The Facts About Coal Tar Creosote

Having been used for more than a century as a preservative for timber products, coal tar creosote is fantastically effective at repelling insects that destroy wood, and fungi that rots wood. Better than all other products on the market, there’s a very good reason why traditional coal tar creosote has been in use for so long.

Used to coat such items as fences (agricultural and equestrian fencing, or the type of fencing used in country parks and estates), railway sleepers and telegraph poles, creosote must be allowed to fully penetrate the sapwood in the timber in order for it to work effectively. For this to happen, an industrial process using vacuum and pressure treatment plants is used.

Used in a variety of agricultural settings, Teamac Farm Oxide Barn Paint has been helping farmers protect the buildings they store grains and livestock in for many years now, but it’s important to note that while you may see some substitutes for creosote available to buy for domestic use, these don’t offer the same outstanding preservative qualities as traditional coal tar creosote.

If in doubt, consult with a professional within the industry, and remember that cheaper alternatives will never do the job properly.

What is creosoting?

Using vacuum and pressure, wood is impregnated with hot creosote oil in a process known as creosoting. Creosote oil is a high quality preservative formed when coal tar is distilled, and during the coking process as part of the high oven technique for producing steel, coal tar is released from the coal. 

What does something that has been creosoted look like?

Timber that has been preserved with creosote will be dark brown in colour initially, but this will fade following exposure to the sun, to a lighter brown. However, do note that fading due to sun exposure is natural, and in no way hampers the effectiveness of the product.

Where can creosoted timber not be used?

While timber treated with creosote is commonly used by a variety of professional industries, and in private applications, too, since the enforcement of restrictions back in 2003, creosoted timber may not be used in the following ways:

·        Inside buildings

·        In toys

·        In playgrounds

·        In parks, gardens and any outdoor facility where frequent skin contact with the timber may take place

·        In the manufacture of garden furniture

·        For the manufacture, use and re-treatment of: containers for growing plants, packaging that may come into contact with raw materials, intermediate or finished products that are intended for human and/or animal consumption

If you need further guidance as to whether coal tar creosote can be used for a particular purpose or application, check with a company supplying such products before you make any purchases.

Without the destructive forces of insects or fungi to contend with, creosoted fences or structures such as barns can last for a good many decades, and when you think about coal tar creosote in terms of giving you value for money, there really is no substitute for this tried and tested, age old substance.