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Treating railway sleepers

We used new railway sleepers (which we assume were weather treated in some way) to create retaining walls about 5 years ago.  Where plants trailed over the top of them, and created more moisture, they have started to disintegrate.  We need to seal them on the end with some form of preservative.  Everything we have seen at the DIY store has colour/stain, which we don't want.  Would Linseed Oil work?  If it is pure Linseed Oil, with no other nasties added, would this be OK to use near plants/veg?  Any other suggestions welcome.

Posts

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,869
    I recently put up an arbour and wanted to treat the wood - though it was already tanalized - and I found the same - they're all coloured. The reason I found out is without pigment there's no UV protection.
    I came across this stuff and is what I've used.
    It's clear and has the consistency of thick water... but was easy to apply.
    It's water soluble and I don't think there are any ingredients that would harm your plants once dry.
    There was no apparent residue from drips on the paving
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    Would outdoor/yacht varnish work?
    I use a conventional coloured paint treatment on my wood, but I've got the above varnish, and I don't think it has anything unpleasant in it. Can't remember why I bought it though  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,869
    Fairygirl said:
    Can't remember why I bought it though  :)
    Did you buy a yacht and forget all about it.. ? :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    Railway sleepers starting to disintegrate in five years? That's pretty rubbish, isn't it? I thought would last 30 plus years. Even my little planter made of crappy decking boards came with a ten year guarantee. My sleepers are old ones soaked in creosote. I expect them to outlast me, easily. And no, I don't grow veg in them, and have no concerns.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    Pete8 said:
    Fairygirl said:
    Can't remember why I bought it though  :)
    Did you buy a yacht and forget all about it.. ? :)
     
    Don't think  my pond's quite big enough Pete   :D

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,741
    Thanks all.  Yes, very poor that new sleepers are disintegrating after such a short time.  I'll look at both of the above options.  
  • ZeroZero1ZeroZero1 Posts: 577
    edited August 2018
    What you need is "wood presrver" no stain. Real railway sleepers were dipped in Creosote or tar but this is now been replaced with better products. They are all nasty chemicals so be careful not to absorb them. Creasote has been banned except for professional use
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,877
    Some of the sleepers I used for my raised beds have crumbled into bits in under 10 years. Brand new pressure treated timber that wasn't cheap ajd should have lasted twice that before showing any signs of rot. My suspicion is that the treatment can't penetrate wood that thick and they rot from the inside out once they split.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    I'm curious how anyone would go about absorbing creosote from a sleeper in a flower bed.
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