As a buyer or seller, salvaged items are an incredible way to find materials and hidden treasures. Salvage can carry with it a bitter taste. Largely, that’s because we associate salvage with disasters or negative experiences. However, if you think of salvage as rescued, you get a better perspective on what salvage is. You also open yourself to seeing the treasures hidden right in front of you. For example, salvaged wood from barns and ships is used in craftsman, upcycled furniture. Interior decorators look to salvaged materials for an antique look, affordably sourcing old glass, vintage flooring, and elements to create a one-of-a-kind look.
Here are a few insights on salvaged items—what exactly is salvaged and what the most common gems are.
What is a Salvaged Item?
When something happens to a location that forces property loss, the items that can be pulled out of that loss are called salvage. Sometimes, that can be disasters like fires and natural disasters. Fire and water damage may ruin a lot of the salvaged items.
At other times, it can be loss that doesn’t do much damage to the materials. For instance, a building may be condemned due to structural damage. Demolitions are a common way salvaged architectural elements are sourced. Renovations may also end up in salvage, including staircase handrails, metal work, antique door knobs, brick, ceiling fixtures, and other items that no longer fit into the homeowner’s aesthetic.
Because of the negative association of salvage with disasters, it’s an area of incredible opportunity. Builders and designers have known this great secret for years. There are even salvage-based businesses that professionally peruse salvage to resell gems. It is such a lush resource, that many salvage resellers specialize. For example, some salvage resellers specialize in metal salvage like locks, chandeliers, and gates. Others specialize in salvaged wood, which is prized for its unique look and comparably affordable price. And, there are environmentalists who look to salvage for building materials that replace manufacturing new materials.
Is All Salvage Damage?
Yes and no. By definition salvage is not in new condition. However, it may not be damaged in any irreversible sense. The best salvage is no worse than anything gently used or second hand.
Consider that something declared as ruined, may still hold a lot of valuables and collectibles. The salvage is often lumped together in lots, so your lot may contain incredible finds.
Salvaged wood is probably the most commonly heard of salvaged material. It is also referred to as reclaimed wood. Most salvaged wood is rescued from old decks, barns, factories, and pretty much any decommissioned building. Even old coal mines have been sources.
The benefit of salvaged wood is that it is already processed but has the worn look that adds character. Some has elements that add a little extra flare, like wine barrels.
Using salvaged wood helps builders earn points towards being LEED certified, or officially green buildings. LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the national rating system for green buildings.
Another benefit of reclaimed wood is that older wood may be a different type of wood than is commonly available today. When people say, “They just don’t make them like they used to,” they are right. Longleaf heart pine, naturally mold and insect resistant, is a shining example. It used to be the most commonly used wood in American construction, but it’s no longer available except through salvage. Redwood and chestnut are other common examples.
Over-harvesting can be a major contributor to making wood unavailable. Other causes are natural occurrences like insects and diseases that take out large populations of trees, rendering that wood unavailable.
Reclaimed lumber makes for better wood flooring. Fresher wood has to go through years of expanding and shrinking as it’s exposed to weather and conditions. Aged wood not only has a unique look but has already had years of that process.
Salvaged Windows and Doors
For decoration or crafts, salvaged windows and doors are very popular. In building, older wood doors may be made of stronger wood. It can also have craftsman elements that large-scale manufacturing cannot replicate.
Salvaged windows are used for design elements, including garden projects and decoration.
Salvaged Ornaments and Metal
When a building is decommissioned–whether from a natural disaster, new developments, or age–metal and stone elements withstand a lot and are great salvage. Antique doorknobs, knockers, fireplace equipment, mantles, fountains, sinks, and numerous household items hide in the forgotten or ruined buildings of old. Salvage sales rescue these gems from their life of obscurity. You’ll be amazed at what a little polishing can do.
Selling Salvaged Items
Following a disaster, the most difficult parts of clearing out and moving on can be threefold. First, it’s difficult to look objectively at the value of salvage because of how overwhelming the situation is. Much like having an estate sale, your memories spread through the things you collect. Second, determining the salvage value of items is extremely difficult. Third, even if you do all the legwork to determine what your salvaged items are worth, how and where to sell them can be challenging. It can leave your personal information insecure, buyers are not vetted, and you have to do all the communication and upkeep across various sites.
Commercial salvages, like when a business has a fire, hire salvage companies, or salvor. That allows them the benefit of someone else clearing the difficulty for them. Having an auction house like Max Sold on your side to help get the best prices for what you can sell does the same thing a salvor would, but with a lot more humanity. Our experts understand. Caring about our customers is part of how MaxSold originated. It just didn’t seem fair that only people with large estates had access to professional help during critical times.
Using MaxSold, we take care of the hassle. And, you get a fair price, meaning you don’t have to deal with pricing, haggling, or finding an online forum. We have a local network of people who see the value in your salvaged items. They’ll come at a predetermined window of time and pick up the items. We take care of all the transactions, making your information safe and saving you time and energy you can spend elsewhere.