For many years now when the consumer wanted to select a deck building product in wood they had a few simple choices. In Kansas City these choices usually boiled down to cedar or treated pine(also known as CCA or ACQ). Although both of these choices have always been readily available in the marketplace, both woods had some disadvantages in use. In the Kansas City climate with its extremes of temperature and humidity , both products tend to crack or split as they age and are subject to great variations of temperature. This cracking and splitting happens regardless of stain or waterproofing, and can diminish the appeal of an older deck. Recently a new product has been introduced in the marketplace based on long-established European wood technology.
This new product is thermally modified wood. In a nutshell the wood goes through a heating process at the manufacturing plant that optimizes its performance in the field. In addition it is processed with a factory applied premium sealant that holds up better to weathering. The thermal modification process is well-proven and has been used in Europe for over 10 years now. As a result of thermal treatment the wood has much less tendency to crack and split, and is very shrink resistant as well. No chemical additives are needed to achieve this result. The thermal treatment process also makes the wood rot and termite resistant.
The product also has some “Green” benefits since it uses no chemical treatment and the original trees grow on tree farms here in the US. At present the product goes under two names- PureWood and Radiance wood.