Causes and control of wood decay, degradation & stain
Our society depends on wood for a variety of uses. As population increases, so does our need for wood. Steel, concrete and aluminum are some alternatives to treated wood in certain applications, but they have higher material costs, higher energy requirements in the production process, greater air and water pollution or environmental protection costs, and greater dependency on foreign sources for materials. Substitute materials may not be appropriate for some uses. For example, some types of steel may corrode; concrete may deteriorate in salt water; and plastic may not have the necessary strength, durability and structural integrity. Wood is a renewable natural resource that, if properly treated, maintained and placed in service, will last indefinitely. It is critical for us to use our wood resource efficiently. This publication is intended to increase your knowledge of the causes and control of wood decay, degradation and stain. A common cause for replacing wood structures is decay or degradation. Wood decay and most insect problems can be prevented for years by properly using and protecting wood. The heartwood of some species, such as black locust and Osage orange, also has a unique chemical composition that makes it very durable.