Quick, what building material enjoys the highest salvage demand? Many of you probably guessed the right answer, steel. And the second most in-demand building material? Wood! Reclaimed wood is the new darling of modern architects and designers.
Why? Because reclaimed wood is beautiful, strong, and natural. Plus, the cost side of the equation is highly favorable for reusing wood. As old growth forests disappear, it’s only natural for wood prices to increase. And new generations of virgin wood can’t offer the same structural strength as old growth trees. By reclaiming wood from barns, gymnasiums, flooring, shipping containers, and many other locations, manufacturers can offer the jaw-dropping beauty and tight-grained strength of old growth timber.
Applications for Demolition Salvage Timber
- Flooring and paneling.
- Cabinets, dining tables, headboards, coffee tables, and other furniture.
- Structural beams. Oftentimes, designers choose to expose re-purposed wood beams, as they boast a gorgeous patina.
- Pergolas, decking, and patio cover supports.
To prepare salvaged wood for reuse, first check for insect and water damage. Also ensure that there are no mold infestations. If your salvaged wood is warp- and damage-free, you can move on to step two: Removing nails and other hardware. Sort the wood into various lengths, and saw according to your needs. Sanding will be required for finished projects. Finally, avoid pressure-treated wood for interior use; it contains arsenic.
Wood demolition and salvage is a blossoming industry, but you don’t have to be a professional to make good use of old wood. Here in Portland, we’re lucky to have resources such as The Rebuilding Center and ReStore, where consumers and contractors can source beautiful salvaged wood. The City of Portland’s Planning and Sustainability office also maintains an online list of salvage and material exchange facilities in the Portland region. To conclude, we’d like to remind contractors and consumers alike that we maintain a Salvage and Asset Recovery program. As one of the biggest demolition contractors on the West Coast, we can provide salvageable wood for building projects. Contact us to learn more.
[photo by: tastytouring on Flickr via CC License]