How long do Tanalised sleepers last?

Asked By: Herlinda Garfinkel | Last Updated: 9th March, 2020
Category: travel rail travel
4.6/5 (621 Views . 24 Votes)
In general, we say that the inside of the wood should be protected for about 60 years, and the outside for about 30 years.

Click to see full answer


Herein, how long do treated softwood sleepers last?

10 years

Beside above, how do you stop sleepers from rotting? Another way to defend against rot is to try to form a protective barrier in between the treated wood and the soil. This can easily be accomplished by stapling a water-resistant tarp to the side of the wood wall that will be in contact with the soil.

Considering this, how long will sleepers last?

New Softwood Treated Railway Sleepers are treated with either a green or brown pressure treatment (Tanalith green or Tanatone brown), both have similar properties and will on average last 15 - 20 years. The treatment colour will however weather to grey within 12 - 18 months.

Do garden sleepers rot?

Like all wood, sleepers will eventually rot and fade when exposed to the weather. To prevent them falling to bits before their time, you need to use a good wood preserver.

37 Related Question Answers Found

Can you lay railway sleepers on soil?

You can also place the sleepers directly on the soil but you might have issues with water pooling around the edges, causing the wood to rot quicker. If you decide to lay them directly on soil, put down a waterproof plastic membrane first to reduce contact with moisture.

What can I use instead of sleepers?

A Railway Sleeper Alternative
So anything a railway sleeper can do, WoodBlocX can do better! The hard-wearing nature of WoodblocX means they are perfect for retaining walls, raised flower and vegetable beds, garden benches to relax on, fish ponds, garden and lawn edging, composting area or even children's sandpit.

Do sleepers need treating?

Oak reproduction sleepers will naturally last longer than their softwood alternative. Both types should be treated with an exterior wood preservative on all sides prior to installation and paying special attention to any sawn ends.

What do you treat garden sleepers with?

Wood Preserver
Wood preservative treatments provide garden sleepers with protective properties that help prevent rot, mould and fungal growth, as well as help to form a defence against the elements. It is best to apply a wood preservative before installation of your sleeper, so that you can paint all sides.

How do you fix railway sleepers to the ground?


Cut your sleepers to your required length, which could be random for a rustic look. Then mix up some lean mortar, such as 6:1, to be used as a concrete base and haunching. Place at least a 50mm bed of concrete in the bottom of the trench and start inserting the sleepers, haunching them up as you go.

Can I use railway sleepers as a retaining wall?

Wooden railway sleepers are an excellent alternative to bricks or concrete for building retaining walls in your garden. Sleepers can be used both horizontally and vertically when building a retaining wall.

Do hardwood sleepers need treating?

These sleepers do not treat as well, and regularly fail in the landscape. If you want to use sleepers, use Class 1 hardwood sleepers. If you want to use Pine wood for retaining walls, use logs, or wing splits, as the Sapwood is on the outside.

Which railway sleeper is best?

Used railway sleepers are the top choice for gardeners and designers who would like to add some character to their project. Since hardwoods are more durable, you'll find that the majority of used sleepers that are in good condition will be made from oak.

What do railway sleepers weigh?

Wooden sleepers are also comparatively cheap, as well as light and easy to transport, install and maintain. The average timber sleeper weighs around 160lb-250lb, whereas an equivalent sleeper made of concrete could weigh anything up to 800lb.

Do you have to treat oak sleepers?


Dense, tight grained, hardwood oak railway sleepers, are completely different to light, softwood railway sleepers which have to be treated with either creosote or pressure treatment to prevent them rotting and collapsing. Hardwood railway sleepers are generally much more durable and naturally longer lasting.

What are green railway sleepers?

These attractive, new sawn sleepers tend to have straighter edges than reclaimed timber sleepers which makes them easier to stack. All of our sleepers are green tanalised treated, which is a treatment that ensures a deep penetration of the wood preservative into the timber cells.

How do you use a sleeper retaining wall?

Constructing a retaining wall out of upright sleepers is pretty straightforward. Simply dig a trench, lower the sleepers in vertically side by side, and then backfill with a dry concrete mix, that you can ram down around the railway sleepers untill the wall is rigid.

How long will oak posts last in the ground?

In fact, a few weeks ago, I milled some 16' white oak posts for my new sawmill shed and put them in the ground today. I expect they will last about 20 years or so.

Are old railway sleepers toxic?

Wooden railway sleepers, or crossties, soaked in creosote are used in railway tracks across Europe. Creosote has been used as a wood preservative for many years and contains toxic chemical compounds including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Some of these are a danger to human health as they are carcinogenic.

Are wood retaining walls good?


Wood retaining walls provide structure, stability, and natural beauty to gardens and landscaping projects. They continue to be a popular choice because of the natural look they provide and because of their low price point, relative to expensive masonry and concrete retaining walls.

How do you keep landscape timbers from rotting?

How to Seal and Coat Pressure-Treated Landscape Timbers
  1. Wash the cut area on the pressure-treated landscape timbers with oil solvent, which you can buy at many drug stores.
  2. Sand the area around the cut area of the pressure-treated landscape timber with sandpaper to remove the remainder of the solvent.
  3. Stain or paint the wood if you want to while the cut area is exposed.

What is the best wood for retaining walls?

The best kind of lumber for these walls is Douglas fir pressure treated with preservatives to discourage rot. It will be green or brown in color and rated for earth-to-wood contact. For timber walls, large timbers for can be very expensive, which is why railroad ties are a common alternative.