Here at Duval Fence Contractor, we like to reuse and recycle. We also like to help you reuse and recycle by providing reclaimed wood for free to the public. There are a few things you should take into consideration before using reclaimed wood for a project.
Treated or untreated?
It’s important to make sure that you understand what type of reclaimed wood you have before you decide how you’re going to use it. There are a few ways to identify treated lumber. Sometimes it is stamped and much of it has a green tint. If you still can’t tell, you can smell it to see if it has a chemical or oil smell. Natural wood will smell, well, natural. If you find that you have treated lumber, DO NOT use it for a vegetable garden, firewood, or cutting boards. Pressure treated wood should not be used for anything that will touch food. The preservatives that are used to treat the wood are not food safe.
Be aware that there could be nails, staples, or other foreign objects in your reclaimed wood. Make sure to inspect the wood for nail holes and objects so that you are aware of the state of your wood before you start working with it.
Clean it up
A lot of reclaimed wood will be dirty when you get it. Take the time to clean it up! You can use a nylon brush to get the dirt out of the cracks and crevices. Some people like to pressure wash their reclaimed wood which is effective, but may damage the wood if you’re not careful. Cleaning up the wood before you use it will help keep your tools sharp, as dirt and debris can dull down blades very quickly.
Let it dry
If your reclaimed wood is wet when you get it, or if you wash it, be sure to let it dry completely before using it. If you are going to use reclaimed wood in your house, as a floor or wall installation, let it acclimate in the environment it will be installed in before you install it.