Cedar Log Siding
Western Cedar Benefits Western Cedar has quickly become one of the best options for wood siding companies and is a renewable resource. Cedar is a tree that grows extremely slow, and is a softwood that has one of the longest lifespans. This is what makes it such a popular choice today. It really is one of the best all around choices, combining many factors that make it so. The low density that comes with it provides great insulation to a home, and the wood is naturally resistant to decay. Basically, if you need a strong wood that is light weight and will stand up to the elements, you want Western Cedar.
Insulation & Decay It would seem that no matter which area you look at in regards to Cedar, you are looking at an advantage over other softwood choices for siding. The insulation is one of the better points, as the wood is naturally an excellent insulator. The air pockets in the wood paired with the low density are a winning combination every time.
No one wants to spend more money later on because they went with the wrong choice of wood when they originally started. Cedar represents a little more expensive option, but the money that you will save later on when you don’t have rotting or decaying wood is going to be astonishing. The Cedar has a natural element to it that helps it repel bugs and insects that could otherwise get in there and cause some damage. This is going to be your best bet for longevity, no doubt about it.
Cedar is also going to be resistant to warping, at least a lot more resistant that most other choices you can use. All in all it is one of the best choices naturally that you can find for siding, which is why you will see most companies already using it or suggesting it to their customers when they are given the chance.
Are All Cedars The Same?
Many people are under the assumption that Cedar is going to be the same no matter which type of Cedar it is. This is a common misconception that I am going to debunk right now. They are not all created equal, and you need to know the differences in order to properly locate which one you plan on using for your projects or siding.
Keep in mind that most Cedar is not used for its strength, which means you usually don’t see it in a support beam or something of that nature. More often than not it is used for siding, furniture, and other things that you know don’t need to have a ton of strength but you want to look good and be able to survive whatever elements might be thrown at it. To give you an idea of just how resilient this type of wood is to the conditions over time, you can look at totem poles. They are created from a Western Red Cedar, and some of them have been around for a few thousand years. Think about that for a second! It really does help put into perspective the longevity and durability of the wood.
I would like to take a minute and look at four different types of Cedar that are graded well enough to be considered lumber material:
Western Red Cedar Western Red Cedar, or just Red Cedar, can be found all over the place. It is the most commonly used Cedar these days and the name can be a bit misleading. It really comes in a variety of colors that range from a cream color to browns and tans. You will find it grown west of the Cascade Mountains in the states of Washington, California, Oregon, and British Columbia. This tree commonly reaches six feet round at the base of the tree and has been measured at over 180 feet high. It is super durable and can keep decay away.
Port Orford Cedar This type of Cedar grows in a very specific area and is only found in a few states. They can easily rival the trees that are Western Red Cedar in height and size. It is the strongest choice of wood among all of the Cedar trees. The straight grain on this tree is simply stunning. It was used for planking the hulls of ships because of its strength and durability. You can still find it sold today in a few places near the western end of the United States.
Incense Cedar Incense Cedar can be found in both California and Oregon. It doesn’t pack quite the punch that the Western Red Cedar does as far as insulation value and doesn’t grow nearly as tall. This is why this is usually used for decks and things of that nature that need a hard sturdy wood that is not going to get scuff marks on it. It is also one of the cheaper options that are available in the Cedar family.
Northern White Cedar Northern White Cedar is often just called White Cedar. It can be found mostly in the lake states along with a few other states here and there. It comes in at a 50 foot height average and a 2 foot base of the tree. It is harder to find because of the small amounts that are being found and produced in the United States. It is just as strong and weather resistant as the rest of the Cedar family.