Treated wood timbers employed in ground contact are often installed with a cement collar to firmly fix the structural wood post in place. Few prior studies have determined the effect of concrete on decay efficacy on treated wood, however. Treated wood nominal 4 × 4 posts were installed at four locations, with the upper ground-contact portion of each post encased in concrete, and the samples removed at various times for pH measurements. The wood alkalinity quickly increased at all four sites for the portion of the treated wood in concrete contact compared to the wood in ground contact without concrete. In laboratory decay tests employing three decay fungi, untreated wood which was first exposed or unexposed to concrete had no consistent difference in decay susceptibility. For wood treated with three different commercial copper/organic systems, cement exposure had no effect on wood treated with an amine copper azole system, while treatment with amine copper quat showed a statistically significant fungal efficacy enhancement for cement-exposed samples with both copper-tolerant fungi. Conversely, with a micronized copper azole preservative, cement exposure resulted in reduced fungal efficacy compared to treated samples which were not cement-exposed for all three decay fungi.
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