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Using Reclaimed Timber
(Metro) Using reclaimed timber when build- ing or renovating a home benefits the environ- ment in various ways. According to GreenBusi-, building and renovating with reclaimed timber helps to preserve forests by greatly reducing the need to cut down trees. In addition, when using reclaimed timber to build or renovate a home, contractors and homeown- ers tend to use locally sourced reclaimed wood, reducing the need to transport wood from afar to complete the projects. That reduced reliance on transportation reduces fuel consumption and air pollution. Processing reclaimed timber is often less taxing on the environment than pro- cessing virgin wood. However, reclaimed timber may provide more than just environmental ben-
efits. Virgin timber typically comes from com- mercially grown trees that are not always afford- ed enough time to reach full maturity. Timber that is reclaimed from old buildings and vessels may very well have reached full maturity before it was cut down to use as building material. Reclaimed timber that grew to full maturity is likely stronger than virgin wood taken from commercially grown trees that were not given enough time to mature. Reclaimed timber also may prove more durable than virgin wood because the former has already dried out after years of contracting and expanding, making it less likely to warp and split than virgin wood that has yet to endure such exposure.

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