Can Wood Be Saved After Being Waterlogged?

July 27, 2020 7:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A lot of the questions that we get at Huberwoods involve the durability and resilience of various types of wood. People want to know how long their wood products are going to last, and whether they’re better off selecting one type over another, and we’re always happy to help. One question we get a lot of the time is whether or not waterlogged wood restoration in Utah is even possible—can people save wood that’s been badly overrun by water, likely after it was left outdoors?

The short answer to this question is, yes, wood can indeed be saved after being waterlogged. In fact, the methods of accomplishing this are varied and fascinating.

What is waterlogged wood?

Waterlogged wood takes time to get into that state—sometimes even as many as several decades can elapse before a piece of wood is fully waterlogged. If it’s in a body of water, what typically occurs is that the cell walls of the wood begin to degrade and vital materials like sugar and minerals are leached out of the wood. The wood becomes more porous as this occurs since the cells are getting bigger—these larger spaces fill with water and cause the wood to become waterlogged. Fortunately, when we’re asked how to save waterlogged wood in Utah, we’re typically able to help our customers.

How to restore waterlogged wood

Typically, waterlogged wood restoration in Utah is a multi-step approach, and we’re experienced in all of these facets. If waterlogged wood is kept wet, many people are surprised to learn that it will actually keep its shape, which can be a huge benefit for people in trades like archaeology or anthropology. Museums and conservationists frequently work with waterlogged wood, typically by using a chemical or formula that restores the resins that the wood has lost thanks to the bacteria. Allowing waterlogged wood to dry can actually be catastrophic—it will allow the water to evaporate, collapsing the walls of the wood cells and allowing the piece to warp or shrink.

Acting on waterlogged wood

A key part of working with waterlogged wood is jumping on it as early as possible. The longer the issue is allowed to fester, the higher the likelihood that it won’t have the chance to properly be restored, since it will dry out. Believe it or not, drying out is the worst thing that can happen to waterlogged wood—if you need to try and restore a piece, it’s very helpful to keep it wet until the last moment. Waterlogged wood restoration in Utah can allow a surprisingly high number of objects to be saved, even when this would seem impossible to the untrained eye.

Whether you’re dealing with waterlogged wood or are just in the market for new wood like tent poles or firewood, Huberwoods wants to be your preferred partner. We’ve worked with lumber customers across Utah for years, so we know what it takes to get the job done at a fair price and keep people coming back for a long time. Reach out to us today to learn more.

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