FAQs – MicroPro® / LifeWood® (MCA) Pressure Treated Wood Products



Q1. What is MicroPro® pressure treated lumber?

A. The MicroPro® lumber preservative are waterborne, micronized copper quaternary preservative system developed to provide protection of wood exposed in interior or exterior applications. Pressure treated wood products with MicroPro technology might be branded as LifeWood MCA, ProWood Micro, MicroPro AC2, to name a few.


Q2. Are MicroPro® treated wood products code approved?

A. MicroPro® lumber and other wood products, as described in ICC-ES, meet all major model building code requirements.  Installation must comply with the requirements of all applicable local, state, and national code jurisdictions.


Q3. What are the end use applications for MicroPro® treated wood products?

A. MicroPro® treated lumber and other wood products are available for: Above Ground, Ground Contact and Fresh Water Contact. MicroPro® products are not currently approved for saltwater immersion applications.


Q4. What are retentions or retention levels?

A. Retention levels refer to the amount of preservative retained in the wood following the treatment process.  Retention levels can be different based on the wood preservative system used to pressure treat the wood product and its intended end use (ground contact, above ground contact, etc.).  It is important to purchase treated wood products for the intended exposure condition.  Typically, wood products are treated for “above ground use” and “ground contact/fresh water immersion use.”  The treated wood end tag should state the recommended end use for the treated wood product.


Q5. Is maintenance required on pressure treated wood projects?

A. Nothing is “maintenance-free”.  Pressure treated wood products help protect wood from fungal decay and termite attack.  However, moisture, sun, and outdoor conditions may cause the wood project to show signs of weathering.  Natural weathering such as raised grain, splitting, checking, twisting, warping, shrinkage, or swelling occurs in wood treated or untreated. To help reduce the effects of natural weathering, the use of a clear water repellent coating or a semi-transparent water repellent coating product is recommended.    If you desire to apply a paint, stain, clear water repellent, or other finish to your preservative treated wood, we recommend following the manufacturer’s instructions and label of the finishing product.  Before you start, we recommend you apply the finishing product to a small exposed test area before completing the entire project to insure it provides the intended result before proceeding.


Q6. Can I paint treated wood?

A. Yes.  If you desire to apply a paint, stain, clear water repellent, or other finish to your preservative treated wood, we recommend following the manufacturer’s instructions and label of the finishing product.  Before you start, we recommend you apply the finishing product to a small exposed test area before completing the entire project to insure it provides the intended result before proceeding.


Q7. How often do I have to apply a finish to treated wood?

A. Most water repellent coating manufacturers recommend an annual application.  We recommend you follow the manufactures’ instructions.


Q8. My deck has not kept its original pressure treated wood color.  How can I restore the appearance of the treated wood?

A. There are several pressure treated wood deck cleaning products on the market that are available and can be purchased from hardware stores or home centers.  These cleaning products are typically referred to as cleaners, brighteners and restorers.  Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.


Q9. Can I use a pressure washer on pressure treated wood?

A. Yes, follow the pressure washer manufacturer’s recommendations.


Q10. What fasteners or hardware should I use with treated wood?

A. MicroPro technology offers many benefits including significantly improved corrosion performance. Wood treated with MicroPro technology exhibits corrosion rates on metal products similar to CCA pressure treated wood and untreated wood.


  • For interior or exterior applications, use fasteners and hardware that are in compliance with the manufacturer’s recommendations and the building codes for their intended use. As with any good design and construction practices, MicroPro treated wood should not be used in applications where trapped moisture or water can occur. Where design and/or actual conditions allow for constant, repetitive or long periods of wet conditions, only stainless steel fasteners should be used.


  • For exterior applications: The following minimum galvanization levels may be used for connectors, joist hangers, fasteners and other hardware that are placed in direct contact with exterior applications of treated wood which utilizes MicroPro technology:


Fasteners – nails, screws, etc. ASTM – A 153 (1 oz/ft2)


Hardware – connectors, joist hangers, etc. ASTM – A 653 G90 (0.90 oz/ft2)


The effects of other building materials within a given assembly, along with environmental factors, should also be considered when selecting the appropriate hardware and fasteners to use for a given project containing treated wood.


