Timber is a naturally occurring product that has been used for building purposes for thousands of years. However, throughout history, many things have changed. These include building regulations; supply and demand plus awareness of environmental impact. With these constant changes, it can be difficult to understand what is fact and what is fiction. At Think Timber we have over 20 years of industry experience and we’d like to debunk some common myths.
Blue staining on wood is harmful- INCORRECT
Blue staining is actually a grey-ish brown-ish colour. Which is caused by a microscopic fungus. This staining DOES NOT affect the performance or strength of the timber in any way. Blue-stained timber is safe to handle. It will not decay and is fundamentally no different from non-stained timber.
Timber is a fire risk- INCORRECT
In the rare event of a fire, timber performs better than many other materials. As it burns and chars at a much lower rate. If treated properly, timber will char rather than melt and collapse. This charring of the timber actually prevents it from burning further.
Timber isn’t as strong as other building materials- INCORRECT
Timber, being wood, can be dismissed as not being strong. But actually, it performs fantastic under extreme conditions e.g. in a fire and it also has great durability. With common studs showing the same strength as concrete. It has also proven to be preferable in natural disasters e.g. hurricanes, as it has an element of flexibility. Meaning it can slightly move, as opposed to cracking and crumbling, like with bricks.
Using wood for buildings is contributing to deforestation- INCORRECT
All timber that comes from our sawmills is grown in plantations, which are used to produce the resources for building houses. Many confuse using wood in construction, with the issues surrounding deforestation.
Using wood as a building material isn’t environmentally friendly- INCORRECT
Growing trees in plantations, for the sole purpose of using them as a building material, has benefits for the environment. Including carbon sequestration (absorbing carbon), and oxygen production. Plus lower transportation emissions, and faster construction times. As well as reduced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning burden (HVAC).
Timber should only be used in really hot countries since it cannot store heat- INCORRECT
Wood is actually a natural insulator, storing the heat in winter and keeping cool in summer. If combined with new insulation materials, timber can offer greater thermal effectiveness. (Compared to the same thickness of brick.) Building homes airtight, to achieve these regulations, is easier with timber than brick.
Timber is prone to rot- INCORRECT
Timber has been used throughout history for building. If treated with new innovative methods, timber can last for many many years.
Our team has years of experience in the timber industry. To discuss the most common myths about timber with our team, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org