How to Seal a Wood Foundation

wood foundation
  • 24-48 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 75-200
What You'll Need
Wood sealant
Wood preservative
What You'll Need
Wood sealant
Wood preservative

Few people realize that wood is a fantastic material for foundations. Although wood may not be thought of as a strong material, it is actually extremely strong. Wood foundations are an alternative to conventional concrete foundations for a building. Wooden foundations are becoming popular because they are quicker and cheaper to construct.

As wood is a natural product, it's important to seal the wood to prevent it from becoming damaged. If the wooden foundation experiences any damage, then the structural integrity of your whole house may be compromised. Planning to use wood foundations can help to speed up construction, but you must not cut corners and fail to seal your wood foundations.

Step 1 - Safety First

The most important thing when doing do-it-yourself project is to take safety seriously. Pressure treated wood is pumped full of some pretty nasty chemicals, which means the dust from this wood contains irritating chemicals and dangerous splinters. Wear gloves whenever you work with pressure treated wood. Wear a mask when cutting the wood and collect as much of the sawdust as possible. Never burn the offcuts of pressure treated timber. It doesn't produce toxic gasses when it burns, but it will leave behind arsenic in the ashes.

Step 2 - Why Protect

Pressure treated wood seems like the perfect building material. It’s rot and pest resistant; however, it is not invincible. The environment takes a toll on pressure treated wood in exactly the same way as an ordinary piece of wood. Using preservatives is essential to protect wood foundations. It's also important to apply the protective material as soon as possible.

Step 3 - Slowing Drying

Pressure treated wood has a high moisture content, meaning it's liable to twist and bend when it dries quickly. Using pressure wood treatment can slow the drying process and minimize the risk that the wood will shrink and bend. When buying wood preservative, ensure that it is suitable for use on pressure treated timber.

Step 4 - Applying Preservative

Pressure treated wood preservative can be applied by painting it onto the wooden foundations. It is a very simple technique which makes caring for pressure treated wood very easy.

Step 5 - Sealant

As long as they are not disturbed, existing wood foundations are not a danger to the environment. Removing them can actually cause more harm than good. The EPA has suggested that applying a penetrating oil finish sealant can reduce the chances of humans coming into contact with the nasty chemicals.

Step 6 - Sealing Gaps

Once the foundation is fully sealed, all that's left to do is to seal any gaps in the wood foundation. The easiest way to do so is to use silicone caulking. Wooden foundations are nothing new, but they are making it faster and cheaper to build properties, which makes them very popular with both professionals and amateurs alike.