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What Is This Blue Lumber?

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Sunday night I was sitting around watching the Simpsons, my favorite TV show when I get a call from my dad. He was watching that show Extreme Home Makeover and he notice that they where building the house out of blue lumber. He asked me “Why is this lumber blue?” Confused, I was like “blue lumber?” I asked him did it look blue or was it blue, and he told me it was BLUE, the whole house. Not knowing what he was talking about I did some research, on this blue wood he was talking about, and came across some interesting facts on it.

For Starters the wood is actually called Bluwood. Bluwood is a two part, preconstruction wood protection system. The lumber has a film on it that helps prevent moister from seaping into the wood and also protects against fungus and wood eating insects.

Any lumber can be treated. The film can be applied to any type of lumber from a 2×4 to OSB (Oriented strand board). That means sub floor, trusses and even beams can have this film put on it. It comes to the job site pre treated and can be sawed, nailed, and painted. Since the wood is pretreated it also protects the lumber while it sites outside in the elements while the house is being built unprotected (up to 6 months).

Termites. This lumber uses an Insecticidal and a fungicidal that prevents termites and fungus from attacking the wood and destroying is structural properties. The film attaches to the fibers that the termites like to eat, thus preventing them from eating it.

The system. The first part of the two part system is the vapor barrier. The wood is engulfed in a film that creates a vapor barrier on the wood. This vapor barrier controls the absorption properties of the wood not allowing the it to absorb moisture, but I also allows the wood to breath, letting the moister within it escape. Kind of like a Tyvek Home Wrap. The second part of the system is a proven DOT insecticide and fungicide.

How it works. The two part system is applied to all six sides of the lumber which they call the infusion process. Once the infusion process is over this prevents any moister from absorbing into the wood but allowing moister to escape from the wood. Then over time the “infusion ingredients” continue to migrate below the surface of the wood so in theory the inside of the wood is treated. I never used the wood so I don’t really know. I guess that when you cut the wood it is still protected. Through this process the ingredients bind to the wood at a cellular level

Less cupping splitting and curling. Since the wood has this vapor barrier on it, the film controls the rate at which the moister in the wood escapes. Preventing the wood from cupping, splitting, and/or curling, which we find more often today then before because of the quick milling process. So no more going to a large home improvement store and shifting through a stack of 2×4s to find the 2 that you need that are straight.