Recent changes to the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) standards have led to the misconception that all deck framing, including joist and beams, must be treated to Ground Contact retentions; this simply isn’t true. The AWPA standards do not require all joists and beams to be treated to Ground Contact (UC4A) retentions, and Above Ground treated wood (UC3B) remains IBC and IRC code compliant for common deck framing applications.
Some companies would have you believe that there is a need to switch to all Ground Contact lumber, and have recently adjusted their warranties to limit or exclude the use of products treated for Above Ground applications. Viance will stand behind its preservative treatments by continuing to provide a Lifetime Limited Warranty on Above Ground treated wood products.
Our new warranty enhancements include slight variations of the following statement:
Viance warranty coverage includes Above Ground treated wood framing members that are critical to the safety and performance of the structure, including joists and beams.
The additional language on our warranty demonstrates the confidence that Viance has in the AWPA, and its standards setting process for treated wood. The recent modifications to the standards language has created confusion in the marketplace with builders, retailers and code officials. Our warranty coverage and warranty exclusions generally have not changed for some time and we strongly believe that wood treated to the AWPA’s Above Ground (UC3B) standard and used appropriately, will perform.
As long-time supporters and sponsors of the AWPA, we accept the consensus decisions its member-committees reach when setting standards. Although the adoption of language that references difficulty of maintenance / repair / replacement of critical components in some AWPA standards has been misinterpreted and created confusion, the changes should not have any bearing on the performance expectations and/or warrantability of a product. These enhancements to our warranties clarify our general industry position; Above Ground treated wood, treated to AWPA standards and used properly, should meet customer safety and performance expectations without the need to introduce excessive amounts of chemicals into the environment, or to potentially increase costs unnecessarily.