The exterior of your home is something that you notice every day. But if you’ve grown tired of its appearance, it might be time for an upgrade.You’re probably looking for a material that offers longevity, low maintenance, and durability—re-doing your home’s exterior isn’t something you want to repeat again in a few years. What siding can you install that will stand both the test of time and the elements? Cedar siding has been a popular choice for decades. Not only is it strong, but cedar siding also looks inviting; it transforms the exterior of your home into one that’s rustic, attractive, and full of character. With regular care, it can last 20-40 years or more. Want to know more about whether cedar siding is right for your home? Consider the following benefits:
It creates a warm, cozy aestheticHomeowners love the natural look of cedar siding. This material even smells good; it’s known for its aromatic qualities. Cedar wood is perfect for cottages and residential homes. Cedar may not be considered the most modern-looking aesthetic, but this wood is a timeless material that will never go out of style.
Cedar is durableEven though cedar is defined as a softwood, it can hold its own against weather conditions. If you have wooden furniture or flooring in your home, then you’re probably familiar with wood’s tendency to swell, crack, or shrink. Cedar is more tolerant of fluctuating conditions than most types of wood, making it a great choice for the exterior of a building. Replacing the exterior of your home isn’t inexpensive—thanks to the durability, low-density, and long-lasting qualities of cedar, it’s a solid choice for siding.
It’s naturally protected from decay, rot, and insect damage from its preservativesHow can cedar be protected from these issues? Many believe that it’s due to naturally occurring preservative chemicals within the wood. The oils, chemicals, and acids that exist within cedar (called extractives) contribute to its decay resistance. As far as lumber goes, cedar is one of the sturdiest options on the market.
Cedar siding is a great insulatorSave on your heating and cooling bills when you use this material. You won’t lose as much of your warm or cool air to cracks in the wood, and your home will be more impenetrable to extreme temperatures.
You can customize itCedar is a versatile material that takes well to staining and painting. You can find it in various siding styles such as:
- Tongue and groove
- Bevel & wavy edge bevel
- Board and batten
Drawbacks to Cedar SidingDespite these benefits, cedar siding isn’t for everyone. This material comes with its own flaws, which we’re going to detail here:
It’s susceptible to moisture damageWood siding can be seriously damaged by moisture. Even though cedar siding is resistant to rot, it can’t hold up against excessive water damage. We mentioned earlier that this wood can last decades, but that won’t be the case if you don’t protect it properly, and allow it to be soaked by rain.
You’ll need to maintain itWith the proper maintenance, cedar siding can last for years. Try out these care tips to prevent the material from decaying:
- Staining or painting. Not everyone appreciates the look of bare cedar—some prefer to alter its colour by painting or staining it. However, if you go this route, you’ll need to touch it up every 10-15 years. As the years go by, cedar siding will naturally fade to a dull grey due to moisture and sunlight. If you’d like to restore the original colour of the cedar, you can use a wood brightener.
- Pressure washing. A deep clean will keep your cedar siding free from dust, dirt, and stains. Be sure to set a low pressure so as to not damage the wood, and stand a fair distance away from it. To get a deeper clean, you can mix in oxygen bleach. Be sure not to use regular chlorine bleach, which will damage the fibers in the cedar.
- Warding off insects. With any type of wood structure, one of your main concerns will be insect damage. Termites, carpenter ants, and other pests will gnaw holes in your wood and compromise its structural integrity—not to mention its appearance.
It’s flammableLike most types of wood, cedar siding won’t hold up to flames. It serves as fuel for fire. However, you can reduce its flammability by applying a fire retardant treatment.
Types of Cedar We OfferAt Martens Contracting, we install cedar shingle panels. Our contractors can install Western Red Cedar that’s layered with fiberglass matting, which is bonded to plywood. We offer 8-foot panels of cedar siding. If you’re curious about our selection, feel free to give us a call!
Why Other Types of Wood Aren’t UsedIf you’re thinking about replacing the siding of your home, cedar is a great choice. Due to its durability and chemical properties, it holds up better against termites and insect damage. There is an ecological factor at play when it comes to using wood siding. Cedar trees grow considerably fast, which makes them more renewable than other types of wood. And when you’re ready to replace your wood siding, the cedar is completely biodegradable and reclaimable. This minimizes the amount of waste that your remodeling project will produce. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly type of wood, cedar siding makes for an excellent candidate.
Other Siding OptionsPerhaps you aren’t sold on the benefits of cedar siding— what are your other options? We offer materials that mimic the appearance of cedar siding, but without the maintenance associated with it. At Martens Contracting, we install:
- Vinyl siding: You can use this material to emulate the look of cedar siding, but at a fraction of the cost. It’s moisture-resistant, lightweight, and easy to maintain.
- James Hardie (fiber cement siding): This material can imitate the appearance of painted wood. It’s made of cellulose fibers, cement, and sand.
- CanExel siding: If you’re looking for hardboard siding, consider an engineered wood. CanExel siding is made from wood fibers, wax, and resin.