Treatment Comparison


Waterborne vs. Oil-Borne Wood Preservatives in Salt Storage Buildings

Since the 1960’s, all Wheeler salt/sand storage buildings have incorporated lumber treated with an oil-borne preservative. Wood treated with waterborne preservatives (CCA, ACQ) is subject to serious degradation from repeated wetting of salt brine. Oil-borne preservatives impede movement of brine through the wood, resulting in facilities still in service after 30 years. This is confirmed by the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) Standard C14, Section 2.2, which states:

“Wood treated with waterborne preservatives is subject to serious degradation from repeated wetting with brine when used in storage buildings for road salt and some hygroscopic fertilizers, such as urea. Creosote is the preferred treatment for such applications because it impedes movement of brine through the wood.”

Please visit to purchase a full version of this standard.

Wheeler currently offers Copper Naphthenate as an oil-borne alternative to creosote.   Copper Naphthenate provides the waterproofing necessary for extended building life.

This article is used with permission from Better Roads magazine.