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The Benefits of Cedar Wood in Outdoor Applications: Weather Resistance and More

Timber Knowledge
18 July 2023 min read

The Benefits of Cedar Wood in Outdoor Applications: Weather Resistance and More

In the world of woodworking, the choice of material is as crucial as the craftsmanship itself. 

One such material that has stood the test of time, particularly for outdoor applications, is cedar wood. 

Renowned for its remarkable weather resistance and other unique properties, cedar has become a go-to choice for many outdoor projects. 

This article delves into the benefits of cedar wood, providing a comprehensive understanding of why it's a preferred choice in the woodworking industry.


Understanding Cedar Wood

Cedar wood, a softwood, is derived from several types of trees known as "cedars" that grow in different parts of the world. The most common types used in the UK include western red cedar and eastern white cedar. Moreover, these species are known for their durability, natural beauty, and distinctive aroma, making them a favourite among woodworkers and architects.


Weather Resistance: Cedar Wood's Standout Feature

One of the most significant advantages of cedar is its exceptional weather resistance. Interestingly, cedar contains natural oils that act as preservatives, giving the wood good resistance to moisture, decay, and insect damage. This makes it ideal for outdoor applications such as decking, fencing, and garden furniture.


Moisture Resistance

Cedar wood's ability to resist moisture is second to none. Unlike other types of wood, cedar doesn’t absorb water easily, reducing the risk of warping and swelling. And this is particularly beneficial in the UK, where the weather can be unpredictable and often wet.


Decay and Insect Resistance

Cedar's natural oils repel water and deter insects, including termites, a common threat to wooden structures. Additionally, these oils prevent decay, ensuring that your cedar wood structures remain sturdy and aesthetically pleasing for years.


Aesthetics and Versatility of Cedar Wood

Beyond its practical benefits, cedar is celebrated for its aesthetic appeal. Its warm colour palette, ranging from light amber to deep honey brown, and its straight grain and uniform texture make it a visually appealing choice for any outdoor project.


Versatility in Design

Cedar's versatility is another reason for its popularity. It's easy to cut, saw, and nail without special tools, making it a favourite among DIY enthusiasts and professional woodworkers. 

Furthermore, the wood accepts stains and finishes nicely, allowing you to customise your outdoor projects to suit your style and preferences.


The Longevity of Cedar Wood

When investing in outdoor structures, longevity is a key consideration. Thanks to its natural resistance to decay and damage, cedar wood structures can last decades with proper care and maintenance. This makes cedar a cost-effective choice in the long run, despite its slightly higher upfront cost than other types of wood.


Acoustic Properties of Cedar

An often-overlooked benefit of cedar wood is its superior acoustic properties. Cedar can dampen sound waves, making it a highly effective material for reducing noise pollution in outdoor environments. Naturally, this can be especially beneficial when cedar wood is used to construct fences or privacy screens in residential areas, creating peaceful, tranquil outdoor living spaces. 

Additionally, many musical instruments, such as guitars, use cedar for its resonance and tonal qualities, a testament to its acoustic capabilities.


Thermal Insulation Qualities

Another notable attribute of cedar wood is its outstanding thermal insulation. The wood provides much better natural insulation than many other wood types due to its cellular structure. So this makes cedar ideal for constructing outdoor structures such as garden sheds or greenhouses, where temperature regulation is crucial. 

Moreover, cedar’s insulation properties can help maintain warmer temperatures in cooler weather and keep the interior cool during hot seasons, offering a practical solution for various climate conditions.


Ease of Maintenance

Cedar wood promises long-lasting durability and is low maintenance compared to many other wood types. Its inherent resistance to rot and insects requires less treatment with harsh chemicals, contributing to environmental and personal health safety. 

Further, its stability minimises shrinkage and warping, reducing the need for regular adjustments or replacements. And when it comes to cleaning, a simple wash with mild soapy water can keep cedar wood structures looking their best.


Enhanced Safety with Cedar Wood

Safety is another aspect where cedar wood outperforms many other materials. 

As you may know, cedar is known to have a low flame spread index, which means it doesn't easily catch fire or propagate flames. This makes it a popular choice for outdoor decking or playground equipment, where there is a higher risk of exposure to fire. However, following proper safety guidelines and precautions is still important when using cedar or any other wood in these applications.

Furthermore, cedar also exhibits a lower density, which means it's less likely to splinter, providing a safer option for surfaces where direct contact with the skin might occur, such as on seating or handrails.


Increased Property Value

As a bonus, adding cedar wood structures to your property can enhance its value. The visual appeal, long-lasting durability, and low maintenance of cedar make it an attractive asset for potential homebuyers. The wood communicates the commitment to quality and sustainability, which are increasingly important in the current property market. 


Sustainability: An Eco-Friendly Choice

Cedar wood is an eco-friendly choice in an era where sustainability is paramount. This is because cedar trees grow relatively quickly and are harvested sustainably, ensuring minimal environmental impact. 

Moreover, cedar wood products are biodegradable, adding to their eco-friendly credentials.

Ultimately, the benefits of cedar wood extend beyond its weather resistance and aesthetic qualities. Its acoustic and thermal properties, ease of maintenance, enhanced safety, and the potential to increase property value make cedar wood an unparalleled choice for various outdoor applications.


Experience the Finest Cedar Wood Products with Woodshop Direct

Cedar wood's weather resistance, aesthetic appeal, and versatility make it an outstanding choice for outdoor applications. So, whether you’re planning a new deck, a garden shed, or a charming picket fence, cedar promises durability, beauty, and an eco-friendly solution.

Woodshop Direct offers a wide range of cedar wood products, all sourced responsibly and crafted with the utmost care. Most importantly, our team of experts is always on hand to guide you through your woodworking projects, ensuring you choose the right wood for your specific needs.