Sustainability has become a major factor in modern home construction. When thinking about the environmental impact of your home, it’s important to take into account where the building materials come from and how they were collected. One of the best ways to make sure you are doing your part to help the environment is by using reclaimed wood in your home.
Reclaimed wood started off as an aesthetic trend to easily add rustic beauty to any room. In the last decade it has blossomed into a major industry as homeowners seek to be more sustainable. In order to help you understand this growing trend of sustainability, we have put together a nifty guide to highlight the benefits of using reclaimed wood.
What is reclaimed wood?
Reclaimed wood is building material that has been salvaged from older structures and turned into new walling. This gives the wood a second life and prevents it from rotting away in landfills. Reclaimed wood is highly versatile and overflowing with history. Since it does not come from newly cut trees, it has much less of an environmental impact than using new wood or other building material. Reclaimed wood is also much more durable as it comes from old growth trees instead of the first gen forest where modern wood comes from.
How is reclaimed wood readied for use?
Reclaimed wood is typically salvaged from old barns and other abandoned structures built prior to the 1930s. It is then transformed in a multi-step restoration process. It is given a deep surface cleaning with a high pressure washer to remove any dirt or debris. This ensures a uniform finish and surface texture for the final product. The wood is then rough milled and kiln dried to ensure a uniformity of thickness and durability.
What makes reclaimed wood sustainable?
While the process of dismantling abandoned buildings to reclaim the wood is far more complex than simply demolishing them, the total financial and environmental cost of disposing of demolition debris is significant. Reclaimed wood is also far more sustainable than newly cut hardwood because it comes from trees that were cut down more than 100 years ago. Any impact their cutting had on the environment has long ago been diminished.
By taking existing wood and giving it a new life, you are lessening the impact that the original harvesting had even more. The wood is reused without requiring new trees to be cut. A reclaimed wood floor will still last just as long as a new cut wood floor. This makes the reclaimed wood products far more sustainable than anything else that’s currently on the market.
80% of the Earth’s forest has already been destroyed, half of which has happened in the last 30 years. These forests are home to more than half of all wildlife and millions of people depend on them for survival. Doing your part to lessen the environmental impact is extremely important. The good news is it's even easier than you think. By using reclaimed wood in your next project you are helping to stem the destruction while adding beauty and history to your home.