Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is the difference between “fire resistant” and “fireproof”?

A: All materials are vulnerable to fire damage, so the term “fireproof” is technically incorrect for any product. Nevertheless, engineers and fire technicians have developed tests to provide a comparison of the fire resistant properties of different materials. SaferWood products treated with Thermex-FR have proven themselves consistently on all such tests.

Q: What makes wood treatment last?

A: The patented fire resistant formula used in SaferWood products bonds to the interior structure of the wood during a vacuum-impregnated treatment process. The result is fire protection that lasts for the useful life of the wood product itself.

Q: Are SaferWood’s fire resistant products hazardous to the environment?

A: No. Treated wood products are composed of all natural elements, and they are not toxic to the environment.

Q: Will pressure-treated wood products have to be re-treated?

A: No. SaferWood products never need to be re-treated. The unique formula we use during processing at our facility is thermally cured in dry kilns. Upon reaching the right temperature, the treatment material is bonded to the wood and thereafter is no longer water-soluble.

Q: What are the typical applications for pressure-treated lumber and plywood products?

A: Pressure-treated lumber and plywood are intended for above-ground exterior use. Both are appropriate for a wide range of applications. These include exterior decks and balconies, stairways, covered walkway siding, molding and trim, soffit and facia, open-air roof systems, stables, scaffolding, and construction staging.

Q: What wood species and sizes are available in pressure-treated lumber and plywood?

A: Douglas fir, southern yellow pine, and western red cedar are now available. All common sizes and most construction species of lumber and plywood (of any thickness) can be treated by Thermex-FR.

Q: Does it meet building codes?

A: Yes. SaferWood products meet the performance requirements of the model building codes.

Q: Is there any reduction in strength compared to untreated wood?

A: Yes. The treating and drying processes causes a slight reduction in strength that varies according to treatment, wood species, specific properties, and applications.

Q: Can SaferWood products be used in ground contact?

A: SaferWood is intended for exterior, above ground uses.

Q: Is it okay to cut SaferWood?

A: Yes. Cutting lengths, drilling holes, and sanding lightly are all permissible. It is not necessary to field-treat cut ends in order to maintain the flame spread rating.

Q: What types of fasteners should be used with SaferWood products?

A: We recommend hot-dipped galvanized or stainless steel hardware is recommended, as the FRX wood treatment could increase the corrosion of bare steel.

Q: Why should I put fire resistant shakes on my roof when I live in a relatively wet climate?

A: No matter where you live, there always exists the danger of an errant firework or a flying ember from the burn pile of a neighboring home. When it comes to protecting your home, there is no such thing as playing too safe.

Q: What is the difference between a shake and a shingle?

A: Generally, a shake is made from wood which is split from a block of cedar. Shingles are always sawn on both sides from a block of cedar. After being cut, the sides of each shingle are then trimmed to create square corners on the product. They are used for roof installation, or sent for additional processing to create more tailored sidewall products.

Q: How does a steeper roof pitch affect my shake roof?

A: Moisture is the primary cause of a roof’s deterioration. The steeper the slope, the quicker rainwater and moisture will run off.

Q: What do people mean when they refer to “grain”?

A: Grain is the direction, size, arrangement, appearance or quality of the fibers in the wood. The tighter or more narrow the grain, the more durable the wood is, and the greater the likelihood that the wood came from old-growth cedar. Each grain represents one year of growth.

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