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Construction for Landscape Architecture by Jamie Liversedge, Robert Holden

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Protection of lumber

When designing with lumber, one of the first things to consider is the durability of the material. Lumber durability is affected by:

  • weathering, including freeze–thaw, wet–dry and ultraviolet light;
  • insect attack;
  • fungal attack;
  • marine organisms;
  • fire;
  • mechanical damage; and
  • chemical attack.

Lumberwork liable to chemical attack includes lumber piles used in waste-disposal and landfill sites, industrial areas and in some forms of swamp in which the chemicals in the ground attack the wood. Lumber left unpainted or unprotected will discolor or bleach, crack, and roughen. In order to avoid this, a protective finish can be provided for the lumber, but the designer can also detail using flashings to prevent water penetration—especially ...

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