From Appearance to Durability: Key Differences Between High-Quality and Low-Quality CCA Treated Poles and Timber

Share Post:

CCA poles and timber

The properties of CCA treated poles and timber are highly desirable in construction due to its lightness, low density, high strength-to-weight ratio and durability. These characteristics allow for the creation of lightweight structures to have excellent earthquake resistance, reduced cost of foundations, and ease of transport and erection.

As an experienced building contractor, you probably already know that poles and timber are a renewable and sustainable resource, making it an eco-friendly choice for construction. It is a natural insulator, which can help reduce energy costs by maintaining the temperature within the building.

Timber also has excellent acoustic properties, reducing noise transmission and creating a comfortable environment.

Developing an awareness of poor-quality poles and timber products.

Poor-quality CCA poles and timber products are those that do not meet the required SANS standards for strength, durability, and safety. They may be made from inferior materials, such as weak or rotten wood, juvenile wood or maybe poorly manufactured, with defects and inconsistencies that weaken their structural integrity.

Using poor-quality CCA poles and timber products can have serious consequences for construction projects, both in the short and long term.

How low-quality structural CCA Poles and timber can be recognized.

Identifying low-quality structural timber can be a challenge, but there are some tell-tale signs to look out for. Here are some of the most common signs of low-quality timber:

Timber Knot
  1. Large knots: Timber with large knots in timber can weaken the wood and make it prone to splitting or warping. Large knots can also make it difficult to work with the wood, which can affect the overall quality of your construction project.
  2. Loose knots:  Loose knots can dislodge and fall out which leaves a hole in the timber.  The timber can break off in the area where the hole is, which is a huge risk when constructing a timber building
  3. Cracks: Cracks in CCA structural timber and poles can be a sign of poor-quality wood, as they indicate that the wood is prone to splitting. This can compromise the strength of the wood and make it unsuitable for use in construction projects.
  4. Warping: Warping is a common problem with poor-quality poles and timber, as it indicates that the wood has not been properly dried or treated. If a pole is warped, it may not be able to support the weight it was designed to hold, making it a potential safety hazard.
  5. Colour: CCA-treated Poles and timber that have been properly treated have a light greenish tint to it. However, there are companies out there who dip or paint the poles with a green-like waterbased product which could be confused with the colour of CCA. These poles do not have the same qualities as CCA pressure-treated poles. It is therefore very important to be able to tell the difference.

Choosing the correct CCA poles and timber for construction.

When choosing CCA treated poles and timber products for construction, it is essential to consider the intended use and environmental factors. Our wood products are treated using different hazard classes to make the product suitable for certain applications. This ensures durability.

E.g. We treat our fencing poles with H4 (Hazard class). This makes the poles suitable to be used inground.

The treatment process we use, is a very common method. However there is only one way to do it right and that is by using high pressure. It is the best way to achieve a higher absorption count of the preservatives and a deeper and more uniform penetration.  

Another important factor is the condition of the timber and poles chosen to be treated. Our poles and timber goes through a process of grading and testing before and after treatment. We do this to ensure we supply only the best quality poles and timber products.

Identifying top-quality structural timber.

No timber is created equal, and it is essential to identify top-quality structural timber. This is to ensure that your project is built to last. Here are a few characteristics of top-quality construction timber:

  1. Density is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing structural timber. Timber with a high density is generally stronger, more durable, and less prone to warping or cracking. High-density timber is also less likely to be attacked by insects or rot, making it ideal for construction purposes.
  2. Straightness is another critical factor to consider when choosing structural timber. Straight timber is easier to work with and less likely to cause issues during the construction process. Crooked or twisted timber can be more difficult to work with and may compromise the structural integrity of the building.
  3. Top-quality structural timber should have a few knots, however those that are present should be small and tight. Large, loose knots can compromise the structural integrity of the building and should be avoided.
  4. The grain pattern in timber can also affect its strength and durability. Timber with a straight, consistent grain pattern is generally stronger and more durable than timber with an irregular grain pattern. Additionally, timber with a consistent grain pattern is easier to work with and less prone to splitting or cracking.
  5. Structural timber will generally have a red stamp on it. This means the timber has been SABS approved to be used for construction uses like roof trusses, roof support and beams and for building framework used over windows and doors.

Identifying top quality CCA treated poles.

There are several key factors to consider:

  1. The poles should be straight with the correct diameter. Any deviations from straightness or incorrect diameter could compromise the structural integrity of the pole.
  2. There should only be standard allowable cracks or splits in the wood, and these should not spiral around the pole. Knots should be tight and not protrude, as they can also weaken the pole.
  3. Any wane or bark should be completely removed from the pole, as this can also weaken it. There should also be no mechanical damages caused by handling equipment such as bells or chainsaws.
  4. It’s important to check that the poles have a sufficient amount of sapwood (13mm or more), but not too much, as too high a percentage of sapwood can also weaken the pole. By considering all these factors, you can identify high-quality CCA-treated poles for your needs.
  5. CCA poles will have an Anti-split steel plate. in the middle of the steel plate there will be information stating the following: SABS stamp of approval, treatment hazard class and year of treatment.

Benefits of Using High-Quality CCA poles and timber building products

Using high-quality CCA Poles and timber building products ensures the strength and durability of the structure. It also provides several other benefits, such as:

  1. Reducing maintenance costs: High-quality timber requires less maintenance than low-quality timber. It is less prone to rot and decay, reducing the need for frequent repairs and replacements.
  2. Improving fire resistance: Timber building products can be treated to improve fire resistance. Treated timber can resist fire for several hours, providing additional time for evacuation and firefighting.
  3. Enhancing aesthetic appeal: High-quality timber building products have a natural beauty and warmth that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of the structure. Timber can be finished in a variety of stains and finishes, allowing for customization and creativity in design.
  4. Supporting sustainable construction: Using high-quality timber building products supports sustainable construction practices. By purchasing from reliable suppliers, you support sustainable forest practices.

Choosing the Right Timber Building Products

It is critical that you choose the right supplier for your timber building projects from the start. That way you will know that you always have a consistent supply of quality poles and timber products. You will also never have to worry about running out of timber building material.

At Sabie poles, we firmly believe in supplying only top-quality CCA-treated and untreated poles and timber products. More specifically, we supply Construction and fencing poles, S5-graded construction timber, and timber mouldings. Examples of timber mouldings are pine decking, cladding, flooring, ceiling, architrave, and quarter-rounds.

All of our Poles and Timber products are SABS approved.

Request a Custom Quote for Quality CCA Poles & Timber

Get expert advice with your free quote today

Download Pricelist Now

Request a Quote