it with a preservative to extend its life span.
How Much Does Timber Treatment Cost?
The cost of timber treatment varies based on which treatment solution you select and on which item. For example, you may decide ACQ is the best treatment for timber decking, and that will cost you more than CCA.
Lifewood CCA Preservative
(Chromated Copper Arsenate) – CCA Timber Treatment
Designed to act as a fungicide and termiticide, CCA is the most common type of treatment utilised in timber. It is applied to wood via pressure treatment and is one of the most effective preservatives available for protecting timber against termites and fungal decay.
Besides being a robust method of timber treatment, CCA is also widely available, more cost-effective than ACQ, and has proven to be durable in outdoor conditions, lasting for as long as a few decades. Despite proving to be a long-lasting treatment, research and use over time have led to some concern over the safety of the chemicals used in CCA, namely the inorganic arsenic penetrating the wood. Intimate contact with arsenic can be hazardous and, therefore, in Australia, has been restricted by the APVMA for use in applications where close human contact is a risk.
Due to this, the most common applications for CCA include: timber sleepers used in retaining walls, fence lattices, verandah posts, farm fencing, weatherboards, building timber, and marine use.
In Australia, the APVMA has deemed CCA not suitable for use in garden furniture, picnic tables, exterior seating, children’s play equipment, patio and domestic decking, and handrails. They have also deemed natural ACQ to be an approved alternative.
NatureWood ACQ Preservative
(Alkaline Copper Quarternery) – ACQ Timber Treatment
ACQ is a waterborne form of timber treatment that was developed as a safer alternative to the widely used CCA preservative. Also designed to be used as an insecticide and fungicide, ACQ is formed when the compounds copper and quarternary are combined, effectively protecting timber against decay fungi, borers, and termites.
Extremely similar to CCA in effectiveness, ACQ is advantageous in that it does not contain any arsenic, thereby greatly reducing its toxicity and risk of being a hazardous preservative.
As CCA is banned from use in Australia in most close contact applications, and ACQ is the recommended alternative; you will find ACQ commonly used in garden furniture, picnic tables, exterior seating, children’s play equipment, patio and domestic decking, and handrails.
There are really no disadvantages to ACQ, other than it’s higher timber treatment cost and it’s somewhat more limited availability. It is not yet as readily available as CCA in all timber sizes.
If you require more information on CCA or ACQ, or how we treat our timber products, please contact us directly.