While wood may be one of the most versatile materials to use for home construction and renovation, there are certain types that can pose a threat to the environment. Many wood manufacturers are not concerned about the effects of deforestation and they continue to cut down thousands of trees daily, despite the balding forestry. Due to deforestation, many species of trees have been listed as endangered.

Each one of us can now help save the environment in our own little way by not conforming to the unwarranted cutting of new trees in the forest. Instead, using reclaimed wood is a more suitable and eco-friendly alternative. Reclaimed wood, or recycled wood, does not require more trees to be cut down because it comes from old or unused structures.  Even though the overall structures are old, much of the lumber within them is still viable and can still be reused for new construction.

However, when buying reclaimed wood, it is also important to understand a few factors so you can choose real and reliable reclaimed lumber. There are some manufacturers that advertise new timber as recycled wood, and their customers are neither able recycled wood to enjoy the benefits of using reclaimed wood nor truly utilize an eco-friendly material.

To help you purchase good reclaimed wood, here are some useful tips to consider:

  • Inquire about any certifications that can support its claim of being an eco-friendly wood. Organizations such as Forest Stewardship Council and SmartWood offer certification to manufacturers that harvest their woods in a more sustainable way.
  • Ask what species of wood it is. There are endangered species of wood these days, and buying them would be the opposite of the eco-friendly approach you’re trying to take. Research the types of trees that are now endangered, so you will have them in mind when you buy your wood.
  • Be wary of manufacturers with unrealistic prices or unprofessional transaction processes. They are sometimes uncertified and harvest their woods illegally.
  • Look for signs of aging. Even though it’s not always necessarily a good feature for your floor, the presence of nail holes will help prove that the wood is already old. In addition, look for other aging signs, such as weathering and a rustic appearance.
  • Check with your manufacturer to be sure your reclaimed wood has been through the proper treatments like cleaning, kiln-drying, and checking for hidden nails. Kilning your wood kills insects and removes excess moisture, thus reducing the chances of warping.

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