Stainless Steel fasteners and hardware are required for Permanent Wood Foundations below grade and are recommended for use with treated wood in other severe exterior applications such as swimming pools, salt water exposure, etc. – Type 304 and 316 are recommended grades to use.


Q11. Can pressure treated wood posts be buried or installed in concrete?

A. MicroPro pressure treated wood posts produced for “ground contact uses” can be placed in the ground with or without the use of concrete.


Q12. Can treated wood be used in contact with manure or compost?

A. We do not recommend it; however, if MicroPro treated wood products are used for this application, it is suggested that all of the treated wood products are produced for “ground contact use.”


Q13. Can I use treated wood in my raised vegetable bed or around my grape vines?

A. MicroPro® treated wood products may be used to construct raised bed gardens.  The MicroPro treated wood process is certified by Scientific Certification Systems, Inc. (SCS) as an Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) based on SCS’ Life-Cycle Assessment.


Recommended preservative retentions for MicroPro treated wood products are:


  • For MicroPro MCQ (Smart Sense® Treated Wood) the minimum preservative retention is 0.34 pcf.


  • For MicroPro MCA (LifeWood® Treated Wood) the minimum preservative retention is 0.15 pcf.


Very small amounts of copper and either quaternary or azole will migrate out of MicroPro treated wood over time.  If it is desirable to minimize the migration of  copper, quat or azole into the soil of a raised bed garden, we recommend that a suitable thin plastic material be used as a barrier between the MicroPro treated wood and the raised bed garden soil.


The use of a plastic barrier will also help keep the raised bed garden soil within the bed area.  For proper drainage, the plastic material should not be used underneath the raised bed garden soil.


Q14. Is it safe to use treated wood in a picnic table or on countertops?

A. MicroPro pressure treated wood products can be used for outdoor picnic tables.  We recommend that the picnic table be covered to prevent food from contacting the wood surface.  It is not recommended that any treated wood product be used as a countertop.  Do not put food directly in contact with treated wood.


Q15. Can I use treated wood in feed troughs for livestock?

A. Do not use preserved wood under circumstances where the preservative may become a component of food, animal feed, or beehives.


Q16. How does mold affect wood?

A. Mold occurring on pressure treated wood products is typically not an indication of fungal decay attack.  Mold growth can and does occur on the surface of many products, including untreated and treated wood, during prolonged surface exposure to excessive moisture conditions.  To remove mold from the treated wood surface, wood should be allowed to dry.  Typically, mild soap and water can be used to remove remaining surface mold. For more information visit www.epa.gov


Q17. Do your pressure treated wood products contain formaldehyde?

A. Koppers wood preservative products do not contain formaldehyde.  However, glues used to produce plywood, glue laminates, and other engineered wood products may contain formaldehyde.  Contact the engineered wood producer for information regarding the use of formaldehyde in their products.


Q18. Is it ok to use MicroPro treated wood in contact with NatureWood ACQ treated wood?

A. Yes, NatureWood ACQ and MicroPro treated wood products can be used together; however, use fasteners compatible with NatureWood ACQ where they may come in direct or indirect contact with the NatureWood ACQ treated wood.


Q19. Is MicroPro pressure treated wood available with a water repellent?

A. Yes.  Check with your local lumberyard or home center for availability.


Q20. Is the MicroPro wood preservative system in the current AWPA standards?

A.Yes. The MCA preservative used in MicroPro is an American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) standardized wood preservative.


Q21. Are MicroPro® treated wood products available in different colors?

A. MicroPro® treated lumber and other wood products are also available in popular consumer colors similar to redwood and cedar products with the MicroShades color pigment system. Check with your building material supplier for availability in your area.


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