Ian's Guide to Industrial Manufacturing

4 Precautions Taken By Salvaged Timber Suppliers

Some people may be hesitant to use salvaged timber because they may think that it is less reliable or safe than freshly milled lumber. Such people may not know the rigorous checks that suppliers of salvaged timber perform before putting up that timber for sale. This article discusses some of the precautions that are taken to ensure that salvaged timber will be safe to use.

Conducting Structural Tests

Suppliers of salvaged timber may conduct structural tests in order to confirm that the timber will be suitable for structural purposes. For instance, the lumber may be subjected to deflection tests to confirm that the loads that a specific timber member carried during its previous use didn't cause that timber to warp permanently. Such structural tests help the timber supplier to sell the timber that will not fail if it is put to structural uses in a building.

Metal Extraction

Suppliers of salvaged timber are aware that the timber may be subjected to additional processing, such as sanding, before it is reused. The suppliers therefore take the step of extracting all the nails and any other metals within that timber so that the tools that are used to process that timber don't sustain any damage during that additional milling or processing. You should therefore have no worries that you will sustain any injuries from hidden metals within the salvaged timber.

Testing for Toxic Substances

Salvaged timber may have also come into contact with toxic substances, such as asbestos and lead-based paint, during its previous use. This risk is taken seriously because most of that timber was used decades ago when the dangers of some of the materials available at the time hadn't been known. The salvaged timber may therefore be subjected to a series of tests to confirm that it will be safe to reuse in accordance with existing building codes and regulations.

Sorting the Wood Types

Timber usually weathers over time and adopts a grey colour that may make it hard for a layperson to identify the particular type of lumber. Consequently, an inexperienced person may fail to take the necessary precautions that are needed when using different kinds of lumber. For instance, hardwoods may be more prone to damage by chemicals due to their closely packed grains. Thus, only softwoods should be used in an environment where chemical exposure is anticipated. Timber suppliers usually sort the salvaged timber into different types so that buyers can be sure that they have selected the right variety for their needs. As you can see, several measures exist to ensure that salvaged timber will not pose any risks when it is reused. You should therefore ask your supplier for the specific precautions that he or she has taken in order to ensure that you will not face any risks when you use that salvaged timber.