Salvaging and reclaiming timber is becoming increasingly popular. The demand for reclaimed timber is on the rise as Australian households seek to create rustic and homely interiors. Salvaging and reusing timber has many benefits and a couple of potential drawbacks. This article examines the pros and cons of timber salvage.
Salvaged timber has a unique character
Because salvaged timber has been around for a long time, it tends to have a lot of character. If the timber has been recovered from an industrial site, you may be able to see marks in the wood created by chains or other machines. Rather than running the wood, these blemishes can create a look which you just don't get from flatpack furniture or new wood.
Salvaged timber is durable and strong
Very old timber will be completely dried out. This means that it is much less likely to split or warp when compared to freshly dried timber which may still expand and contract.
Salvaged timber is environmentally friendly
By opting to use reclaimed timber, you can help to protect the natural environment. Every piece of salvaged timber which is used reduces the demand for fresh timber which is turn helps to reduce the rate of deforestation around the globe. Installing reclaimed wood in your home is often better for the environment than using plastic or petroleum-based products which may contain harmful chemicals.
Salvaged timber is versatile
You can use reclaimed timber for just about anything. For example, you could use the old timber to make tables, chairs, as flooring, countertops or shelves.
The cons of salvaged timber
However, if you decide to use salvaged timber in your home, you should be aware of the possible cons.
Salvaged timber may be infested with pests
Before you purchase reclaimed timber, you should inspect it to ensure that it is not infested with pests. Pests such as termites like to eat timber and can build nests within the material. You can check for signs of termites by looking for small holes in the surface of the timber. The wood may also sound hollow or may crumble when touched. If you suspect that a piece of reclaimed timber is infested with pests, you should not buy it.
Salvaged timber may have been treated with toxins
You should also check that the timber wasn't treated with toxic paint or other chemicals when it was in its original position. If the wood is really old, it may have been treated with chemicals or paints which are now banned.